5, 6, 7, 8… Haruna Kunisawa has counts of 8 built into her heartbeat. If you’ve ever seen Haruna dance, you’ll know what it means to be truly captivated by a performer. As a choreographer and dancer, it’s clear this Japanese-born, Hong Kong-based dancer loves what she does. Haruna worked with some big names in the industry, including Sandy Lam, Fiona Sit and GEM. As her dance career developed, she founded BeDREX, a dance studio in Tsim Sha Tsui. Today, she works to share her skills, technique and passion with Hong Kong. Haruna talks to us about the importance of appreciation, compassion and chasing your dreams – both on and off the dance floor. So, take a front row seat, sit back and let Haruna’s story unfold.
I’ve always loved moving my body to music. It was with me as a child, it was with me after my surgery when I needed to stop dancing for a while, and it’s with me today. My first Jazz Funk teacher in Portland, Oregon was the first person to help me realise how much I actually love dancing. After I met her, I decided to quit university in Japan and move to New York. I worked in the States for almost four years – learning techniques and eventually performing. I moved to Hong Kong in 2005 to continue dancing and eventually started BeDREX. I wanted to have a place for me, my husband and our students to share the joy and happiness of dancing. I wanted others in Hong Kong to find their dreams and nurture their excitement with us.
I’m Japanese, but I don’t like sushi or sashimi. In my free time, I watch movies, funny Japanese TV programs, and chill at home drinking beer or wine.
Appreciation. I am grateful for what I have right now, and truly appreciate the people around me.
The things that excite you aren’t random. They are connected to your purpose. Follow that feeling and you will see you’re one step closer to your dreams and goals.
Save the same amount of money every month, even if it’s just HKD2,000. Set targets and invest if possible.
There have been a lot of obstacles in my life. It’s never been easy to make things happen, but I’ve always trusted in what I want… and I am persistent in making it happen. When I’m working on a goal, I put all of my energy into it. I think about it every day and eventually I find a way to make it happen.
Sometimes it’s fun, sometimes it’s hard. It’s easy to forget to appreciate each other and we can sometimes talk rudely, without compassion (especially when the job gets busy or hard to handle!). But when you’re working with family or someone you’ve been in a long-term relationship with, you always need to remember how important they are to you. Approach everything with compassion and consideration for their point of view. No matter how long you’ve been working together, or how close the relationship is, don’t forget to thank each other.
When I began dancing, my dream was to dance on big stages or in front of cameras. When I moved to New York and Hong Kong, that was the goal. But now it’s evolved into wanting to share the dance space with others. I want to help others find their joy through dancing and support the younger generation of dancers in making their dreams come true.
I’m most excited by watching people come to BeDREX to dance, leaving with smiles on their faces. We want to give them a space to have fun, sweat, release stress, refresh and find out how happy they are when they dance.
Growing up, I believed money was... not the most important thing and not difficult to make.
Now I view money as... a tool to be adventurous and experience more. Work with your heart and money will come to you.
To me, financial empowerment means... to keep our dreams on.
My favourite Mox feature is... to be able to earn real CashBack while spending.
Mox Bank is combining forces with Haruna Kunisawa – dancer, celebrity choreographer and founder of BeDREX to bring you our latest Masterclass. As a respected dance teacher and talented choreographer, you can trust you’re in great hands with Haruna!
Ready to learn from the pro? Sign up now! We’ll see you in the studio!
Remarks: The views expressed by individuals featured in this interview are the personal views of such individuals and do not necessarily reflect, and, should not be taken as the views of Mox Bank Limited.
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