Sohey Sugihara (Dancer)

Sohey Sugihara


In 2003 being 16 years of age, began street dancing in earnest, and became completely absorbed in dancing. Made dance units and teams on his own, and based his activities in his hometown Asahikawa and Sapporo, Hokkaido. After graduating from his high school in 2007, he went to the US by himself, spent all his hours on practices, dancing and learning English. In 2008, his abilities were recognized by Andre Fuentes, who was Britney’s choreographer at the time. He had then returned to Japan as Britney’s assistant. In 2010, obtained the long awaited “artist visa” which allows him to work as a dancer in the US. Thereafter, he worked with various artists (Justin Bieber, Jason Deruro, Usher and so on), appears on TV programs and TV commercials widely. In 2011, flew around the world including North America, Europe, the Middle East and South America in Britney’s world tour. In 2012, Appeared on the “America’s Best Dance Crew”, which is an American TV program. Then fascinated all of America with his unique styles and choreography, and won fifth prize beautifully. Moreover, he has been providing workshops as a dance teacher while dancing all over the world. In 2014, was selected as Britney’s backup dancer, and is currently participating in “Piece of Me”, which is taking place in Las Vegas as well as a long run show until the end of next year. He continues to fascinate fans that come from countries all over the world.

2003年、16歳の時に本格的にストリートダンスを始め、完全にその世界にのめりこむ。ユニット、チームを自らつくり、主に地元旭川や札幌を拠点に活動。高校卒業後の2007年、単身渡米してからは、年中快晴のロサンゼルスにてダンスと英語の修行に明け暮れる。2008年、当時ブリトニー•スピアーズの振付師だったアンドレ・フエンテスに実力を認められ、ブリトニー本人のアシスタントとして日本に凱旋帰国。2010年、アメリカで働くことができる念願の“アーティスト・ビザ”を取得。かつての夢だったジャネット・ジャクソンのバックダンサーとして起用される。それ以降も、さまざまなアーティスト(ジャスティン・ビーバー、ジェイソン・デルーロ、アッシャー等)、テレビ番組、TVCMなど幅広く活動。2011年にはブリトニーのワールド・ツアーで北米、ヨーロッパ、中東、南米と世界中を回る。2012年、ダンスクルー Fanny Pak (ファニー・パック)の一員として アメリカのダンス番組 “America’s Best Dance Crew” に出演。独特のスタイルと振りつけで全米を魅了し、見事5位に入賞する。その他にダンス講師としても世界中でワークショップを展開するなど、精力的に活動している。2014年現在は、再びブリトニーのバックダンサーに抜擢され、ラスベガスにて行われているショー、“Piece Of Me” に参加。来年末までのロングランで、世界各国から訪れるファンを魅了中。


What Inspired You To Dance?

I can recall couple of opportunities that influenced me to dance. One of which was a popular idol group at the time. The other was Janet Jackson’s video while in high school which, I can remember was what got me fascinated in American showbiz.

How Did You Get From Asahikawa, Japan, To LA, USA?

I immigrated to LA after I worked as a part-timer for a year in my hometown Asahikawa, Hokkaido. I spent all my time dancing those days while attending a language school. It was very hard to get an O-1 visa to work as a professional dancer. I hired a lawyer, collected documents and so on. I faced difficulties many times, and thought that I might give up. But, looking back now, I’m glad I kept on trying and never gave up.

Can You Tell Me About Your Works?

My first job after I got the visa was as Janet Jackson’s backup dancer, a dream come true! I can’t believe it even now, but I had an extraordinary time. Then Britney Spear’s world tour was decided which, I had been involved as an assistant, so this was my second dream came true. During such big works, I also do small works. For example, music videos, new artists’ works, teaching dance and so on. I also participate in a dance crew called Fanny Pak, and performed in America’s Best Dance Crew, which is an American TV program. Now I’m in Britney’s shows (Piece of Me) in Vegas. The contract is until the end of next year but I’m happy to do such attractive works in this industry, which have very few stable long-term works.


Can You Tell Me About Relations with Canada?

When I’m on tour, I’m able to go to different places everyday and experience totally different atmospheres, people, foods and so on. Walking around the cities vaguely alone on my free time is my favorite, fun and real pleasure of tours as well. The last show for Britney’s tour was in Toronto and we had a video shooting as well. The image I have of Toronto is neat and tidy. I remember modern buildings and historical buildings co-existing together in harmony, and felt something similar to a NY ambience. At that time, my friend from my hometown Asahikawa was studying abroad in Toronto and showed me around town. I was impressed at how Asian communities were firmly established. I also enjoyed the European feel of Montreal, and the view of the ocean from Vancouver which, was like a scene from Hayao Miyazaki’s “Kiki’s Delivery Service”.

What Is A Meaning To Challenge Overseas As A Japanese Dancer?

I’ve been in a foreign country for a long time, so I’m getting to recognize the beauty of worlds, Japan and abroad. Japanese people are really stoical, but it’s difficult to have free ideas if we don’t take it easy sometimes. I believe it’s meaningless if we cannot enjoy living that moment. After coming to a foreign country, I learned an importance of “laziness” in a good way, and staying optimistic. I think I’m adequate to that as well. I’m always trying hard, aiming at bringing people who are seeing my dance, to happiness as much as I can, and feeling my own happiness by doing as much as I can!

