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(7/96)

Whenever I have to show my passport, people always say, "You don't look Japanese." It must be my blue eyes that give me away (that and the fact that I'm 5'8"). I was born and grew up in Indiana and came to Japan for a year abroad in college. I met my future husband, Takashi, while we were both living at a zen temple and came back to get married after I graduated. This year I'll have lived half my life in the U.S. and half my life in Japan. My husband is a potter and I teach English conversation.

I spend much more of my time on dance-related activities than I do working for a living, though. I'm very involved in square and round dancing, which I've been doing for over 12 years. Square dancing is popular here in Japan in a very minor way and I learned how to dance here. I belong to several square dance clubs, was president of one, and am also a round dance cuer. I also used to clog and helped get clogging started here in Japan.

However, my main passion right now is C/W dancing. Ever since I first started it about 3 years ago, it's slowly started to take over my life. Since I was the one who talked the rest of our group into trying it, I became responsible for teaching it as well. In order to teach it better, I needed more information. I started subscribing to C/W dance magazines (I now get 6) and buying instructional videos (we now have quite a video library). I had to learn more about music and have become our group's deejay. I became like a sponge, interested in any information I could get about C/W dancing.

The next logical step was to attend a dance Events in the U.S.. Every year I take a group of students or dance friends on a trip to the U.S., then stay on another few weeks to visit my family. Last summer while I was back, several C/W dance friends joined me and we went to the Chicagoland C/W Dance Festival in August. It was amazing! On previous trips I had visited some of the local nightclubs in my hometown, but of course that was nothing compared to a major dance festival. The workshops, the competition, all of those great dancers, the booths with all those things to buy... Needless to say, we were overwhelmed. We also went a little crazy.

This June, I'll be bringing a group over to attend the CWDI International Championships in Reno. If you see us there, please come up and say hi. Most of the people coming don't speak a lot of English, but we're all real friendly.

To get back to myself, I do have some other hobbies besides dancing. I play the koto and shamisen, 2 traditional Japanese musical instruments and study ikebana, Japanese flower arrangement. We live in a traditional Japanese house and my lifestyle is typically Japanese. I spend a lot of time on the phone talking to friends and we like to get together to eat and drink and play cards (or talk about dancing). We've just bought some land out in the country and plan to build a house there soon. We'll have room to put up visitors. So if you're ever by chance in Japan and come through Nagoya, I hope you'll come and dance with us.