Aside from the new form of narration it made popular, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya has one other bragging right. Making US anime fans far more aware of a dancing style much beloved in Japan: para para!
Simply put, para para is a type of line dancing, usually put to pop or techno music. The people in the dance are all synchronized for major movements, though verses often contain position changes and individual “solos” where one person performs a set of moves while their teammates dance a different set. Many para para dances emphasize “cuteness” and a sense of high energy in their movements. While some US fans were aware of the existence of para para previously, the popularity of the Haruhi Suzumiya series greatly increased the number of fans that were both interested and willing to learn para para due to a very addictive dance sequence seen during its first ending theme (years later, Lucky Star would parody this dance during a cosplay cafe episode). In fact, the explosion of anime fans that would perform the Haruhi para para dance was so intense after the series’ release that many US conventions had to outlaw dancing inside the convention hallways as it blocked the flow of their guests.
Though the para para tend is a few years old (the first Melancholy episodes arrived back in 2006), it still runs strong at anime conventions and in the anime community on YouTube. Which isn’t that surprising as it is indeed rather fun. Don’t believe me? Check out the famous Haruhi dance below to see for yourself!