To Get Your Favorite Job, What Do You Do?

As I said before, the first important thing to keep in mind is to think and work on how you can make yourself happy and love yourself as much as possible. Then it is to clearly set your goals and write them down on paper!! (LOL!) As you breakdown what is necessary to do in order to achieve your final goal, you will come to realize what you must do at this moment. This is how I have come to achieve my dreams.

To People Who Are Going To Challenge Abroad, Please Your Message

We are living in a world where borders seem much closer, but there are never-ending unhappy conflicts that still continue among countries. On this earth, which is filled with people who have different ways of thinking and different backgrounds, I believe we should be the only one universal language. I continue to hope the world will be full of love!



きっかけは色々あって、当時人気だったアイドルグループに憧れたのがまずひとつ。そして中学生の時にJanet Jacksonのビデオを見たのが、アメリカのショービズに憧れるきっかけだったんだと思います。


高校を卒業してから約1年間地元旭川でフリーターを経てからダイレクトにLAに移り住みました。当時は語学留学生として学校に通いながらダンスに明け暮れていました。そこからプロのダンサーとして働くための O1ビザを取るまでの道のりがすごく大変でした。弁護士を雇ったり、書類を集めたり。何度も壁にぶつかり、もうだめなんじゃないかと思うこともあったけど、それでもあきらめず頑張ってよかったと今では思っています。


ビザを取って初めての仕事が、夢でもあったJanetのバックダンサーでした。今でも信じられないけれど、最高の時間でした。それから、前々からアシスタントとしても関わっていたBritneyのワールドツアーが決まり、2つ目の夢も叶いました。そんな大きい仕事のあいだにも小さな仕事、例えばミュージックビデオだったり、新人アーティストの仕事だったり、あとはクラスを教えたり等もしてます。ダンス・クルーのFanny Pakにも加入していて、アメリカのテレビ番組、America’s Best Dance Crew にも出演しました。そして現在はBritney のべガスでのショー(Piece of Me)をやっています。来年末までの契約で、そうゆう長期で安定した仕事はなかなかないこの業界で、そんな恵まれた仕事をできて嬉しく思っています。














Interview & Translation :Takahiro Sasahara
Born 1987. From Higashi Kagura-cho, Hokkaido. Currently living in Toronto. 1987年生まれ。北海道東神楽町出身。トロント在住。インターネット・メディアをフィールドに、国内外アーティストのインタビューなど、音楽関連記事を中心にウェブ・コンテンツを担当。Twitter:

RAW SKOOL (Project)

Raw Skool3+-1


RAW SKOOL has a meaning of “stylish school” and “stylish era.It is the first exchange project in Japan for the next generation through street culture such as skateboarding and break dancing.It offers various “opportunities” that will stimulate the next-generation’s sensitivity by conducting international exchanges, providing confortable places, and holding workshops through street culture. Based on this point of view, the RAW SKOOL is energetically doing its own media activity such as interviewing key persons around the world and introducing articles.

RAW SKOOLとは、「粋な学校」「粋な時代」の意で、ブレイクダンスやスケボーなどのストリートカルチャーを通じた、日本初の次世代交流プロジェクトです。ストリートカルチャーを通じた国際交流や居場所作り・ワークショップなどの活動を実施し、次世代の感性を刺激する多彩な「きっかけ」を提供しています。その観点のもと、世界中のキーパーソンへのインタビューや記事の紹介をする独自のメディア活動も盛んに行っています。


(FOUNDNATION, Japan) R16 2012 & 2013 Solo Champion

Raw Skool1+

About the RAW SKOOL

This organization is for children who are under age of 18. The RAW SKOOL stimulates children’s mind and do the activation of exchange through street culture.They have performed in both Japan and overseas for the aim to revitalize various communities. The collaborations are mainly with break dancers, but they also do it with wide variety of artists through many projects. For example, street artists, skaters, DJs, musicians. Basically, these events are led by RAW SKOOL.

Meaning to challenge overseas as a Japanese dancer

Basically, these events are led by RAW SKOOL. I think (challenging abroad) is really important and I know this is true for other fields as well. The most important thing that I think is to take a look at other worlds, and understand your own roots, and then return the differences between other countries and the things that you learned from abroad to Japan. There were two people who went outside Japan this time. I want them to have consciousness that they are going to lead the scene with their individual potential of experiencing overseas, which they brought back to Japan.

To people who are going to challenge abroad

“If you want to be real friends with players in overseas, you have to be a good player” This word is quote from a senior person. However, I’m not in a position to say this word, so I would like to just introduce it. It is a given fact that artists have skills. This is a teaching that if you want to do something, it is better to show it to many people and be influenced by stronger characters from others and let people say “that’s awesome!”.


I think “Community” and “Culture” are still not penetrated in Japan.Hopefully, younger generations can provide their feedbacks such as “awareness” and “differences” that they found overseas more and more to Japan.Some Japanese who are living in foreign countries run down Japan. However, I believe we all should look at the bright side and go toward it after understanding both strengths and weaknesses of Japan.


