Group Founders

Dipika SONI – Group Leader

Dipika Soni YosakoiDipika joined a local Yosakoi Soran team in 2004 while teaching English in Japan on The JET Programme. The team, Oshimizu Isaribi Rambutai (おしみず漁火乱舞隊), were the No.1 ranking team in Ishikawa Prefecture at the time but temporarily disbanded at the end of that year. In 2005, Dipika joined The Nihonkai & Hokkoku Shimbun (The日本海&北國新聞), a team made up of the best talent from Ishikawa Prefecture to compete at the annual YOSAKOI Soran Festival in Sapporo. In 2006 the team were granted a place in the competition final and were placed 5th overall, a first for any team from Ishikawa.

On returning to the UK, Dipika now works full time at the Japan Information and Cultural Centre, Embassy of Japan, where she developed a Yosakoi Soran workshop for schools which she runs regularly as part of the Embassy’s Club Taishikan programme. Dipika has also run the workshop for Japan Society volunteers, Open day for 6th formers, and at the Southbank Centre as part of the Tanabata Festival at the Festival of Love in 2014. She established the YOSAKOI London group with Magda in 2016.

 

Magda KASPRZYCKA – Group Leader

Magda Kasprzycka YosakoiMagda was introduced to the world of Yosakoi dance in 2011, when she was on her year abroad at Osaka University as a part of her Japanese Studies degree. She joined the Osaka University ”festival dancing” student society Madani (大阪大学お祭りダンスサークル”祭楽人”). With Madani, she danced at a number of festivals around the Kansai area. She also joined a non-university team Saikai (祭会), with which she danced at the Yosakoi Festival in Kouchi in 2012.

Since her return to UK, she was doing contemporary dance and performed “0336” with Reforma Movement Theatre in Liverpool, but she always missed Yosakoi. She established the YOSAKOI London group with Dipika in 2016.