I consider myself quite lucky to have grown up in and around dance studios and backstages at performing art centers having a godmother (Miss Shelley) who taught ballet, tap, jazz, modern, and beyond to half the city of Tulsa. My mother was also a ballerina who taught at Shelly’s school for a spell, and while both my sisters studied there for years, neither me nor my brothers ever took a single dance lesson. Still, I really love watching professional dance, and really appreciate the forms, artistry, and athleticism, and it’s not in my bones, it’s at least in my blood. And it’s for this reason that I am incredibly delighted to see my son take to hip-hop dance like a duck to water. He’s not just interested, but he’s properly good, and dedicated and even dances competitively and has a couple of trophies to prove it. I’m very very proud of him.

This is also why whenever I meet a self-proclaimed dancer, like Hiroharu pictured here, who I met up with on the streets of Shimokitazawa, I’m always really excited to engage and to understand what kind of dance the love and practice, and all the ways they incorporate dance into their and our lives. Hiroharu was eager to share, especially because he had just moved from Nagano to Tokyo 3 days before! He enlightened me to the difference between Hip-Hop Dance and House Dance, which to my untrained eye, could be confused for the same, but when he showed me some videos, it was easy to see moves described as “jacking”, “footwork”, and “lofting” and other famous dance move associated with early house music. Where Hip-Hop Dance moves might better reflect, beat, and hop to its own name, House seems to incorporate more fluid, interpretive, contemporary type moves, but that pull deeper from “traditional”(?) dance …moves that I saw on Hiroharu’s streams that REALLY captured my attention. He’s a fantastic dancer and I believe if he isn’t already well-known (which I think he is), he’s bound to be.

Another fun fact about Hiroharu: This was his 3RD RECORD! Nice, DUDE! Welcome to the club! Hoping to see some live dance of yours someday. Until then …see you at the record store!

More Tokyo Record Style on the way!

Sumiko Yamagata [やまがたすみこ] – Summer Shade
Label: Blow Up – LQ-7014-A
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: Japan
Released: Jul 25, 1976
Genre: Latin, Pop
Style: Kayōkyoku, Samba

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