I came to Japan with the spirit that I was going to find ways to dance here. I had very specific ideas about what that meant. I was going to join a dance club, make cool dance friends, and maybe show off some of my skills in the subway.
My imagination and reality have been two very different things. It has actually been quite difficult to join a dance circle here (since I came in the Fall semester and Japan’s academic year begins in Spring). Also, it feels odd to pop and lock around a bunch of salary men standing in line for the train. Needless to say, I have learned one of the greatest lessons of my life due to this predicament. Tell people what you are looking for!
I started opening up to a variety of individuals about my struggles finding ways to dance outside my bedroom. My host mom started reserving rooms in the recreational center so that I could practice. I found out about studios that I can commute to most cost effectively. I had someone who dances knock on my door asking to be friends. I even approached some dancers and got added to group chats that’ll help me get access to free practices.
There are a variety of ways to do what you love wherever you are, though it may look a little different. If you advocate for yourself, you will find them. I still am searching for more avenues to dance. However, even outside of dance, I have seen how powerful it has been to talk to people about the things I am looking for or struggling with. You will be surprised what solutions come up!
To end, here is a video of me working on some choreography by Tobias Ellehammer at that recreational center!