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Conversations with the Inspiring Natsuki Miya

Today we’d like to introduce you to Natsuki Miya.

Natsuki, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
This year is the 10th year since I moved and started living in America.
Wow, looking at how much my life has changed, and how far I’ve come, grown into who I am today throughout these ten years honestly makes me overwhelmed.

I will try to write my journey as simple as possible because if I go into it, it would be a book to read. Haha!

So, I moved to NYC right after I graduated high school, I was 18 years old and I knew absolutely no one in the states. I had no fear, my heart was full of ambition and excitement for the new journey I was about to start. Only thing I was sure about was that “I wanted to see the world!”. Someone in Japan told me that NYC is called “The center of the world”. So, as soon as I heard that, my decision was made.

First nine months, I went to language school.
Every day, everything was brand-new to me. My eyes were constantly wide open from the inspiration. That was when I learned many lessons in life from living on my own without my family in the city of the big apple. Making international friends, learning about cultures I grew up to be a young independent adult so quickly with no choice

After going to language school for three semesters, I felt my potential and I knew I wanted to challenge myself to go dancing full-time so I registered to the International Student Visa Program at Broadway Dance Center.
From then on, it has been just “A Dance Life”.

Day after day, I trained in different kinds of dance styles, taking extra classes, pushing my limits to be a better dancer. I also started performing in many showcases. I was eager to grow, get better, and learn new things. Always seeking new experiences.

“Thank God,” I continued working real hard because I never felt enough from seeing dancers in classes coming in from all over the world because I saw how much of a road I had ahead in order to further my growth.  Thank God, I moved to NYC, it’s a city where you are entertained by talented people, kids on the trains, the streets and in the parks performing and showcasing their talent on a daily basis. All these people made me remind myself to enjoy what I love and do things with love, instead of being so serious at the end of the day. NYC is full of authenticity. I saw many talents with nothing but love for their art. Honestly, that was definitely something that inspired me the most back then.

I was fortunate enough to meet my mentor and lifetime friends during this time.
I am forever grateful especially for my mentor Dana Foglia who believed in me and helped me get my first O-1 artist visa in 2011, I was 21.

It was my first ever audition that was for Sean Paul’s world tour. They were looking for one girl to fill in the team. I am still shook thinking about how I made it happen when I didn’t even know what a “Wine” (hip rolls in reggae style) meant… I booked the tour. Thanks to the choreographer Tanisha Scott, who saw something in me and gave me my first job allowing me to travel the world and perform with Sean “Dutty” Paul.

Fast forward, It’s been the 8th year since I started working as a professional.
I toured, performed, traveled the world with some of the top industry artists such as: Beyonce, Rihanna, Pharrell Williams, Justin Timberlake, Usher, Ariana Grande, Lady Gaga, Cardi B, Nicky Minaj, TLC, Kehlani amongst others.

I have also choreographed some commercials, music videos, TV shows and a tour.
I am currently working on choreographing my first award show.

It is crazy to see what I have done, but somehow it feels right because I know how hard I have worked for it.
For all of this, I have to thank my mom first, and the most because she has supported me all the way from Japan. She let me go overseas by myself when I was 18, fully supported me financially till I started working. I wanted to make my family proud so it always hurt my heart when I was just a student pursuing my dream. I wanted to prove that dance could make a living for me so everything that my mom did for me was worth it.
I NEVER STOPPED PUSHING for my family and for my dad that I know has been watching me from the sky.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
This is my life quote that I would say ever since I was 19 and still remains the same.
“Life is never easy but worth it.”
For anyone I know, life is not easy. So, it goes to every single person out there!
It’s never been easy for me either, but it has been totally worth it.

As much as I made my dreams come true, I had way more “NO”s on the way. This entertainment industry is the “jungle of judgment”. You get judged and denied all the time. You get denied what you truly want to get in front of your face. Many ups when you are working on the projects and many downs when you have no jobs coming up is just normal life for industry dancers.

I truly believe in the saying “Things happen for a reason”, life gives us lessons in order to reach the next level.
When I face any obstacle or challenge, accepting things you can’t change has been my first step. I write my feelings out if it’s too hard to hold it in my heart. Then, I look for inspiration next. The key for me to get up/through any tough time is being so inspired by something. It could be anything: being in nature, watching a great movie, seeing beautiful art, watching performances, learn about someone or the world, reading books, talking with my friends or TRAVELING. When I am inspired, it makes troubles in life seem smaller and that widens my mind and perspective. It calms me down when I know my troubles are way smaller than anything that’s going on in the world.

Inspirations make me humble. And it becomes a motivation. It keeps me going because it makes me believe I can do MORE.

Be open-minded, there are many things in the world you can learn from. Accept things, keep going and you will evolve through your own unique journey.

What do you do, what do you specialize in, what are you known for, etc. What are you most proud of? What sets you apart from others?
I am a professional dancer.
I am also a professional dance teacher and choreographer.
I dance. I teach dance classes (hip hop, contemporary but most of the time heels class).
I do movement coaching for artists. I work on choreography for different projects. I do it both nationally and internationally.

As a dancer, I am most proud of being a part of Beyonce’s “Homecoming” Coachella performance 2018. That was definitely the biggest stage with the biggest cast and production in my career and was the most epic for sure.

However, I recently got to work with the top Japanese boy band group called “Arashi”. We shot a music video in Los Angeles that I was the assistant choreographer for. Working with the most well-known group from Japan, and being able to contribute my work back to my country was the proudest moment in my career up to date.

Who do you look up to? How have they inspired you?
My mom has definitely been an inspiration for my entire life.

She is 62 years old, is a dentist, raised four children, always an active person “and” started training for triathlons “when she lost my dad (she was 50). Her goal was completing the famous triathlon race that is held in Tokunoshima island where my dad grew up. ”

Now, she is competing in races nationally/internationally and winning the races in different countries over the world. Between those races, she goes home straight back to work.

She has always been a hard-worker, a mom at home and a boss at work, constantly on the go and most importantly never-stops enjoying her life to the fullest.

I wish I could live in the same area for my family and mom, but for now, my motivation is making them proud from overseas.

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Image Credit:
@claudio.a.robles, @kaykasemphoto, @stassie.v, @thenewalexandermeininger

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