Today we’d like to introduce you to Natsuko Higashikawa.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Natsuko. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I’m from Tokyo, Japan. I moved here when I was 19 years old chasing my dream of becoming a professional Dancer. I didn’t know anything about industry in LA. I was young and have passion to be a dancer. I used to take dance classes at dance studio everyday. My mentor is Andre Fuentes (choreographed for Britney spears) I took his class in Tokyo and I just fell in love with his choreography and dance so I wanted to learn from him. so I was assisting his shows and work class, workshop. Learned how to perform and put my soul into choreography and dance. so after five years, I apply O-1 visa and I approved. That was another step for me to work in dance industry. And I worked with Dawn Richard, Lil Mama, Nicki Minaj, Janet Jackson, YG… and more artist that I look up to. for me, every single project was great and I enjoyed it every single moments. And I started to teaching I was back in japan 2015-2017 during that time I traveled a lot and did workshop that experience made me think it’s amazing to connected people from all over the country even I can’t speak other languages, dance can connect people without talking their language. It’s fantastic!!!
Has it been a smooth road?
It was not easy at all. First challenge was getting my O-1 visa. At that time, not many dancers can get O-1 visa. So I asked my friends and hired lawyer getting paperwork done was super stressful. And seemed like impossible to get through the situation. English is not my first language so I was struggled to communicate and ask for help.
I’m lucky enough to have my friends helped me and got my visa. After that was even harder, going to auditions, getting every phone calls, I went there. So many times of NO and rejections. Learning not take it personal and keep going to audition until I get it. Fighting for that was tough but I was enjoying the journey. Everything was new to me and I was living my life. Working multi numbers of jobs and dancing sometimes I wanted to give up. But I didn’t.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I do teach and I do choreograph. And when I get the job to be back up dancers id do that. My special moment was booked Janet Jackson’s dancer for Rythm nation when she had concert in Tokyo. I went to private audition and made in 1 of 10 selected dancers. Janet Jackson is my star and I used to watch her concert video in VHS when I was middle school after trying to copy her moves and choreography over and over . so dancing for Janet was very special and I felt super proud of myself and happy at the same time. Best thing happened in my dance life.
Now my passion is teaching young kids dancers to show them if you work hard and not give up you can make your dream come true. I know it sounds easy but if I can make it happened I truly believed you can do it!!!
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I love this city we have so many dance studios and theaters. Opportunities, chances. I like this weather its always sunny that make me happy and positive. and you can meet so many people from all over the countries. Open my eyes and my world is bigger.
I like least about my city? So far, I don’t think of any. Sometimes people mean and because of so many different people we didn’t get it or understand get rude words or actions. That makes me sad.
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