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Wotagei - a different style of glowstick dancing

5 posts in this topic

(Note: As there appears to be a 2 Youtube embedded video limit, I've attempted to edit the post in a way to show the two videos I think most relates to glowsticking as you know it.  The other ones are linked for reference)
So as I mentioned in my intro, although I don't consider myself a glowsticker, I do use glowsticks for a type of dance that came from a completely different (non-rave) musical culture
Wotagei basically originated as a form of cheerleading/audience participation at idol concerts in Japan.  As such, chants are a big part of it, and are called "Calls" (for calling out the singer) or "Mixes" (in that the chants are designed to mix smoothly into the song).  There's a few standard phrases, but it varies depending on the singer/group, and sometimes the words are even nonsensical (the most common phrase is "Tiger, Fire, Cyber, Fiber, Diver, Viber, JyaJya").  Depending on the venue/singer, especially when there's standing room near the stage, the the audience is able to participate in essentially a form of semi-choreographed dance to particular songs.  Probably one of the most famous ones was for the song Romantic Ukare Mode, as seen below.  It demonstrates some of the basic moves that would become staples in most future wotagei, like OAD, Rosario, and Romance.  It is also dorky as hell. :)
Over time, the use of glowsticks became more integrated with some songs, and may even have specific colors associated with them.  5-minute Ultra Oranges were often cracked during a song's climax as well, like at the 3:30 mark in the next video.  More complicated techniques spanning 32 beats during the chorus sections also became common, e.g. Thundersnake at the 2:30 mark by some of the girls on the stage (audience area was too crowded).  The singer in this video also happens to represent my entry point into the world of wotagei, as I attended one of her concerts in the USA and was impressed by the dedication of her fans and the energy in the audience participation in the concert.  


Since then, people have also started to practice wotagei with glowsticks outside of concert settings.  Sometimes these are called "Cyalume dances" (glowstick dances) to differentiate from the style of wotagei found above, but most people just call it wotagei, especially since it can still be done without glowsticks.  This is probably the closest thing to rave-style glowsticking.  In fact, I'd say it's what glowsticking might look like if you tried to do choreographed glowstringing via freehand.  Generally songs need to have a verse/pre-chorus/chorus type structure to allow the full range of dance options (e.g. OAD->Rosario->Thundersnake->Romance)
Because of the relatively more rigid structure of wotagei, the chorus section is where most original techniques are created.  But even the same move can have small variations depending on the individual and the song.  People like to make compilations of such techniques as well like below.  As you may notice, most moves are given names.
Anyway, I hope this infodump has been informative.  I'm certainly curious as to what you guys think about it and whether it's possible to integrate some of that into glowsticking. I'll just end this with one last video as it has a bit of token "glowstringing" (I think he does a weave at the end). ;)  In particular I like the long glowsticks that basically look like mini light sabers.
Edited by Dracil

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freehanding could Definitely be incorporated into this!!

Honestly I find this pretty entertaining,
but I eagerly look forward to what freehanding (and possibly stringing) can lend to it all

best places to start looking for all our freehanding stuff:

As for stringing, if you think it could ever be incorporated, start with these:

Also this link has most of our older videos (missing 2012-2013 footage):

And lastly, in case you're interested at all about our culture, please check this out:

Now if you'll excuse me, my interest in Wotagei is quite piqued now;
Wikipedia FTW!! xD

Edited by suzume

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@suzume Thanks.  Yeah, I definitely want to try incorporating some freehanding moves eventually and spent quite some time reading the very interesting culture section, though I need to master wotagei first I think.  I am very uncoordinated as a dancer in general.


@bukklee Now imagine doing that for a couple hours at a concert.  ;)  Though that was a bit of a special case, since you don't normally chain so many of those at a time.


Re: LED sticks, it's hard to tell from that distance, but there's several lightsticks options that are common.


The most basic types are the "Concert penlights" often sold at concerts.  They're just some some branded watch-battery powered LED lights attached to a screwable plastic tube with the appropriate color material on the inside of the tube.  The ones I have use 4 LR44 batteries.  It's probably not these as they're not all that bright compared to the options below.


After that, the most popular types seem to be the 3rd-party penlights made by companies like Turn-On, Ruifan, and Lumica.  These use around 3-4 AA/AAA batteries and generally come in single-color versions, which give you the option of multiple light levels, or the more recent multicolor versions, which only come with one light level but a choice of about a dozen different colors through a combination of LEDs in the stick.  Then can also come in standard length or short versions, and plain or "glitter" version.  I think the glitter versions are slightly brighter when measured with a meter, but will of course give a glitter effect when viewed up close.  I think the King Blade X10 was really popular as it was the first multicolor light at a good price (it's still #5 under Toys and #1 under Toy lights on Amazon Japan)


After that are the DIY sticks.  In Japan, the simplest type is probably the "Senn Blade"  Which is made by using a Gentos SG-325 flashlight (the Senn series) which is 150 lumens, glued onto a drilled out bottle cap, then screwed onto a tube from a regular lightstick.  I've seen a more professional accessory that clasps onto the flashlight and has the screwable portion built-in as well.  Then there are the more complicated projects that involve switching out LEDs.  However, it's become common for concerts to ban the use of DIY sticks in recent times so these are probablly more commonly seen in Youtube videos.


In the USA, a popular DIY option was the Fenix LD10/LD20 flashlights attached to the orange traffic wand diffuser.  This of course, only gives you orange, though at almost UO levels.  It does have its own issues though (too many modes, size, weight, traffic wand shape).  I've also used those LifeGear type camping LED sticks for non-UO moments, though they're kind dim and aren't evenly lit.


I've been reading this blog for lightstick reviews:  They're very in-depth with specs, comparison shots, power and illuminance measurements, etc.  There's also these pages in English which are a little old:


Personally, I just bought and received some Turn-On Colorful Thunder 110 sticks after reading the review on Monta's site (  It's not as bright as my Fenix lights on Turbo (180 lumens), but beats anything else I have for every other color.  They have a section for wrist straps which could theoretically be used for glowstringing but I'm not sure how well something this big would work for glowstringing (it's about 100 grams total).  I also have some Hexbrights that are programmable and give out up to 500 lumens but 1) They're big and heavy and 2) I don't have anything to attach it to yet.  It's probably better suited as a defensive flashlight for blinding attackers. :P

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This reminds me of the very early glowsticking videos.

When it was just being discovered and explored.


I liked the dude @6:47..I'm tired just watching the 3 Week Diet.


Where do you get the led sticks they use in this vodeo?


The first video is blocked but the second one was entertaining. How long does it take to learn a routine like that? Also where can I get glow sticks like that online?

Edited by SongCry

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