Chinese YMCA dance

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I still remember clearly the first time I tried the Y.M.C.A. dance.  That was about twenty years ago in New Haven when we celebrated Valerie Hansen's ascension to tenure at Yale.  When it comes to ballroom / partner dancing, I'm a total klutz, but I hoof it with abandon when it's single swirling-twirling-whirling.

There was a lively band with a talented singer who led us through the steps and motions of the YMCA dance.  It was a blast!

The other day I thought to myself, what would it be like if you tried to create such a dance for the Chinese equivalent of "Y.M.C.A."?

Jīdūjiàoqīngniánhuì 基督教青年会 ("YMCA")

Even if we abbreviate it as "青年会", the last three characters of the Chinese name, it would still be very hard to dance like the English YMCA version.

The iconic "YMCA" moves begin as 0:57 here:

And now I have a horrendous earworm.

Maybe Chinese speakers should stick with the hokey pokey dance.

Selected readings

Update: A friend sent along this blasphemous image.


  1. Kemu3 said,

    February 16, 2024 @ 8:08 pm

    What about the "subject three" dance?

  2. Victor Mair said,

    February 16, 2024 @ 8:16 pm

    Give us a link.

  3. Kemu3 said,

    February 16, 2024 @ 8:46 pm

  4. Dan Boucher said,

    February 17, 2024 @ 10:30 am

    Victor, is there a video of you doing the YMCA dance in New Haven? I would pay a handsome sum for that!

  5. CBVD said,

    February 17, 2024 @ 4:31 pm

    There is a dance, similar to YMCA, in a Chinese Buddhism version:

  6. Rodger C said,

    February 18, 2024 @ 10:50 am

    @CBVD: LOve it! I can make out that they're dinging about Amitabha.

  7. Glby said,

    February 18, 2024 @ 7:21 pm

    It's always amusing to look into the lyrics and also think about why pseople are saying that this song is so gay while at the same time, Donald Trump used this song for his campaigns.

  8. Jaap said,

    February 19, 2024 @ 7:33 am

    I've always liked the parody version performed by Alex Horne and by The Horne Section:

  9. Tom said,

    February 20, 2024 @ 4:02 am

    @Victor Mair, I think you would appreciate more than most this Cantonese cover of YMCA, which is something of a classic: They, of course, use the Roman letters for the chorus.

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