Parapara We Miss You Lambada

Jun Takagi for TIME

Japanese teenagers doing the parapara in Roppongi's Velfarre club

Takeo is pimply, shaggy, gawky, not the hunkiest guy in a groovin' dance club in Kyoto called Isn't It? But Takeo's got something other guys don't—he knows how to move—and he's putting those moves to work. Standing on a raised platform in a red sweatshirt adorned with nonsensical English, Takeo punches his arms out in a series of semaphoric gestures. The song changes: he does the same, but with a different set of arm movements. The crowd is watching him, and precisely following his lead. High school girls in hip- huggers gaze up adoringly and Takeo smiles, nods his head to...

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