Who is she?

Mona Koda is a senior who is a dual major in chemistry and Japanese. She was born in our very own Strong Memorial Hospital, but has traveled the northeast coast quite extensively. She, along with other students, has started one of the newest groups on campus, Yosakoi.

After performing at both the Diversity Night program during Orientation week and JAMbalaya two weeks ago, the club is beginning to quickly pick up momentum on campus as the next up-and-coming group.

What is Yosakoi?

The literal translation is “gathering fish.”

What is its history?

Yosakoi is a traditional fishermen’s dance. The fishermen would dance in order to entertain themselves as well as call upon the Shinto gods to give them a good haul. It has now turned into a nationwide phenomenon in Japan and is spreading globally. There are many competitions for the modernized version. There are several other dance forms that the club can practice and perform.

How did she start the club?

She gathered together some of her friends who were interested in creating the group. They learned the dance steps and practiced over the summer. Currently, she is working alongside the Students’ Association in order to officially make Yosakoi an SA recognized and funded group on campus.

Why should people join?

Just from the looks of it, Yosakoi is a physically demanding dance. The thrusts and hip gyrations exhibited during previous performances highlight the body parts necessary for the dance, which are most of them. It’s an excellent workout, considering you’ll probably be much more flexible after a few sessions. Also, at meetings, members expand their own intellect by discussing the history and significance of the dances.

When do members of Yosakoi meet?

Yosakoi meets on Sundays from 8 to 10 p.m. Locations are TBA, however, feel free to e-mail Mona Koda at mk002m@mail.rochester.edu for more information and meeting locations.

Where else have you seen Mona?

She is involved with many campus organizations. She is the chairperson for the UR Cinema Group and the annual Boar’s Head Dinner event chair for the Campus Activities Board. She works at the Residential Life Quad Office and at the UR Medical Center.

Why are these activities important?

The groups and clubs she is involved in bring the campus together and let the students have fun. It gives the students an opportunity to take a break from their heavy coursework.

What can we expect of Mona in the future?

Although she is applying to medical school in the coming months, she feels she will be a part of Rochester for years to come.

Buitrago can be reached at jbuitrago@campustimes.org.



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