Dancers Central


    Today is Monday April 18th and I am currently in Japan for “The Movements” 3 city tour with the show “Electric City”. Yesterday after rehearsal, the cast and I decided to go check out this spot we kept hearing about. It’s called Dancer’s Central, which may seem like a familiar name but its not a facility, video game or neighborhood. I was told this is a well-known place to most Japanese dancers but I’m assuming most common people haven’t heard of it. During the day, it is a corporate office building but at night it becomes an outlet for dancers to come and practice moves, routines, and different styles.

    At first, not knowing what to expect, I thought it would be a waste of time and that I would be better off resting up for the show. I was sadly mistaken. The first couple of dancers that I saw were B-boys or break dancers. They were zoned out practicing different power moves on the concrete while jamming to music from a small ipod radio. As I continued to walk around the outside of the office building, I was shocked to see tons of other people practicing in the reflection of the glass. Every group of dancers that I came across was practicing different styles such as locking, popping, breaking, house and also choreographed routines. Some of them didn’t even have music but they didn’t let that stop them from practicing. After seeing all the unity and dedication to the art of dance, we were inspired. We all decided to drop our things and practice along with them. It was a little cold but by this point the only thing that was on our minds was adding to the tremendous positive energy. This night has been the highlight of my stay here in Japan so far.

    We stayed there for about 90 minutes and then we packed up and thanked everyone that was close to us with a “Arigato-gozaimasu”, which is the formal way of saying Thank you. We also ended up giving out a couple flyers for the show since some of the dancers wondered why we had suitcases with us. After leaving Dancer’s Central several conversations were brought up about how this should be taking place in New York as well. Unfortunately, New York just happens to have strict rules that would prevent a group of dancers from practicing in front of a building on 5th Ave or Park Ave.

    Being blessed enough to come to Japan twice in a 3-month span opened my eyes to how different the Japanese culture is. Dancer’s central is a prime example of how a sense of community is engrained in the Japanese culture. Up to this point, it really ceases to amaze me how warm and welcoming everyone has been.

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