In the first of a new series with mini-interviews with Japanese people living in New York City, we talk to the young ballerina Momoka Nakagawa.
Where in Japan are you from and where did you study ballet?
I’m from the Hyougo prefecture in Japan and learned ballet at a place called Yasuda Ballet School for about ten years.
How did you end up in New York City and what are you doing there now?
I’ve always wanted to dance abroad and someone I know helped me to get an audition for the Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classic Ballet in Brooklyn, where I am dancing now.
We like to talk about food: do you have a favourite restaurant in New York and what is your favourite food to cook (and eat)?
Food is my life! I love to eat and to cook! I have a lot of recipes for chicken. Because white meat chicken is low in fat and high in protein it is good for making great muscles. Good for dancers! There are too many good places in New York, but I can mention one favourite. It’s called Pause Cafe, and they have salads, sandwiches, pastries and I especially love their acai bowl! A lot of fresh fruits on it. The staff is super welcoming and nice. One of my favourites in NYC. Recently, I discovered the Great Northern Food Hall, where we took some photos of me that you can see here.
Can you name three places in New York that you personally would recommend people to visit?
Yes! Take the L Train to Bedford Ave. in Williamsburg. I usually wander around in this area every weekend. My favourite yoga place, cafes and vintage clothing shops are all there. Second one is a tourist hot spot. It’s called DUMBO. I love the view from Brooklyn Bridge at night. A timeless bridge with inspiring views of Manhattan and Brooklyn! Incredible architecture and symbolism for a better life. Go check it, please! Last one I want to mention is one of my favourite churches. It’s called Riverside Church and is located in Morningside Heights, Upper Manhattan. This church is very impressive with its massive architectural facade designs, that looks like a skyscraper. It always cleans my mind and my feelings to go there.
Do you have a dream for yourself or for the future in general that you would like to share with us?
My big dream is really simple actually. I wish I’ll keep dancing on the stage around the world as much as possible and I want to support anyone who is interested in dancing in foreign countries like me. To making use of my experience as dancer abroad. For now, I am trying to find new adventures anywhere. I think the only true failure is when you didn’t try. Just keep working hard!
Thanks for talking to us, Momo-chan!