Joanna Numata’s love of dance lead her to train extensively in hip hop, ballet, tap, jazz, modern, and african from an early age and into her teenage years. At the age of 17, she continued her studies after moving to NYC to attend Hunter College.
Her hard work and tenacity paid off when she was invited into Rhapsody James’s company. This opportunity allowed her to gain the experience and training she would need for the commercial dance world. Almost one year after she began training in NYC, Joanna booked her first job and began her career as a professional dancer.
Joanna has had the privilege of working with such artists as Kanye West, Beyonce, Rihanna, Fergie, Black Eyed Peas, Busta Rhymes, Nelly, Pharrel, Cassie and Dirty Money to name a few. She also had the opportunity to choreograph for a variety of artists, most notably Hong Kong pop sensation Joey Yung’s 1314 concert.
She has also worked on the feature films, Step Up 3D, I AM Legend, The Smurfs and Friends with Benefits. Some other credits include the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, “Fashion Rocks,””MTV VMA’s,””SNL,””Law & Order,”“How to make it in America,”“Jimmy Fallon show,” Dr.Scholls national commercial, and industrials for Tommy Hilfiger, L’Oreal, Nexxus, Nike, Adidas, Sobe Lifewater and Equinox.
She now wants to share her love of movement and musicality with the world, and give other young dancers the tools and opportunities they need in order to be successful in the dance industry. Joanna has primed herself by teaching at Broadway Dance Center, Peridance and various studios all around the world.
In a 2016 interview with Huffpost, Joanna describes how she fell in love with dance.
I started taking ballet when I was seven. When I was 10, I started doing tap and jazz, and also built in modern later on. My old tap teacher recommended that I check out [local dance studios]. I decided to take this hip-hop class with a husband and wife team. One did breaking and the other did popping and locking. I’d never done anything like that in my life before, so I went in my spaghetti-strap leotard and jazz pants. At least I had sneakers on. That was my very first class in the city.
In order to become a great teacher, Joanna states the following about her progression and traits she had to develop.
It came over time. You can observe other teachers to see how they break things down, keep the energy up, and talk to students, but you just have to jump into it. Over the years, I’ve found ways to communicate how to break things down. I’ve been teaching for 11 years now, and it’s nice to be inspired by my students.
Learn more about Joffrey’s summer jazz and contemporary dance intensive in NYC.
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