We had the good fortune of connecting with Saori Yamashita and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Saori, what do you think makes you most happy? Why?
What makes me most happy is being myself and doing what I love.

I am the happiest when I’m dancing and getting to perform on stage. When on stage, I forget about everything and am filled with a sense of freedom.
To be happy with yourself is an awesome feeling!

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
To become a professional ballerina wasn’t easy. I started ballet at 6 and came to the US from Japan at 14, leaving my family all in pursuit of my dream. After graduating high school, many of my classmates were receiving dance contracts. Sadly I was not. I did not give up and kept working on myself for 4 more years before I also received a contract with a dance company. Thus, my dream career as a professional ballerina began. One of my favorite teachers, Ronn Stewart, always told us, “Keep going, Listen to your body, Suspend Judgement, Remember what you are working for, and Do it with love!” His words of encouragement always help me push through hard times.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m from Sapporo, Japan and I always say we have the best sushi. That is a must! We are also known for other food spots such as ramen, jingisukan, and curry soup and I love to take my visiting friends to all my favorite food shops. And of course, drinking Sapporo at the Sapporo brewery is always special. Summer in Sapporo is always beautiful because of flowers that have bloomed but I also recommend coming in the winter to experience the magical snowfalls. I will definitely take them to Onsen (hot springs) which can be most enjoyed when surrounded by snow!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Lucia Kiel – Instagram @luciakielportraits
She took these amazing photos of me! Cannot recommend Lucia highly enough.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/saopime/?hl=ja
Twitter: https://twitter.com/saopime
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/saopime

Image Credits
Lucia Kiel – @luciakielportraits

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