In the rich tapestry of Indonesian culture, certain dances weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life, becoming cherished traditions that bring people together in celebration and joy. One such dance that has captured the hearts of many Indonesians is the Poco-Poco dance, originating from the picturesque province of Maluku.

Origin and Evolution

The Poco-Poco dance emerged in the early 1990s and quickly gained popularity within Maluku’s local communities. Initially, it was more than just a dance; it was a cultural expression of emotional closeness and togetherness, often performed during family gatherings and community events. Accompanied by its namesake song, composed by Arie Sapulette and sung by Yopie Latul, the Poco-Poco dance became a symbol of unity and celebration.

Spread and Cultural Significance

Over time, the infectious rhythm and joyful movements of the Poco-Poco dance transcended its regional origins and spread throughout Indonesia. It found its way into weddings, festive celebrations, and social gatherings, becoming a staple in the repertoire of Indonesian dance traditions. The dance’s appeal lies not only in its catchy melody and lively steps but also in its ability to bring people of all ages and backgrounds together in shared enjoyment.

Beyond Borders: Poco-Poco Across Southeast Asia

Interestingly, the Poco-Poco dance has also resonated beyond Indonesia’s borders. It has gained popularity among military personnel in Indonesia, where it is sometimes performed as a morale-boosting activity and a symbol of camaraderie among troops. In Malaysia, the Poco-Poco dance has occasionally made appearances in military involving military personnel, showcasing its cross-cultural appeal and the way it bridges boundaries between nations.

Remembering Yopie Latul

Yopie Latul, the iconic singer who popularized the Poco-Poco dance song, sadly passed away at the age of 65 due to complications from COVID-19. His contribution to Indonesian music and culture, particularly through the lively and beloved Poco-Poco song, remains indelible in the hearts of many.


In conclusion, the Poco-Poco dance stands as a testament to Indonesia’s rich cultural heritage and the power of music and dance to unite people. From its humble beginnings in Maluku to its widespread popularity across Indonesia and its occasional appearances in Malaysian military traditions, the Poco-Poco dance exemplifies the beauty of cultural expression and the enduring joy it brings to those who participate. Whether you’re in Jakarta, Surabaya, Kuala Lumpur, or beyond, chances are you’ll encounter the infectious rhythm of the Poco-Poco dance, reminding us all of the universal language of music and dance that connects us as human beings.


An amateur radio operator, military veteran, jack of all trades and master of none.

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