Perspective: Interview with San Francisco Ballet School Student, Matoi Kawamoto

Name: Matoi Kawamoto 
Age: 16
Where are you from?: Tokyo, Japan
Where do you currently live/train?: Tokyo 
What kind of pointe shoes do you wear? I’m exploring various kinds of shoes! 
Favorite variation? Aurora solos from Sleeping Beauty 


How and when did you get your start in dance? 
When I was six, my mom brought me to ballet school because I was always moving around the house. (Stretching and acting, as well!)


What was the path that led you to train at San Francisco Ballet School?
I first sent them an audition video, which led to my participation in SFBS’s Summer Intensive. Then, they told me that I got a full-year scholarship.


What has your experience at SFBS been like, so far? What are your favorite parts about it?
I truly love every class at SFBS, especially the pas de deux classes, which are really fun. I didn’t get to practice [partnerning] before going to SFBS.

Matoi KawamotoMatoi Kawamoto


What are the main differences you’ve noticed between training in Japan vs. the United States?
The big difference is that now I am learning lots of kinds of techniques, methods, and styles! Especially when I learned Balanchine and Forsythe variations, I really loved it!


Do you have any funny (or embarrassing!) stories from the stage or studio?
I once got trapped on the ballet premises (the parking area outside) because I was practicing in a studio and totally forgot to leave at the proper time…  I ended up being spotted by a person who was also in the area, and it went all fine, of course!


I know you are currently in Tokyo due to Covid-19. Do you plan to return to SFBS once it is safe?
Definitely yes, but the circumstances surrounding us are making it so difficult.


What have you been up to over the last few months during the pandemic?
It’s been so good; I am so grateful to be able to gain a lot of inspiration from Instagram!


Have you picked up any new hobbies or interests?
It’s not a hobby, but I am so loving the time chilling and cuddling my doggy!


What is one product in your dance bag that you can’t live without!?
Lipgloss. I feel so confident and happy with lipstick/gloss! Once I forgot to wear it, and I attempted to go take it out of the locker room… (Though I didn’t. ☺)


What is the best piece of advice, dance or non-dance, that you’ve ever received?
Eat and sleep well!

Matoi KawamotoMatoi Kawamoto


What is an element in your technique that you would like to improve the most? 
The expression.


What are you most proud of in your dancing?
Balancing.


What is something interesting that people might not know about you?
I really love cooking and baking!


Our mantra is #FeelGoodDanceBetter. What do you do as a dancer to take care of your body on a daily basis?
Eating healthy (homemade meals ane slow food) and enough sleeping are key!


What are the most challenging aspects of being a ballet dancer for you? 
To be dancers, we have to sacrifice almost everything and always take care of our bodies. But actually, I do not feel it is too challenging since I know I really love ballet, and that’s the life I would love.


Who inspires you, and why?
Maria Kochetkova. I love her spirit for dancing.


What’s next for Matoi? What are your short term and long term plans or goals? 
My dream, [since I was] very little, is to win the Prix de Lausanne. Also, I’ve always dreamed of being a professional ballerina who delivers much love, joy, and energy.


Do you think it’s important to have dancewear/shoes that match your individual skin tone? 
Yes. It’s really important to respect each one of us.


What shade(s) of Pointe Paint would you love to try?
Sunshine!! It would be so fun to have such a joyful color on pointe! ☺

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