Koko Samoa
(Samoa)

[Full notes] [Summary notes] [Other dances & the source code]

Formation Sitting individually.
Dance Structure (A + (B x 2) + C + (B x 2)) x 2.
Music Structure 4 counts/bar, 4 bar phrases.
Music Speed 160 counts/min.
Source Corry Verheijen in her day course in Witnesham, UK in 2009.

Disclaimer: Mistakes are quite likely in the notes and no guarantees are made as to accuracy. There may be other versions of the same dance or other dances with the same name. Music may differ, particularly in speed, introduction and duration, between performers. The division into parts, bars & counts might not be standard. These notes of the dance are freely distributable (under GPL or CC-by-sa) in so much as the note's author's contribution but the choreography and/or collection were by other people and so their copyright might apply to the dance itself. Better than using notes, go to a dance class where it is taught by Corry Verheijen.

A light-hearted Samoan story-telling dance which is performed with the hands whilst sitting down.

Although a sitting dance is novelty for Western folk dancers and potentially useful for leading dances to some disabled people (another occupation of Corry's), it is reportedly a genuine folk dance from Samoa where folk dances are often based on telling stories through gestures.

Part A represents disapproval of Western style drinking chocolate, Part C represents approval of Samoan drinking chocolate & Part B is a chorus.

Style: Happy, summery. Big gestures. Lower body does not move. Upper body mostly upright but moves naturally with arm gestures.

Introduction

Summary: 4 bars bouncing hands on knees with thumbs up.

1
1 With hands in thumbs-up gestures, bounce them on the knees (R hand on R knee, L hand on L knee) from above and return them forearms being horizontally infront (upper arms remain by sides).
2-3 Repeat count 1 (hands in thumbs-up gesture bounce on knees) thrice more.
2-4 Repeat bar 1 thrice more (making 16 bounces of hands on knees in thumbs-up gesture in total).

Part A

Summary: Western drinking chocolate: Examine disapprovingly, shake head, shake L hand palm flat, chin on thumb. Examine disapprovingly, wag R finger, wag L finger, drink.

1
Represents Examining disapprovingly.
Action R hand in thumbs up (hitchhiking) gesture representing a cup of cocoa, R arm infront with forearm horizontal & upper arm vertically down. L arm casual. Look disapprovingly at the cup (R hand). Stay in this position throughout the bar.
2
Represents Shaking head disapprovingly.
Action
1 Turn head to the R. R hand remains representing cup.
2 Turn head to the L.
3 Turn head to the R.
4 Turn head to face forwards again.
3
Represents Shaking hand disapprovingly.
Action
1 With L upper arm vertically down, left forearm horizontally forwards and L hand flat with fingers open, palm facing forwards, & fingers pointing up, tilt L hand to the R (cw turn in its plane). R hand remains representing cup.
2 Tilt L hand likewise to the L (acw turn in its plane)
3-4 Repeat counts 1-2 (tilt L hand R & L).
4
Represents Pondering.
Action Return L hand to casual, R hand remains in thumbs-up gesture but moves up & in by flexing R elbow and chin rests on R thumb by bending back & neck forwards. Stay in this position throughout the bar.
5
Represents Examining disapprovingly.
Action Repeat bar 1 (having straightened up from previous bar).
6
Represents Wagging finger of R hand disapprovingly.
Action
1 Change R hand gesture to an upward pointing finger (palm still pointing forwards) & tilt R hand to the R (cw turn in its plane).
2 Tilt R hand likewise to the L (acw turn in its plane).
3-4 Repeat counts 1-2 (tilt R hand R & L).
7
Represents Wagging finger of L hand disapprovingly.
Action Repeat bar 6 but with left hand (L upper arm vertically down, left forearm horizontally forwards, L hand gesture an upward pointing finger, R arm casual, tilt L hand R & L twice).
8
Represents Drinking.
Action
1 With both upper arms vertically down, both forearms horizontally forwards and both hands in thumbs-up gestures representing cups, vigorously lift cups to over shoulders by flexing elbows.
2 Return hands (cups) to original place (forearms horizontal).
3-4 Repeat counts 1-2 (cups up to shoulders & back down). (To me this looks more like chucking the drink away over ones shoulders than drinking & that would be appropriate to the theme of this verse but it is an identical action to the drinking in bar 4 of Part C.)

