What My Teacher Taught Me: Akiko Kitamura

Photo courtesy of Japan Society

When choreographer Akiko Kitamura was a teenager, her jazz teacher Etsuko Kawasaki showed her just how enjoyable dance could be.

“As a child I studied ballet, but it was very strict and limited. Then I started learning jazz and street dance from Etsuko. She was different than most jazz dancers. She taught a mix of street dance styles, including Michael Jackson's. I liked the freedom in the dancing and the really groovy music. She showed me that dancing could be fun."

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