This Spanish song and dance are a fun, active way to teach children the words izquierda, derecha, adelante, and detrás. La yenka was first popular as a dance for adults in the sixties and then recorded for children in the eighties by Enrique y Ana. Since then it has been recorded by many children’s artists in Latin America and Spain. It is included in lots of collections of canciones infantiles, or children’s songs in Spanish.
The chorus of the song is:
Un, dos, tres
Un, dos, tres
The most common dance is to kick first with the left foot twice, then with the right foot twice, jump forward, jump back, and then jump three times in a circle for the un, dos, tres.
This video shows the dance for the chorus really well. The group does it in different ways (like a monkey and a penguin, for example). In this version, the song is just vamos a bailar la yenka, vamos a bailar la yenka and then the chorus.
The version that is recorded for children usually has these three verses.
Vengan chicos, vengan chicas a bailar
Todo el mundo viene ahora sin pensar.
Esto es muy fácil, lo que hacemos aquí.
Esta es la Yenka que se baila así.
Con las piernas marcaremos el compás
Bailaremos sin descanso siempre más
Y no hace falta comprender la música
Adelante y detrás y venga ya
Aquí se baila la yenka
Hay qué fácil es la yenka
Mira qué bien va la yenka
Y qué graciosa es la yenka
You can watch and listen to Grupo Encanto sing the song here.
As I mentioned, lots of children’s artists have recorded La yenka. Just search the mp3 downloads on Amazon or iTunes you can find versions by Tatiana, Garabatos, Grupo Encanto, Grupo Triqui Triqui and The Countdown Kids, to name just a few.
You can also search La yenka on YouTube and watch lots of preschool and elementary classes do the dance as part of school programs.
You may also be interested in this post: Spanish Rhyme with Actions – Si yo pongo mis dos manos para arriba