NAGMAG: Tell us about the style of your dance.

SOMEKA+SHIZUKA: We value its culture and the sounds and respect both new songs and old songs.

NM: What is the key to your popularity as hip hop dances? 

S+S: We have been in this field for many years and have met so many great people through dancing. We understand the importance of connecting with others and always try to express how grateful we are in our performances. We would be so happy if they could feel our passion.

NM: How long have you two been dancing together?

S+S: We started dancing together at the end of 2010.

NM: What dance styles do you get inspiration from in addition to hip hop? 

Shizuka: House, Soca from Trinidad and Tobago, African, Reggae, Belly dancing, etc.

Someka: Soul, House, African, Reggae, Belly and Salsa. Not only from dancing but I get inspiration from other sources like sports games.

NM: Why do you think hip hop has become so popular among youth in Japan now? What are the attractions of this kind of dancing for them? 

S+S: It has to do with the impact of social media, such as Youtube, Twitter, Facebook and TV programs. In terms of dance, there are unfortunately very few people who want to start professionally. A lot of people just like the music and clubbing rather than getting into the culture; dancing to beat and having fun on the dance floor is maybe what they enjoy most.

NM: To keep your nice body shape, what kind of training do you do? 

S+S: We work out at home (occasionally at the gym) and take an amino acid drink, as well as trying to have a well-balanced diet and eat a lot.

NM: Who is your favorite musician/artist? 

Shizuka:There are so many and it’s hard to pick one.  I love anyone who has a cool taste, from the 80s to now, no matter the side (east, west or south). 

Shizuka: In particular, I like Pharrell Williams’ sense of music, Trey Songz’ silhouette, and Chris Brown and Fabolous’ performance during their live concerts.

I became a hip hop dancer because of Stevie Wonder (!-ed.) when I first listed to his music in my elementary school days.

Someka: Like Shizuka says, I love any cool artists, especially NAS BOOTCAMP.

NM: What sort of impressions do you get for the hip-hop community in Nagoya? How do you want it to be in the future?

Shizuka: There are all different types of artists in Nagoya and there are many good dancers representing our local community.

Hip hop dancing was underground but it has now been introduced into mainstream education so we are bit concerned that may dilute elements of the hip hop culture. It is great that our culture is continuously evolving and innovating, but we also should protect some part of hip hop culture in order to pass it on to the next generation. Peace!!

Someka: Hip hop dancing is so hot in Nagoya and there are plenty of wonderful artists!!

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