Japanese dance teacher connects Rwandan and Japanese children

Dance knows no borders, and is a tool used when different cultures come together to communicate. As such, the embassy of Japan organised a dance workshop with Japanese famous dancer, Takanori Nakagome, at Umuco Mwiza in Kimironko.

Nakagome has been connecting African students from Ghana, Zambia and Rwanda with Japanese students through skype, where they communicate and share their dances.

This is his third visit to Rwanda, having held two dance workshops at Umuco Mwiza School and Green Hills Academy  previously.

“This time I performed my dance which is a form of cultural exchange between Japan and Rwanda and my mission is to connect children to the outside world so they can have more possibilities and opportunities in the future and I think dance knows no borders, it connects people beyond borders. The most important thing is that they have fun and enjoy themselves. I also want to expand their view and vison from this area to the outside world,” said Nakagome.

Students used the opportunity to showcase the traditional Rwandan dance, while also learning dances from Nakagome.

Local artiste Mani Martin also performed at the event.

Japanese ambassador to Rwanda, Takayuki Miyashita, said that the school has a strong relationship with Japan, a symbol of Japan andRwanda cooperation. He further noted that the dance workshop was the best way to communicate easily.

“I strongly believe that this cultural exchange is a great opportunity for children of both countries to know another world and will help expand and deepen the relationship between Japan and Rwanda. Rwandans also understand the Japanese dance very well, and I think this a good way to communicate with children. We are promoting this kind of exchange for the young generation,” he said.

Francoise Tuyikunde, the headmistress of the school, said the workshop is not only an exchange of the Japanese and Rwandan culture, but also a way of helping the students learn effectively.

“Our students are very happy and we are working with Japanese, who are thinking about education and helping our children to learn more effectively,” she said, adding that, “other than focusing only on the subjects, we must also use music for students to learn our culture.”