In her short career as a dancer, Japanese born Asami Hoshi has achieved successes that many dancers could only dream of. She is a member of the popular MTV ‘America’s Best Dance Crew’ contestants The Boxcuttuhz. She has taught dance choreography to Japanese Idols ‘Morning Masume’. She has appeared in a hit Japanese movie and performed alongside stars such as the award?winning comedienne Margaret Cho.
Asami decided that she wanted to pursue a career in entertainment as a child growing up in Kanagawa, Japan. When she wasn’t in school, she filled up her spare time with piano lessons, singing lessons and performing in a marching band. The marching band took up most of her time as the troupe performed at festivals around the country, winning numerous competitions and awards.
During her teenage years, Asami moved her focus to dance after being exposed to R’n’B and Hip?Hop music. She was inspired by all?round entertainers such as Usher, Justin Timberlake and Michael Jackson. She would spend hours watching music tours and music videos on TV and teaching herself the dance routines. She enrolled in dance classes, studying a variety of dance forms including Jazz, Ballet and Hip Hop. After her studies, she secured herself a job as an assistant to one of Japan’s biggest idols, the all girl band ‘Morning Musume.’ Asami taught routines to the girls and learned about staging performances and concerts. In addition to her work with ‘Morning Musume,’ Asami also found time to teach at a local dance school and enter dance battles, but she soon became keen for newer challenges in street dance.
There weren’t many openings for street dancers in Japan. Inspired by Rino Nakasone, but wanting to study from and dance with the performers of her dreams, in 2008, she decided to move to America.
Based in Los Angeles, she began studying at the Debbie Reynolds Dance Studios and at the Millennium Dance Complex. She met her fellow dancers form the Boxcuttuhz and together they formed a dance crew, which appeared on ‘MTV’s Best Dance Crew.’ Although the band didn’t walk away with the final big prize, a whole range of opportunities opened up for them which included performing throughout America. Asami also decided to join an all female, all Japanese dance group called ‘Honey Pot’ which had success as a backup troupe for major recording artists.
Today, Asami has danced with and for a myriad of major choreographers and stars, including comedienne Margaret Cho. Her biggest achievement has been dancing for the auditions for the Cirque Du Soleil Michael Jackson The Immortal World Tour. Says Asami, “I was invited to audition, which was a huge honor for me. It helped to validate my decision to become a dancer, which can be a difficult career choice. In the end, I wasn’t among the final dancers chosen but the memory of the audition will remain with me forever”.
In 2011, she will perform with the Boxcuttuhz in the big ‘Body Rock 2011’ competition in San Diego and travel around the US.
ASIANCE: How did you get into the world of dance and what training have you had?
Asami: When I started to dance in Japan, I was dancing on the street with my crew and other crews because they didn’t have many dance studios in my hometown. The ones that we did have were so expensive to rent. So we all trained outside around the train station or outside desolate buildings with a ghetto blaster. There were so many different types of dancers – break dancers, hip-hop, body poppers, street jazz… It was like a dance playground and we all learned a lot from each other. This inspired me to undertake serious training so I went to dance school in the city so I could learn more about technique from professional dancers.
In Los Angeles, I continued my dance education by attending dance studios like Millennium Dance Complex and Debbie Reynold’s dance studio, which has some amazing dance teachers. All in all, I’ve had training in ballet, hip-hop, and jazz. I also take yoga classes and work out at the gym to thoroughly condition my body.
ASIANCE: What type of dance do you mostly partake in today?
Asami: Hip-Hop and jazz. I love hip hop music but I want to branch out and work more with other styles of dance.
ASIANCE: Boxcuttuhz! Who are the members now?
Asami: (Lando, Bam, JP, Troy, Aye, Jed, Cass, Chihiro Lilian and myself… We also have some other people in the crew…but everybody is busy, so we don’t always perform at the same time.
ASIANCE: Did you replace Lydia?
Asami: No, because we’ve always had other girls in the crew. Lydia is currently busy dancing with Quest Crew.
ASIANCE: Who are your favorite Asian dancers male/female?
Asami: Female – Rino Nakasone, she is my hero. She is so talented. I love to watch her dance.
