Surprise dance

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Tue Dec 24 09:31:01 UTC 2013

The "surprise dance" (sapuraizu dansu) has been featured on a TV program in Japan lately. As a way to honor someone, a group of people choreograph a dance in secret and then surprise the honoree. See for example:

The expression "surprise dance" shows up in English on pages like and (which is close), but in general, it doesn't appear to be lexicalized in English.

It is an interesting custom, perhaps related to the flash mob (do those still exist?), that perhaps will catch on in English-speaking countries.

Looking on the web, I did find instances of "surprise dance" with a different meaning that might be lexicalized in connection with Latin culture. As shown at, it seems that birthday girls (sometimes?) practice a dance that they perform at their quinceañera for everyone.

It seems newlyweds also do this at weddings (

Benjamin Barrett
Formerly of Seattle, WA

Learn Ainu!

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