Part B

Summary: Chorus: (Clap up right in q-q-s rhythm. Ditto down left.) x 2. Clap infront x 5. Hands on knees pause x 3.

1
1 Clap hands together with flat hands (sea lion style) with hands to the R & up at head level (or maybe higher if possible).
& Clap likewise.
2 Clap likewise.
3-4 Repeat counts 1-2 (3 claps in quick-quick-slow rhythm) but with hands to the L & down at hip level.
2 Repeat bar 1 (3 claps up R in quick-quick-slow rhythm, ditto down L).
3
1 Clap likewise but with hands infront & upper arms vertically down.
2-4 Repeat count 1 (clap infront) thrice more.
4
1 Repeat bar 3 count 1 (clap infront). (This makes it 5 claps infront in total.)
2 Place hands flat & palms down, on knees. (This is silent not a clap on the knees.)
3-4 Pause (with hands on knees).

Part C

Summary: Samoan drinking chocolate: Grind beans, ditto, smile, drink. Stir drink, ditto, smile, share.

1
Represents Grinding the chocolate beans.
Action
1 L upper arm vertically down, L forearm horizontally forwards and L hand slight cupped (almost flat) with palm upwards, fingers & thumb together and fingers pointing forwards representing a mortar. R hand as fist with little finger side on the bottom represent a pestle. With the pestle (R fist) in the mortar (L hand) rotate pestle cw about its axis (the vertical centreline of the fist).
2 Return pestle (R fist) acw to pre-rotated position (the grinding emphasis is on the cw motion not this acw returning motion, the emphasis being reduced by imitating less pressure by means of a very slight lift).
3-4 Repeat counts 1-2 (grinding cw & returning acw).
2
Represents Grinding the chocolate beans.
Action Repeat bar 1 (grinding cw & returning acw twice more making 4 times in total).
3
Represents Smiling.
Action
1-2 With R hand in a gesture representing half a smile, move hand horizontally from L to R infront of mouth exaggeratedly from a bit past the L of the face to a bit past the R of the face. L hand casual. The half smile gesture is the fingers together but flexed a bit at the basal knuckles and the thumb underneath and parallel to the fingers but not touching the fingers. This is similar to the hand position inside a stereotypical Kermit/Emu/sock type glove puppet. The plain made by the joined fingers points down (the palm is tilted) & the fingers point to the L.
3-4 Repeat counts 1-2 in mirror image with the L hand doing the gesture (moving R to L) for the other half of the smile.
4
Represents Drinking.
Action As Part A bar 8 (thumbs up gestures with both hands raised to shoulders & back twice).
5
Represents Stirring the ground chocolate into the drink.
Action
1-2 L hand as in bars 1-2 (representing mortar). R hand does a stirring motion which consists of starting with fingers & thumb together, hand cupped, palm facing forwards and thumb basal knuckle near base of L hand then progresses with the R hand closing to a fist as it rotates cw about a vertical axis by flexing the wrist and rotating cw about the axis of the R forearm by rotating the wrist and ends up as a fist on the palm of the L hand with fingers of the fist on the bottom.
3-4 Repeat counts 1-2 (stirring).
6
Represents Stirring the ground chocolate into the drink.
Action Repeat bar 5 (stirring twice more twice more making 4 times in total).
7
Represents Smiling.
Action Repeat bar 3 (big half smile gestures with R then L hand).
8
Represents Sharing.
Action
1-2 With upper arms vertically down and hands out in front with each hand being flat with the fingers & thumb together and the palm facing upwards representing tray of cups (alternatively it might be supposed to represent a big bowl), move hands out to the R side (largely by twisting the back).
3-4 Repeat counts 1-2 in mirror image (with hands representing a tray of cups of drink, move them out to the left).

Note that bar 8 is not the original version but altered by Corry. The original was twice the speed & went through twice (arms R in count 1, L in count 2, R in count 3, L in count 4) but she thought (& I agree) that looked too much of rush rather like (at least to Europeans) like slopping the drink over ones friends rather than giving them it to drink!