Male – Sh**t Kingz and Quest Crew. The Sh**t Kingz are amazing. The crew is made up of four guys and they always perform identical moves to perfection. They’re loved around the world and I have a lot of respect for them. I also love Quest Crew, as they are so entertaining. I know some of them and one of their members is from Japan. I’m really proud of him.
ASIANCE: Who are your favorite dancers male/female non-Asian?
Asami: Female – Jamaica. She’s a choreographer for many famous artists and I dream of one day working for her. Also, Dana Wilson. She is incredible and a great inspiration to me.
Male – Travis Payne. He was a dancer for Michael Jackson and is one of my heroes. Marty Kudelka. He works as a choreographer for Justin Timberlake. I also love Nick Bass and Misha Gabriel.
ASIANCE: I loved the Beat Freaks! What can you say about that team?
Asami: I love them too!!!!! They are so talented! They’re an all female crew that can do every kind of dance, so I admire them a lot.
ASIANCE: Do you know them/dance with them? Rino?
Asami: No, I haven’t danced with them yet but the dance industry is small and I’ve met several of them and talked to Rino before. I like Rino’s personality. She is very humble and unassuming even after all her achievements.
ASIANCE: What artists have you danced for?
Asami: I’ve danced for stars in Japan and the US. My favorites include Jordan Knight from New Kids on the Block, comedienne Margaret Cho, The Bangz and Shahyad. In Japan, I worked for the superstar Japanese idols “Morning Musume”. I helped with their concert staging and helped them to learn their choreography. These girls were young but consummate professionals!
ASIANCE: Any favorite experience stick out in your mind?
Asami: My audition for Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson World Tour definitely sticks out in my mind. I danced a medley of Michael songs choreographed by Travis Payne. I love Michael Jackson and I’m a great admirer of Travis Payne so this was a personal high point for me.
ASIANCE: Any favorite artist?
Asami: It’s hard to pick just one, so I would say in no particular order – Justin Timberlake, Usher, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Kevin Cossom, Miguel, Tupac, Bone Thugs n Harmony.
ASIANCE: Can we see you in any videos?
Asami: Definitely check me out performing with the Boxcuttahz this year at World of Dance LA and Body Rock dance competitions.
WORLD OF DANCE LA 2011-BOXCUTTAHZ
Boxcuttuhz@Body Rock 2011(thatsfresh.com)
Also you can see me in Jordan Knight’s ‘Let’s Go Higher music video and Margaret Cho’s soon to be released music video. Watch this space…..
Jordan Knight – Let’s Go Higher video
ASIANCE: If you weren’t dancing, you would be…..
Asami: I played the piano from the age of 3 years so I probably would have been a pianist and a singer if I hadn’t discovered dance. It’s all linked by music though – music is a very important part of my life.
ASIANCE: Who would you really like to work with? Artist/dancer, etc.
Asami: Again in no particular order: Justin Timberlake, Usher and Janet Jackson and with dancers it would be Jamaica, Marty Kudelka and Kevin Mather.
ASIANCE: Is there a music/dance video out that you just love the moves/dance to?
Asami: ‘Smooth Criminal,’ by Michael Jackson. This is the best music video ever all the moves are exquisite just perfect. Also Justin Timberlake’s ‘My Love,’ this video inspired me a lot – the choreography and the dancers.
ASIANCE: What advice do you have for girls who want to break into this business?
Asami: It’s important to take your training seriously but you should never forget that dance is fun so keep a balanced outlook. I work very hard but I also make sure that I enjoy my life with my friends. A dancer’s life can be a short one so create a world for yourself outside of dance.
ASIANCE: Is it still hard to make a living on just dance alone?
Asami: Yes it can be. Connections and who you know – like with everything – are very important. It can be particularly hard if English isn’t your first language too! Ultimately though, you have to remember how lucky you are to be doing something that you love.
ASIANCE: Tell us about your project you are working on with Margaret Cho.
Asami: It’s all a bit top secret but I can tell you that I was working on her new music video and Margaret is singing. She’s a comedian so it’s very, very funny. Marshall Bang choreographed the dance parts of the video and I was dancing and acting. It was a lot of fun and Margaret was awesome. It was great to meet her.