Kento is a total inspiration and a total joy. He is a perfect reflection of how dreams can turn to reality as he lives his dream life as a Creative. Aside being a super talented dancer, Kento is living a legacy behind as he continues to grow his community of fellow dancers, teaching and impacting the next generation in his field globally.
Join us on this special Heart-2-Heart conversation, as Kento us in on his journey as a Creative, in the most relatable and inspiring way!
Enjoy and Stay Inspired:
We love how you have carved a niche for yourself in your very own style of creative dance. We love the glow, color and sunshine you release to the world while in your Art. Can you please share some highlights of how you began your creative journey as a dancer?
It will have to take me back to 2019, this is when my shuffle dance began. I was researching, what is shuffle dancing? My brother was the first person to introduce me to it and I just searched YouTube videos about shuffle dancing and that was when I was really inspired by a lot of these shufflers, just like being inspired and loving the feeling that they were exalting through the movement and that’s how I kind of started.
What started as fun or what I did on vacation, just stocked with me and I got better and better and once I moved to LA and I found out that there was a community in the shuffle scene I just fell in love with it all over again and I continued to pursue it full time and that is now what I do, shuffle dancing.
I think COVID 19 really got everyone on to their phones and like what do I do at home? And I think that just started a huge advert “oh I can just learn how to shuffle and shuffle dance at home.” That got people going and now, even in 2023, we got a lot of people just getting better at shuffle dancing, which is amazing.
What does Art mean to you?
I kind of like what you guys said about Art and what you make of it. I think Art can be anything you want it to be. You can express it in different forms, it could be that yourself, it can be an object, it can be a music, it could be something you see, hear, taste, I think Art is something that represents somebody or some sort of meaning that you want to express that gets across to somebody.
We are grateful to have you onboard this special ISSUE in celebration of awe-inspiring dancers around the world. Also in honor of the International Dance Day 2023. We know how unique and special the Art of dancing is to each dancer. As an individual passion about this Art, what does dance mean to you?
Dance gives me a lot of different answers. It is therapy, it is medicine, it is a form of escape, it is a way of expressing and I think for me, dancing is what gave me more understanding of myself.
So before I was a shuffle dancer, I listened to music, I delve into the scene of really understanding music and connecting with myself in music and I think that there was a part of me that wasn’t found, and through dancing, I was able to discover more about myself as a character, as a person, that through my dance, I can be able to express that. Dancing is really a great outlet for me to be my authentic self.
How was growing up like for you?
I had an extremely unique childhood growing up.. When I was in three years old, my family and I moved to Japan and that’s where I grew up from majority of my life until I was 18 when I graduated from school. I went to an international school, it was taught in English, that was the first language and we also learnt Japanese, that was a secondary language.
Be in an environment like international and diversity and experiencing different cultures in Japan. it was a really awesome experience. I had a really amazing childhood growing up and I didn’t see it as something special until I had left Japan and came to America and that’s when I started to really see that I do have a unique childhood growing up. I didn’t have anything else to compare it with.
What’s your dream life as an Artist?
I have to be honest with you, I am living my dream life right now. As a shuffle dancer, there’s a thing that brings me the most joy right now is meeting all of these people in the shuffle scene and teaching them the beauty of shuffle dancing, just sharing all of my tips, tricks and information that I have accumulated from the past few years and sharing them with them inside the studio, that is like my dream life.
This next couple of months, I have so many different classes scheduled in Los Angeles and as well as every week, I would be going to a different state in the US, I would be going to Canada teaching classes and just travel, tour, being exposed to new cultures, and getting endorsed in different shuffle communities and meeting new people. It is a great feeling, I love it and this is honestly a dream life. I want to express myself through dance from a place of gratitude.
Please share the inspiration behind shuffle Baby Academy.
This is my online shuffle school where people can go learn how to shuffle and excel in their skill as a shuffler. We did start off with teaching in Los Angeles. I was hosting classes here and over time, I wanted to expand, I wanted to do a little more than this. When I started to tour the US, teaching in different states and in different cities, and I said again, what more can I do? I went to Europe to tour there as well, I got to teach in nine different countries, 10 different cities in Europe and being able to connect with everybody and see this dance can do for everybody. It really changes people’s lives, saves people’s lives, I would say, it allows people gain confident in themselves and reaching limit in life and jus living more fulfilling life with music, dance and love. When I really thought about this message and what I wanted to do with this dance, I wanted to get this feeling and this energy across many people as possible and as much as I love traveling and teaching, I just wanted to get across everybody in the world in the most affordable and accessible way, that was why I started the Shuffle Baby Academy as an online shuffle school.
We know how the creative journey in any field comes with various highs and lows. What would you consider the most memorable and fulfilling moment for you as a dancer?
That’s a good question. I think what I did recently for the past few months, starting from February, all through April, I went to Europe and did that shuffle tour I was just mentioning, I think that really hit me like wow! I never thought that starting the shuffle journey I would end up in Europe and teach shuffle classes with all these people that want to learn from me.
