Japanese Classical Dance: Fall Semester

Learn how to wear kimono and dance gracefully while studying Nihon buyō (Japanese classical dance) at Shofuso! Dance classes are open to anyone, including youth ages 10 and up. In fact, no experience is necessary. Students learn different dances at their own pace. Remember – the more work you do at home, the faster you will learn!

Learning classical Japanese dance means much more than studying dance alone. Many different interests are included: music, poetry and theatre; textiles, kimono and dressing; fans and props; costumes, makeup and wigs; language and etiquette; and Japanese history. What are your interests?

The Class

Dance class begins at 1:30 pm and ends by 4:00 pm. By tradition, all classes are group classes, and include students with different levels of experience.

At the start of each class, students dress in kimono or yukata (cotton kimono), obi (sash) and tabi (special socks). Those attending a Nihon buyō “taster” class should wear leggings or gym shorts, a t-shirt, and white gym socks.

During class, students line up by seniority, then bow to the teacher. No mirrors are used. Beginning students take their lessons first by standing beside the teacher, or between the teacher and a senior student (to “sandwich” you) and moving as the teacher directs, generally following her movements. Following this, novice students dance at the back of the class, where they can watch and follow more advanced choreography. Writing down choreography is allowed, and following the movements of other lessons is encouraged!


From time to time, students perform at Shofuso or at other venues. Students will be asked to join, first as helpers and later as dancers, at the teachers’ discretion.

The Teacher

Helen Moss, whose performing name is Fujima Nishiki-no (藤間錦乃) has been teaching Sōke Fujima style dance at Shofuso for more than five years. Click here to read Moss’s bio. Dancer Yoshiko Furuse, who has studied Nihon buyō since 2010, is an assistant teacher.

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Shofuso Japanese Cultural Center

Lansdowne Dr & Horticultural Dr, Philadelphia, PA 19131

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