Today we’d like to introduce you to Ayumi Matsumoto.
Ayumi, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I started off attending a dance company back home in Enid, OK and competed with them until my senior year of high school in 2017. I was also part of my high school’s pom squad which consisted of pretty much the same people I did dance with which was really nice. I went through a lot of obstacles during those years trying to prove myself to a lot of people and making myself believe that my weight was an issue. I would dance and workout 24/7 and would also go to the Air Force Base’s gym after dance or school until 11pm to practice on my own because I wanted to be as good as the girls on company. At the time, I thought what was important was to be in the front and to have a lot of friends but when I decided to move to LA after I graduated, I learned from so many professionals in the industry that helped me find my true self.
I realized that in this industry, you just have to train for yourself and take care of yourself too. I learned that food wasn’t my enemy and that I am good enough. I began dancing for myself instead of other people and apart from that, just being a genuine person by making genuine connections. Those people have helped me in so many ways, from giving me advice, educating me about the industry to training me and writing to agencies about me so I could be represented. I finally got signed with one of the top agencies, Go2Talent, and I am so very thankful to every single one of the people that helped me get here. This definitely did not happen overnight, it took me almost three years with consistency, perseverance and kindness. I had a hard time back home but I would not change anything. To the dancers in a competition team that think they are not good enough.. trust me, you are. You only need yourself to succeed.
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?
It definitely was not a smooth road at all. Like I said before, I struggled with my weight and just being obsessed with working out and not eating. I lost a lot of weight but at the time, I thought it was beautiful because I was dancing a lot, at the studio, home and the gym, so I would gain muscle and did not look “way too skinny.” I was getting into more dances with the really good girls and even a small group with the top scoring girls from auditions.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I am a dancer that just got signed with Go 2 Talent Agency. I train at Playground LA, Millenium Dance Complex and Studio School.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Moving out to LA, knowing absolutely nobody in the industry was definitely scary. I just did not know what was going to happen and I was also fresh out of high school so I had to learn how to be completely independent and responsible. Luck was definitely on my side by putting so many amazing people, friends and mentors, in my life since the very beginning. I came across dancers in the industry that were genuine and kind enough to help me and guide me to where I needed to be. They recommended me to agencies, let me use their clothes that works for them for headshots, sent me examples of their headshots and were just always available for me and never expected anything back.