Cheerleaders in Japan danced and cheered for people outside a Tokyo rail station on Thursday. The girls said that their purpose was to lift the spirits of the commuters as the capital is heading into another state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kumi Asazuma is the leader of the 4 member cheerleading group. She said that they had been performing for over 10 years now. Earlier they aimed to energise morning commuters, but now their mission has a new meaning in the wake of the pandemic.
The squad waving their gold pom poms shouted, “Let’s go, fight” to the passers-by in front of the Shimbashi Station. However, they had taken the necessary safety precautions during the performance. The cheerleader’s protective face shields were spotted fogged up in the chilly Tokyo morning.
“Especially now, the spread of the coronavirus isn’t stopping, people have lost their jobs … I think this is a period where people are really suffering a lot,” 37-year-old Asazuma told Reuters. She works as a freelance event emcee and presenter other than being a cheerleader.
Cheerleaders from her group usually perform Thursdays in Tokyo and Fridays in the nearby Kanagawa province. The members also have other jobs. Hence the number of performers will greatly depend upon their availability.
“We want to deliver a smile to cheer people up. We’re doing this hoping that people can feel even a little bit better,” Asazuma added.
Japan saw a record daily positive COVID-19 cases on Wednesday. Tokyo registered 5000 cases for the first time. As a result, Japan is planning a one-month state of emergency for the greater Tokyo area starting from Friday.
Due to the state of emergency, the cheerleading squad will require to perform remotely only. The head cheerleader confirmed that they will continue to showcase their acts by posting videos on social media.
Picture credit: Indian Express