Those who know Ayumi as a teacher may be surprised that she’s one of the most talented breakdancers in the world! Speaking with her exclusively, we learned she credits dancing to making her stronger in class!
By day, Ayumi, 34, is an elementary school teacher in Japan. But by night, she’s a talented breakdancer and upcoming Olympian who’s also the 1st B-Girl (female breakdancer) to ever compete in the Red Bull BC One World Final! Pretty impressive, right? But Ayumi wasn’t always so confident in herself. In fact, dancing has helped her come out of her shell, giving her the confidence to become a better teacher. Not only that, her students have also pushed her harder and farther than she ever thought she’d go!
“For me, dancing is representing yourself — my true character. It’s important to have confidence [in] myself, which is what I do when I teach,” Ayumi told HollywoodLife.com EXCLUSIVELY over email. “[My students] inspired me to never stop, to learn new things, and have fun in the moment. If I have inspired them [in return], I am so happy.” Ayumi, who’s been break dancing since she was 21, took the stage in Amsterdam on Nov. 4 as the first female to compete in the BC One World Final, and it was a true “dream” come true for the professional dancer. “I am so honored to be here,” she told us.
Ayumi was first drawn to breakdancing after watching her older sister, Narumi, express herself through the art. Since then, she’s won multiple battles as an individual AND with her crew, the Body Carnival crew. She’s won titles such as the 2013 B-Girl solo battle at HipOpession in France, the 2015 Dragon Style Anniversary Footwork battle in China, and the 2015 Freestyle session 2on2 B-Girl battle. Clearly Ayumi is the real deal.
And for those who don’t know, Red Bull BC One is the biggest one-on-one breakdancing competition in the world! Thousands of dancers from around the world compete every year to make it the World Final, but only 16 acheieve that honor. Ayumi was one of those 16 this year, and you can watch her epic dance battle here! But of course, her students are a major part of her life too, and something she’s extremely grateful for.
“My favorite thing about being a teacher is that I have an [open] communication with my students,” she shared with us. And if Ayumi could teach her children just one thing, it’d be to never give up! “Please don’t give up on something that you really want to do or [someone you really] want to be,” she said. “Just don’t be scared to show your true self and accept a new challenge.” Turns out, that’s advice Ayumi herself has followed throughout her breakdancing career.
“I used to be really shy, and my parents were so surprised I danced. At first they didn’t believe it, but now they understand,” Ayumi said during a previous interview. “It was so funny, before the dancing, I couldn’t talk in front of people. It’s helped me change my personality.” Ayumi’s explained she now feels like a different person — in the best way possible! “When I dance, I change myself,” she said. “For me, dancing is everything for my life.”
Tell us, HollywoodLifers — are you inspired by Ayumi’s story? What do you think of her breakdancing skills?