As an artist, I strive to create work that educates, evokes emotion, and intrigue from the audience. As a viewer, I was always drawn to pieces where you felt the raw emotion and intention of the choreography, but personally couldn't figure out how to create that. For the longest time I was scared to create work because I didn't know how to achieve what I wanted to convey to my audience.
Then, I went on a trip to the Manzanar confinement site that held my family during World War II. Having the chance to stand on the grounds that they were forced to live on, gave me a whole different view on the world and knew I needed to not only show this to others, but educate about Japanese American history. I feel as if this is a story that needs to be told but also I feel that I finally found my artistic voice through the experience I had.
I want my viewers to have a need to know more and to educate themselves about a topic that is so overlooked in the public. I want to communicate that Japanese American history needs to be remembered and talked about so that their experiences aren't forgotten and history doesn't repeat itself. I wanted to not only give myself a voice, but to give a voice to all of those who feel they have no power as to how they share their story.
I began dancing at the age of five, but only truly began to take it seriously when I was in high school. I quickly fell in love with the art form and couldn't get enough of it, whether it was in cheerleading, my high school dance company, or just jumping around in my basement. I had a need for dance.
Once I got to Columbia College Chicago, my teachers and peers opened my eyes to a whole new kind of dance form that stole my heart. I immediately became drawn to modern dance and how free formed it was from content, to composition, to performance. I felt complete and that I could convey anything and everything I wanted through modern dance.
I also had the opportunity to work with Design Dance, I was an administrative intern as well as a dance teacher during my freshman year at Columbia. I am still a teacher for the company and have taught at Lycee, Chase Park, By the Hand, and a few other Chicagoland after school programs. I believe that having dance in schools will help students focus better, lower behavioral problems in classrooms, and allow them to feel fully self expressed. Each child has a different background and life experience, and dance gives each of them a chance to say what they need.