Okinawa Tourism Information:[86DanceStudio]onIshigakiIslandaimsto“Livenuptheislandthroughdance!”Let'sjointheKI-HATtrioastheyvisitthestudioforadancelesson!

[86 Dance Studio] on Ishigaki Island aims to “Liven up the island through dance!”
Let's join the KI-HAT trio as they visit the studio for a dance lesson!

post : 2021.05.09 19:00

The Yaeyama Islands of Okinawa Prefecture are known for their traditional performance arts including dancing and singing that has been passed down the many generations. The newest spot for the people of Ishigaki Island to polish up their self-expression is [86 Dance Studio] which offers ballet lessons as well as hip-hop classes which are available for children as young as four years old.


The studio is run by Yukio and Miki Hanaoka who relocated to Ishigaki Island from Wakayama Prefecture about two years ago. They opened their [86 Dance Studio] last year, with Yukio-san teaching the hip-hop classes while Miki-san teaches the ballet classes.

The Hanaokas are passionate about teaching dance to the children of the islands in the region, and they make regular trips to Kuroshima and Iriomote Islands to offer dance lessons to those who aren’t able to get to their studio on Ishigaki Island. 

(Photo: Courtesy of 86 Dance Studio, taken in 2019)

(Photo: Courtesy of 86 Dance Studio, taken in 2019)

KI-HAT is a “girl crush” group launched in Ishigaki Island a year ago. In this article, we’re going to follow the three girls from KI-HAT (a singing and dancing group made up of Shi, who is in the sixth grade, and Kira and Rita who are in the first year of junior high school), as they hit the studio for a dance lesson with Yukio Sensei.

Although it was the first hip-hop lesson for the three girls of KI-HAT, they were focused and serious throughout the lesson, doing their best to keep up with the moves taught by their instructor. The expressions on their faces and the passion they showed reflected their determination and you could tell that they were there to absorb all that they could and were thoroughly enjoying themselves as they danced! It was impressive to see them picking up the moves very quickly and it was clear that they regularly practiced dancing. Seeing them groove to the rhythm of hip-hop, I couldn’t help but feel like dancing myself.


I asked Yukio Sensei what were some of the points he pays attention to when he gives his lessons.

He responded, “I design programs that are appropriate for the classes that I teach. I think about the age group, their personalities, and other factors of the class. And I always make a point of making lessons that the kids will think, ‘I almost got it in this one-hour lesson, but not quite. So, maybe I’ll master it in the next lesson!’”

Then I asked what his thoughts were on the lesson he gave to the three girls of KI-HAT.

“I felt their passion and dedication as they came to the lesson with their purpose and objectives. They were very quick to understand each of the moves and they clearly showed their intentions that they wanted to learn as much as they could in the lesson to enhance their future activities. Teaching them was enjoyable,” said Yukio Sensei.


I followed up with KI-HAT and asked what they thought about the lesson.

Rita: “I was a little anxious because it was my first time taking a hip-hop lesson, but Yukio Sensei was a great instructor and was easy to follow. I’m glad I took the lesson and I had fun.”

Kira: “The lesson was fun because Yukio Sensei was kind and thoughtful as he taught us the moves.”

Shi: “I was a little bit scared because it was my first hip-hop lesson, but I had so much fun, it was great!”

I asked Yukio Sensei and KI-HAT about their future goals.

“At 86 Dance Studio, we hope to be more and more engaged with creating opportunities for children to present their dances and express themselves through online events and various regional events,” says Yukio Sensei.

KI-HAT responded, “We hope to join various events to make people smile through our singing and dancing. We hope to expand from Ishigaki Island and hope to join events on Okinawa Island and in mainland Japan, too.”


86 Dance Studio aims to create places and opportunities for children to challenge themselves and for each child to reach their potential through their dance lessons. The three girls of KI-HAT are hard at work to deliver smiles to many people. Let’s show them support when we come across them!

*Note: During their lesson, the KI-HAT girls wore masks and only took them off for photos.
At 86 Dance Studio, the lessons are offered under proper measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
(Interview conducted on March 31, 2021.)


86 Dance Studio
Address: 3F Morishita Bldg., 42 Ishigaki, Ishigaki City, Okinawa 907-0023
Telephone: 090-4490-9338
Closed Irregularly

54 Enterprise
Address: 191-5 Maezato, Ishigaki City, Okinawa 907-0002
Telephone: 090-9385-0449


Okinawa CLIP photo writer, Akiko Mizuno