A person’s taste in music tells you a lot about someone’s personality. “Nowadays, I’ve been listening to a lot of old Japanese songs. I listen to a lot of rock music as well,” said 26-year-old Japanese Koharu Sugawara who was recently appointed as the global ambassador for Japanese skincare and makeup brand Shiseido’s revitalized Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate and product campaign #StrongSouls. Her eclectic music taste is a reflection of her unique style.
While most dancers happen to be categorised in genres or styles, it seems that Koharu does not have a certain box to fit. She might only be 26, but she has seen the world, through dancing, teaching and interacting with people from all parts of the world. Koharu, who was born to a very creative and musical family, started dancing when she was just 4. “Since I was little, my family, especially my dad played a lot of music like '80s rock. During dinner time, he would play music and we would listen to music instead of watching the TV. Dance just came very naturally to me. I started to dance and my sister became a singer. She sings with an acoustic guitar.”
Koharu is very accomplished both as a choreographer and as a dancer. She has worked with big names like Stevie Wonder as well as K-pop idol groups like Girls’ Generation, 2NE1 and Taemin from the boy band SHINee. “I worked with Stevie (Wonder) three years ago, I was much younger then. I was initially really nervous but he gave me a different energy that made me feel very comfortable. Even though he is blind, he took really good care of me.”
When asked about how it’s like to work with K-pop stars, the poised dancer who was clad in a flowy black dress shared that she doesn’t get star struck or stressed. “They (Korean idols) are just normal human beings to me. They work really hard, love to dance, try new things. There is no stress (working with them). They are also very respectful to others and they eat food and gave me food all the time!”
Getting to where she is today wasn’t always smooth sailing. When she first arrived in Los Angeles for her career, she arrived there without any plans and English skills, only with the love and passion for dance. She started expressing herself through dance with no other choice left. “Dance is my language,” added the dancer. Fortunately, her drive and talent helped her to get people’s attention.
The 26-year-old who hails from the Chiba prefecture also went through another rough patch when she injured her neck in 2017 that stopped her from dancing for seven months.
Going forward, Koharu aspires to redefine what it means to be a dancer. “I think most people have fixed ideas on what it means to be a dancer. I want to break convention and show everyone that dancers can do more than just dance.”
Koharu is doing just that as she fronts the Shiseido #StrongSouls campaign that celebrates women’s strength and confidence and joy that stems from it. Despite being the face of a makeup and skincare brand, Koharu bashfully admitted that she doesn’t pay too much attention to her skin or her skincare routine.
Read on to find out more about Koharu’s skincare routine and her travel essentials.
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