11 years ago I moved to Japan, and I was teaching at a studio I had just opened, and at first I was like: Why are they not understanding the movement? Why are not understanding what I am teaching? I had to find the common denominator of learning their language. I had to learn Japanese for their benefit. That was definitely the most trying time, and most definitely the time when dance saved me. Because I spoke zero Japanese.
A lot of things can be learned from their [Japanese] culture, and it helps make us be a little bit more organized, you know what I mean? Organization… as opposed to fly-by-the-seat type. I mean it definitely helped me in terms of organizing myself, and how I approach the dance, and how I teach dance, and how I relate to other people through dance, because it was an organization that I didn’t have. I mean I don’t think I was unorganized in that sense, but its just that their level of organization is more than mine used to be (laughter). It’s a… it’s a… just a whole other level!
I mean… how you got into the dance is how you got into it. Its not how you got into it its where you’re gonna go with it. You can’t necessarily penalize yourself if you didn’t start at the same time or place as others. Whatever your situation may be… it’s where your gonna go with it once your in it.
-Cebo Terry Carr, EDN! New York City Instructor and National Curriculum Director