It is a crazy thing to think about an idea and I think that itself was a huge tipping point in my shuffle journey. It is something that I am still processing right now, thinking back at all the memories, experiences and conversations that I have had with all the shufflers there and just all the experiences of being there and teaching and learning from them as well was just absolutely memorable.
It is really goes to show how beautiful the shuffle community is. Although there is toxicity almost everywhere in the world and of course, you want to keep the world in a positive state of mind. Within the shuffle scene, there is a whole lot of positive people a lot of peace, love, unity, respect. That’s kind of weird we get this idea of one big family because we all love music, we all love dance and so I did get a lot of help from people in Europe, there was communities there and people teaching there, them helping me schedule classes, studios and find somewhere for me to stay is just a beautiful, beautiful community.
I have never met them before but I can reach out to them like “hey can you help me out, is there a cheap place for me to stay” and some of them has been really super doper kind to let me stay at their places even. It just goes to show that this community is really small and growing but super tight in all, we love each other. It is amazing and that is what I want to bring to Shuffle Baby Academy to is that sense of community, not only online but in person too.
Do you feel creatives in developed countries are at advantage than those in developing countries?
I think a more developed country can have just a slight bit of an advantage with regards to having studios or a larger population of people or certain weather types like being in Los Angeles, there is so many access to studios and the weather allows us to go outside and it maybe save to do that, maybe other countries may not have that.
So I do say maybe developed countries has a little bit of an advantage to developing the shuffle scene and at the end of the day, I think for me, this community really was built through social media, yes, personal experiences created a community but it is because of social media especially with Instagram, that’s how we are all connected with one and other, we learn, we represent, we understand and learn from each other and know how to grow this community in a certain way. I think having access to social media and each other is just enough to grow the community.
Balancing work time and rest time is a struggle for many creatives. Please share a few tips on how you try to balance work time, rest time and family time?
It all comes down to my own health. It is really checking in and listening to myself, mental health, physical health, emotional health, just really checking back at me every single day. Every morning, before I go to sleep and I do like to be organize, I have a planner, I have my phone to write down things I want to do for today or the next day and I also have a calendar so it is like staying on top things and with being touring and teaching in different states and booking planes and hotels and just staying on top of the schedule, I think that is what keeps my health in check, is just making sure everything is in line, making sure I’m doing all of my basic needs and priorities.
I am right there with everybody, it is tough being a creative, you are your own social media manager, you are your own entrepreneur, you own your own business man, you a producer you got to do a lot of things to sell film, an addict, you got to show up on social media, you got to have that presents.
With regards to my mental health, I think it comes down to really finding my balance of wanting to share and be with other people online and also knowing how to not do too much of that, having boundaries and understanding and you don’t have to do what is termed as general standard, you don’t have to follow the algorithm, you don’t have to do this or that. I think it just comes down to balance and finding what works for you.
For someone might want to post three times a day, might want to comment on every single posts and might want to go live and engage with so much different many people and be of part of these conversations and some others, you don’t have to do any of that and you can still do what you have to do. Balance, setting boundaries and finding that time to recuperate and regenerate so you can continue to be your authentic self in person and online, it is going to be great for keeping your mental health in check.
What does success mean to you?
Success means being able to wake up and have a healthy mindset towards life and yourself, that means, being able to tell yourself throughout your day to day life from a place of your own values. For me, it is important that I have a lot of gratitude and I do things from a place of love and I am authentic in person and online.
When it comes to teaching, when it comes to showing up on social media and interacting with people in real life, it is important to ground myself and remind myself of gratitude and love and just thankfulness to be alive, coming from that place of that mindset, it really gives me a healthy mindset and a healthy place to carry myself through life.
Please briefly tell us something we do not know about Kento Moriguchi.
Actually, I am a massage therapist. I don’t know if you knew that. I graduated 6 months ago from a massage therapy school in Santa Monica, so I have my license. And I haven’t started officially my business that is exactly what I want to do with massage therapy, start my own mobile massage services in Los Angeles and help support, especially creatives, videographer, artists, dancers and being a dancer, I understand that your body, your mental health, your physical health is your number one most important asset because without your body, without your health in check it is hard to do things from a place of authenticity and love.
Making sure people get that massage and take of themselves through recovery, I think it is an important key aspect to continue to excel and grow as a person and this passion of providing a healthcare domain as always been a passion of mine.
Actually, before I became a professional shuffle dancer, I was also going to college studying Health Exercise Science and I’m a graduate, although I later decided to change course and now I am a professional dancer. That passion stocked with me so I went to a massage therapy school and got my license and I am excited to embark on this journey as well as a massage therapist.
Let’s go little poetic: If poetry is a rainbow and you have a choice of one color in that palette, what would that be and why?
I think I would have to go with red. It really symbolizes my character of energy, passion and love and I think if you talk to or ask anybody who knows me well enough, they would tell you love and energy represents me well enough so I am going to go with red.
Massive Love Kento!
The ICONIC Team