(K.A.K.B., Japan) Dance @ Live 2014 Japan Finalist

Raw Skool2+

○RAW SKOOLという団体に関して

おもに18歳以下の子供達を対象として、ストリートカルチャーを通じて刺激を与えたり、交流の活発化を行う団体です。活動は国内外で行っており、多岐に渡るコミュニティーの活性化を目指しています。ブレイクダンスが中心ですが、様々なアーティストともプロジェクトを通じてコラボを行っています。(ストリートアート、スケーター、DJ、ミュージシャンなど)基本的にイベントなどは、RAW SKOOL主体で行っています。







Raw Skool4+
CEO/Co- Founder
ABE “A.B.” Masaaki

岩手県出身。早稲田大学大学院(建築学)、博報堂、Summify(カナダ)を経て、フリーランス。ダンスチーム「BORN 2 FUNK」、国内、カナダ、オーストラリアで優勝。

From Iwate prefecture. Graduate school of architecture, Waseda university (Japan), Hakuhodo (Japan), Summify (Canada) and now is a freelance.Won a prize in Japan, Canada and Australia as a member of a dance team “ The BORN 2 FUNK”.



Sahara Morimoto (Dancer)

Sahara Morimoto


Sahara is a performing dance artist based in Toronto.
She is a dancer and an artistic associate with Peggy Baker Dance Projects since January 2008, and dances independently with various companies.

2008年よりPeggy Baker Dance Projectsにダンサー兼Artistic Associateとして所属する他、フリーランス・ダンサーとしても活躍している。

Creators' Lounge:Sahara Morimoto


About career as an artist

It’s a life style. I can continue to search for something deeper, because everything is in extension of what I truly care for.

Challenges as a Japanese artist living oversea

One of the most attractive thing about art is that there is no border. There are no need to catabolize one’s self as “Japanese artist”. Though I believe it’s important to know what influence toward work one may bring as a Japanese person, and to accept that. To acknowledge foundation of who you are can bring more honesty to what you create. I believe the importance is to bring forward one’s unique artistry, wherever you locate yourself.

Lastly, for those working towards dream abroad

To make your dream come true, continue to follow what interests you, and take care of all the practicals. If the process can be fulfilled, result will follow, in a way or another.







DRAGON76 (Painter)

Creators' Lounge:Doragon76

Creators' Lounge:Doragon76

Creators' Lounge:Doragon76




He was born in 1976 in Shiga, Japan and now based in Yokohama.
He started his carrier as a painter in 1996.
His art works, which are influenced by minority cultures and music, are lively, passionate and highly evaluated in different parts of the world.
His works that we can see especially in his live painting performances and various music CD jackets are most popular forms of his art, and he has been offered various shows not only in Japan but also in different cities and countries such as New York, London, Liverpool, Birmingham,
Kenya, Jordan, and Jamaica.
Also, in his carrier, he has achieved to tie up with famous companies and brands such as PUMA, KIRIN, KFC, and a Spanish building company for various forms of arts and designs. His works were often appeared in German magazine articles such as “Sonic-Visuals for Music” in 2004,“Illusive” in 2005, “Play Loud!!” in 2006. In addition, his works were presented in the German design publisher, Taschen’s “Illustration Now” vol.2 in 2008.
One of his recent shows was in 2011, when he was officially invited to South Africa for Zindzi Mandela (Nelson Mandela’s daughter)’s fiftieth birthday event. At his live painting performance, his art is improvised with his feeling, but is always dynamic and inspires people beyond the
borders, races, and social standings.



特にライブペインティングでは、即興で繰り広げられるダイナミックなパフォーマンスに国内の音楽フェス・クラブイベントや海外からのオファーも多く、今ままでにニューヨーク・ロンドン・リバプール・イビサ・バーミンガム・ケニア・ヨルダン・ジャマイカ等でライブペイントを行っている。また、PUMA・KIRIN・KFCやスペインの住宅メーカーの壁紙のデザイン等、国内外の多数の企業との幅広いコラボレーション実績がある。2004年ドイツの出版社Die Gestalten Verlagから出版されたSonic-Visuals forMusic、2005年illusive、2006年Play Loud!!に作品が大きく掲載され、2008年にはドイツのデザイン出版社taschen タッシェンIllustration Now vol.2に作品が紹介される。



About the Artist’s career

The most important thing for me as an artist is to be free, this means I choose everything such as how I face to art and how I approach life myself.
I would never do and draw what I wouldn’t like to.
I feel accountable for it, moreover I’m sure that I can convey something to the world and have some positive influence to other people’s life.

The significant challenge overseas as a Japanese artist

I’m inclined to play an active role as Japanese as well as a human being in the whole wide world.
I wish I could put an identity as Japanese into arts.
Besides, I’d like to share, pursue possibilities and broaden my perspective through communication with people with various identities from all over the world.

Last of all, to all of you challenging overseas










Translator by MAKI OOKAWA
(NCA Language School Graduate)