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YACOUBA MASK DANCES are dances performed in the masks known as Gle Gben or Kwuya Nyon. The masks are three meters high and the dancers perform acrobatic gestures that excite the public. Despite its theatrical appearance, the masks are surrounded by secrets known only by the initiated men and never by women.

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973.Yacumama / Peru

Yacumama is a dance that represents the mating period of a wild bird named Wallatas. These birds have black and white feathers and red legs and Andean men have observed them during their mating period, and they have recreated their movements in this dance. Yacumama dance is performed during the festivities of the carnivals.

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974.Yanvalou / Haiti

Yanvalou is the name given to a form of dance associated with Haitian Vodou, but it was originated in Benin, West Africa. Religious dances play important rile in the Haitian culture, that keeps mixing African styles with other cultural traditions. In the Haitian Vodou religion, it is believed that each of the gods and goddesses, called Loa or L’wa, inspired their own unique dance movements that range in dynamics from subtle to aggressive. Yanvalou is performed in a group as a prayer, invoking deities and moving the dancers to lose consciousness and enter into a state of trance. The dance movements can include wild spinning, undulation of the spine with the hands placed on bent knees.

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975. YAPESE DANCE / Micronesia

YAPESE DANCE is a dance performed by Yapese people, known throughout Micronesia for their skill in traditional dancing. Dances are performed whenever there is a feast or on special occasions such as marriage of a chief. Everybody is expected to know how to dance. As soon as children are mature enough to learn the instructions, their parents began teaching them. The Yapese dance called Churu' has been passed down cautiously from generation to generation with songs of messages from history and teachings of the villages. Dancers dress their bodies with coconut leaves and flowers and their skins rubbed down with turmeric and coconut oil to give the

skin a golden shine. These dances are only performed in groups of men or women separately. Yap perhaps best represents and maintains the art of dancing in the entire Pacific.

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976.Yarkhushta / Armenia

Yarkhushta is an Armenian folk and martial dance associated with the highlands of the historical region of Sassoun in Western Armenia. It belongs to a wider category of Armenian "clap dances”. It is performed by men, who face each other in pairs. The key element of the dance is a forward movement when participants rapidly approach one another and vigorously clap onto the palms of hands of dancers in the opposite row. The dance was revived in the 1980s by the folk group Maratuk and, later, by the folk ensemble Karin. There are attempts to introduce yarkhushta into curriculum of dances and songs of the Armenian Army.

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977.Yemaya DANCE / Cuba

Yemaya DANCE is one of the Orisha dances. Yemaya is the mother of all, she is the goddess of the ocean and one of the most powerful Orishas, associated with the moon, the ocean and feminine mysteries. She is the goddess of life. Her dance alludes to female wisdom and the power of community. The cycle of life, healing and vicious properties of water are all present in her dance.

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978.Yemenite step / Israel

Yemenite step called also Tza'ad Temani is a dance step widely used in Jewish dancing and Israeli folk dancing. It is also a popular dance performed Jews during weddings and other Jewish occasions. The basic Tza'ad Temani step provides a swaying movement that changes the dancer's direction of motion, although the dancer may face forward throughout the step. It is usually a sideways movement, but may be done moving backward and forward (or vice versa). It consists of three steps, with a short pause on the final step for a "quick, quick, slow" tempo.

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979.YORUBA DANCES / Nigeria / Benin

YORUBA DANCES are traditional dances from Yoruba people from Benin and Nigeria

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980.Yosakoi / Japan

Yosakoi is a unique style of dance originated in Japan, performed at festivals and various events all over the country. The first Yosakoi festival was held in 1954 in Kochi and then spread throughout Japan. It is a highly energetic dance style, combining traditional Japanese dance movements with modern music. Choreographed dances are often performed by large teams. Along with a number of professional yosakoi schools and town dance teams, yosakoi is also a popular event during the sports festivals held by Japanese elementary, junior and senior high schools. Yosakoi dancers include men and women of almost all ages - sometimes within a single team. Costumes used by yosakoi teams vary widely. Happy coats and yukata in a wide variety of colours are the most predominant ones. Some groups choose costumes based on historical attire, popular fashions, or ethnic fashions.