I remember when I started to dance … I was probably around 5 or so. My father’s friend’s daughter Sanae—who would became my teacher for 17 years—was looking for ballet students …
I remember when I started to dance … I was probably around 5 or so. My father’s friend’s daughter Sanae—who would became my teacher for 17 years—was looking for ballet students. She just graduated from high school, decided not to go to college, and instead wanted to pursue a career in dance. One day, my father’s friend was at my father’s office and I was also there for some reason. Suddenly he asked me, “Do you want to dance?”
At that time I had no idea what ballet was, had never seen or heard of it … I was only 5 years old. But my mother said that to him, “Yes, she is really active, so she may like it. She won’t be good with Japanese traditional dance.” My cousins were taking traditional Japanese classes and my mother felt that wouldn’t be suitable for me so she enrolled me in the ballet class. According to my mother I complained that she enrolled me without asking my permission, but I don’t recall this. But OMG now I thank my mother for letting me start dancing at a young age. How did she know this would become my lifelong passion.
I came from a small Japanese town called Numazu in Shizuoka prefecture. During the elementary school year none of my friends or anyone from school did ballet. I remember only another person was dancing Flamenco, which was rare at that time where I lived. It was really not common in my town to study Western dance forms, but now it is.
I remember when I went to the studio for the first time. It wasn’t even a studio, just a room in the back of a house. Me, my teacher Sanae and one other girl who was my mom’s friend’s daughter did ballet in this tiny room. But I find it funny that I still really remember what that room looked like. looked like. I learned my first recital there, the Nut Cracker, and I was a little mouse. Sanae taught me all the arms positions.
I have a funny memory of that time. Sanae injured her neck, so somehow her mother told me to teach another girl in the class. Sanae’s mother was wearing a kimono (Japanese traditional clothes) and stood next to me as I taught those arm positions to another girl. It is a strange memory, but I surely remember that moment.
One other thing I recall about my teacher Sanae is that she never canceled a class no matter what … even if she could not move. She still has a dance studio and is celebrating 43 years of teaching (and this is not even counting the time when she started to teach me because that was her teacher’s branch studio). Sanae has an amazing devotion to teach and continues to have her studio. When I go back to Japan I am still able to visit her at her dance studio (not the same place off course).
In comparison to Sanae I am celebrating my 19th year of the DancEsteem program this year … I have many more years to go to catch up with her.
More From Our Blog
Recent Blog Posts
- March 3, 2016
- March 3, 2016
- February 2, 2016
Upcoming Events at MoBu Dance Studio
Creative Dance Show (Students’ Choreography)
Creative Dance Show
Date April 23rd, 2017
DancEsteem 2017 Spring Show!
DancEsteem 20th anniversary Performance
May 6 & 7, 2017 at Fort Mason Cowell Theater