The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

    Dancer finds freedom in dance

    Positioning herself in front of the mirror, she takes a deep breath, closes her eyes and counts to three.  As the song begins to play, she gracefully begins to move her body with the beat of the music hoping to get lost in the rhythm.

    Ran Mochizuki, 25, dance major, has been involved with the EC dance department for about two years and said she is enjoying every minute of it.

    “My friend asked me to be in a show, so I was in the performance once.  I liked it so I started dancing,” Mochizuki said.  “That was what got me to start dancing because I really enjoyed it.”

    Born in Japan, Mochizuki said her latest dance in the show “Legacy” expresses her feelings toward the catastrophic earthquake that claimed the lives of so many people.

    “I want people to understand and to think about Japan. About the huge earthquake, the problems with radiation and the people who are there are trying to move forward,” Mochizuki said. “My dance is strong and I like to think about Japan like my dance, they are similar in that Japan is a strong country.”

    Mochizuki said dance enables her to express what she is experiencing at the moment and her dances usually reflect the strong and freeing feeling she enjoys even when she is nervous.

    “Before I dance, I always get nervous but I accept it,” Mochizuki said.

    Mochizuki’s dance instructor, Pamela Santelman, said Mochizuki brings diversity to the department.

    “She brings a lot to the program.  She did a traditional fishermen dance for students and it was exciting for them to learn something other than ballet or hip-hop,” Santelman said. “This is the first time I have taught her and she is really reliable, sweet, conscientious and works the dancers hard.”

    Even with injuries, she continues to dance.

    “We had a performance the other night and she performed with a fractured toe with no complaints,” Santelman said. 

    Those who dance with Mochizuki say she is great at what she does no matter the circumstances.

    “She works really hard and despite the language barrier she always gets the dance in the end,” Megan Lafferty, 20, Dance major said.

    Dancing, she said, has taught her many of the skills needed in dance, but there is one thing in particular that has greatly helped her with her performance.

    “I’ve learned to be free,” Mochizuki said. “Even though there is choreography that we are taught, we should be always be free even when we are in front of an audience because we have to show who we are through dancing and I learned how to perform.”

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