Accomplishments of the Tomioka High School Dance Club

If the name Tomioka High School Dance Club doesn't ring a bell, you may know them as the '80s "bubbly dance" girls. Their fabulous high-energy retro dance routine, for which they won first place in the 2017 Dance Club Championship, propelled them into the spotlight.

(In case you haven't seen it before, here was their performance at the Dance Stadium competition, in which they were runners-up:)

Last year, they danced to the theme song for the Hugh Jackman musical The Greatest Showman:

And earlier this year, they starred in their first TV commercial, which was for internet service provider So-net. Former Tomioka H.S. Dance Club member and choreographer Akane directed the video which was an homage to the "Takefuji Dance," from a famous TV commercial series of the early Heisei Era:

"Oreo Pandance"

Now, Akane and graduates from the Tomioka H.S. Dance Club can add a second commercial to their resume, thanks to Oreo Japan. (Video below)

In a rather obvious play-on-words, considering their Oreo Panda mascot, they've called it: "Oreo Pandance."

You'll want to keep watching past the 50 second mark

Don't let the video quality fool you. It's intentional, since the commercial starts off in the style of an NHK kids show from the late Showa Era, with Akane as the star:

Surrounded by children who look like they'd rather be elsewhere (a wink at what sometimes transpired on NHK shows in which parents would bring their kids onto the set) and the Oreo Panda, Akane sings a little ditty introducing the Oreo cookie "mantra": "twist (the two halves off), lick (the half with icing on it), and dunk (in a glass of milk)."

But then, just around the 50 second mark, the energy level suddenly spikes and the tone of the video jumps a decade or so as the music takes on a 90s techno groove, with Akane, Tomioka H.S. Dance Club graduates, and the kids all showing off some great dance moves thanks to Akane's choreography.

Until now, Oreo's Panda mascot, already familiar to Japanese audiences from earlier commercial campaigns, has been a playful but rather calm character. You can see him in his usual state if you scroll down their campaign page here):

However, whether it's selling cheese or cookies, one thing we've learned about pandas in food commercials is that they're never as sedate as they seem.

As it turns out, Oreo Panda is able to keep up with Akane's dancing, pulling off very sharp and fast moves, without missing a beat. At one point, he even raps, while retrowave graphics play in the background.

If you'd like to learn more about the campaign, get recipes for delicious Oreo desserts, or for those in the Osaka area onn June 8th (or 9th, in case of rain), have a chance to see Oreo Panda in person, you can visit the official Oreo Panda home page here.

By - Ben K.