I’m always eager to share captivating dance videos that showcase creativity and skill. This umbrella dance by Japanese performer Kazuho Monster is a prime example, accruing nearly 6 million YouTube views for good reason. It exemplifies the lively dance form of locking, centered around “locking” different body parts in place to create visual pauses interspersed with fluid hip hop grooves.

YouTube video

In the video, Kazuho dances on a city street at night, wielding an umbrella as his prop. Though no gusts are actually present, he conjures the illusion of battling fierce winds trying to flip his umbrella inside-out. With crisp arm and wrist flicks, he mimes snapping the umbrella back into shape repeatedly. His body contorts into angular poses as he fights the imaginary elements. He slides from side to side, his feet gliding and stomping in rhythm.

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Viewers are wowed at how Kazuho keeps character, never breaking his concentration against the “uncooperative” umbrella. His commitment makes the pantomime – the act of telling a story through expressive movement and gestures – utterly convincing. The dance and pantomime are seamlessly interwoven, demonstrating technical mastery yet feeling fresh and spontaneous.

Such creative choreography reminds us that dance can be theatrical while also serving as a healthy physical and emotional outlet. And you need not be a professional to reap the rewards! People of any age can join beginner dance classes to learn styles like locking, hip hop, jazz, ballet, salsa, and more. No partner is required, as studios thoughtfully switch partners (if needed) so everyone can participate. The skills gained in one genre also help pick up new styles more quickly.

Beyond just exercise, dance offers many holistic benefits. Learning choreography challenges your memory, orientation skills, and mental acuity similar to puzzles. Mirroring an instructor’s moves expands coordination. Dancing to varied musical rhythms trains your ears, supporting cognitive functions like concentrating and listening. Performing flowing sequences enhances your balance, core strength, and posture over time. And unlike repetitive gym routines, classes remain engaging as the music and steps change.

Most importantly, dancing alleviates stress in healthy ways often lacking from sedentary lifestyles. Focusing on nailing the next move redirects your mind from anxieties. Moving meditatively to the beat elicits feelings of joy and creative expression. The communal atmosphere breeds friendships and support systems. With so much to gain physically, emotionally, socially, should we really stop dancing after childhood? I say music on, limitations off!

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