back to top

We’ve updated our privacy notice and cookie policy. Learn more about cookies, including how to disable them, and find out how we collect your personal data and what we use it for.


There's A New Instructional Video That Will Teach You To Dance Like A North Korean

A newly-released video shows how people in the most isolated country in the world prepare to get on down at their mass dance events.

Posted on

It shows how to perform a variety of moves for the country’s traditional mass dance events, like this one, that took place on on May 1 in Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang.

Vicky Mohieddeen/Koryo Tours

"These events, with thousands of participants, were much more common in the past but had been phased out," said Vicky Mohieddeen, the Beijing-based creative projects manager at North Korea tour company Koryo Tours, in an interview with BuzzFeed News. " It seems they are back in fashion again – the next big public holiday where we expect to see a mass dance is Victory Day on July 27, which marks the end of the Korean War.”

There are some pretty nifty hand-waving moves in there.

Most news from North Korea tends to be about the military posturing of the country's brutal dictator, Kim Jong Un, or the horrific conditions he subjects many citizens to. The video hints at a more positive side to life in the country and the capital city Pyongyang, where the country's elite live.


And some touching romantic dances.

The lyrics to 'Heulrali', one of the songs danced to in the video, are: "Let's all hold hands and go out and dance… gentle maidens don't be shy… hard-working men don't be polite… let's match our hearts and hands and dance!"

This cowboy-style strut is a bit of a curveball.

As would be expected in a country where unswerving loyalty to the leader is demanded, the themes of the dances are familiar. The first dance in the video and its accompanying song is a tribute to Kim Jong Un and the third is themed around the late North Korea leader Kim Il Sung. The seventh dance and song are themed around the Korean War.

We’re mega-impressed that there's some fancy footwork.

"Nightclub culture such as we have in the west doesn't exist in North Korea, but if you visit over a holiday or on a Sunday you will see groups of locals in parks enjoying home brewed soju, singing and dancing," Mohieddeen said.

Constant smiling is, of course, mandatory.

The mass dances were introduced after the country's liberation from Japanese rule in 1925 and which have evolved from the traditional dances of Korea, according to Mohieddeen.

Keep on dancing, guys. Watch the full video below.

View this video on YouTube

Contact Jamie Fullerton at

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.