Photo by Tanabe+Photography
Who am I?
Why am I here?
Why do I dance?
My dance journey started from these points.
I was homeschooled when I was 11 years old because my style was a mismatch to the Japanese school and society.
At the time, my mother said to me "There are so many places you can learn without school. Not to go to school means you have courage."
I found a home in dance.
I danced around the world, stopping in about 20 countries to explore why dance was born, why people dance and to do some soul-searching.
From when I decided to see the world until now, I have met countless people who have given me hints to survive the society that was so hard for me to live in.
Although I felt unwilling to live at that time, I am still alive today because this journey changed my perspective on life and the purpose of my dance.
Because we are human, we have weakness and misery; I have come to see these as sources of our expression.
I stayed a few days in Soweto South Africa where there was racial discrimination.
My host father was coincidentally a tap dancer and we immediately hit it off together through dance.
I learned a story there about why they danced.
While protesting apartheid, people were singing, drawing and dancing in order to live.
The violence they received changed into nonviolence and expression: this was their method to stop the chain of violence.
Graffiti and beatboxing are also part of hiphop culture.
Beatbox comes from people who don't have enough money to but instrument.
I saw many scales which means equality in Soweto South Africa.
They said, "Dance did not make violence. Violence made dance."
I express my emotion through dance but don't use it to hurt people.
This is what I learned from South Africa.
When I was in Brazil,
I visited a group called AfroReggae which was founded in the favelas of Rio de Jeneiro with the mission of diminishing drug use and crime while restoring hope and enterprise through music and dance.
Many children in the favelas were hopeless and couldn't have a dream:
their only dream was to be gang members or drug traffickers.
Their dream finally changed after AfroReggae was established. Now, when asked, "What is your dream?" they answer:
-I want to be a dancer-
-I want to be a musician-
Dance and music saved countless youth who were spiritless from poverty and persistant discrimination.
They made me think again about the purpose of my dance.
Rather than competing or winning, I aspire to give a life-changing experience as they do.
I cried on the streets during my journey when I thought about returning to my daily life in Japan; I was inconsolable at the thought of leaving behind the amazing experiences I was having.
One day on the boat, I said,
-As long as I have my body I can dance anywhere-
-Actually you don't even need your body-
She is a reseacher who studies "Language and Power" and "Dance and Expression".
After I encountered her, I noticed that there is no "right" dancers and "wrong" dancers.
We collaborated to create a video called "I dance meaning".
Now when I watch this video, I cannot find a suitable word to explain what has changed, but even if I compare yesterday and today, I think that I am different everyday so why I dance has continued to unconsciously change every single day.
She introduced a dancer who lives in Vancouver, Canada to me.
Photo by Tanabe+Photography
He is definitely one of the dancers who has most deeply influenced me and the purpose of my dance.
He said on an interview,
-Dance is my voice.
-We are all equal.The world shouldn't be a competition.
Pain, anger, stress, shame... all of these feelings are part of who we are.
We sometimes forget how sensitive people are: we hurt people through our words and our insensitivity.
We have a voice to share our opinion without hurting others, but that voice is not always words.
This is what I learned from him.
Photo by Tanabe+Photography
Knowing that words are not everything, I wondered, how many people can understand my humanity through my dance alone?
When I create my work, I attempt to create my dance as deep as possible and illustrate the duality of meaning and emotions.
This is who I am, nothing more nothing less.
The dancer I met in Taiwan,
The dancers I met in Mauritius,
Dancing in breathtaking panoramic views,
Dancing at stunning viewpoints,
Dancing in the Namibian desert covered with sand,
Dancing with nobody watching,
Dancing in the streets,
I met so many people through dance,
and I finished my journey with countless memories and a desire to maintain the sense of purpose and connection I had achieved.
I began teaching dance in Japan.
I met a variety children.
I have students who say "I can't" without trying.
I have students who don't like dancing and are only there by their parents' wishes.
I have quiet students and quirky students.
Some students dance immediately when they hear music.
Some students were about to quit; others were refreshing their commitment to improve each day.
There are so many reasons you can find to give up, but you only need one reason to keep going. I worked with international students to see what motivated them to dance:
@Pearson College (United World of the Pacific)
@Heart Mind Body
Now, I am living in Canada and opening a dance studio in Metchosin, BC.
I started walking to my new dream.
Actually I don't want to say I'm a dance "teacher" because before a teacher, I am a dancer and before a dancer, I'm a human being.
I have many things to learn from my students.
If you think you are a teacher, this means you are a student too.
Let's dance together.
Classes begin on Thursday, January 12th, 2017.
This is Movement Dance Studio's Facebook page.
Please support us!
Tuesday 11:00-11:30AM Ages 4-5 Hip Hop
Tuesday 4:00-4:45PM Teen Hip Hop
Tuesday 5:00-6:00PM Adult Hip Hop
Thursday 3:30-4:15PM Ages 9+ Hip Hop
Thursday 4:30-5:15PM Ages 6-8 Hip Hop
Thursday 7:00-8:00PM Adult Hip Hop
If you want to continue, register for the January-March term here: https://movementdance1.wixsite.com/studio/registration
hip Hop Teaching Reel
The Making of a DIY Dance Studio within 3 minutes
Thank you for dancing with me so far.
Junior high school students
High school students