Here’s the testimonial letter from Shoshanah Riley, my master of Dance Fusion & one of my best friend in the US.
I want to share my heartfelt, sincere & warmest feelings about my awesome co-teaching experience with Yoshimi Ishikawa. I am proud of my friend for pursuing her dream of sharing her passion of dance with others (even if it’s halfway across the world;).
Yoshi and I met 2012-2013 (I go by dance season!) while she attended my Zumba classes at Revel Fitness. We instantly connected and soon she was in attendance at every single class I taught! At first, I only got to know her as a student. But that quickly changed. She enrolled her youngest daughter, Sae, in my Beginning Movement dance class. The following season, Sae progressed to the competition team, Riho Ishikawa (Yoshi’s oldest daughter) joined the rec hip hop program and Yoshi continued to excel in Zumba, Dance Fusion & Hip Hop. I knew her as a student and parent of two wonderful dancers!
Soon enough, Yoshi and I were going out for brunch after class where we really got to know each other. A true friendship unfolded! I’ll never forget when she hosted a Japanese brunch for our workout crew. We learned so much about the Japanese cuisine–and we ate way too much!! Yoshi even helped me shop at the Japanese market so I could make some of her delicious recipes at home.
In July 2014, Yoshi and her family moved back to Japan. It was so sad to see them leave Indiana but I knew our friendship would continue from 2 sides of the world! My classes felt empty—everyone missed having Yoshi there. So….we would send little video clips to her during class! We would leave her spot open on the floor! But we still felt her energy and positive spirit every time the music played:)
I was so happy to hear that Yoshi was interesting in taking Sho’Time Dance Company‘s Dance Fusion technique to Japan. She had music and choreography down to the beat and continued to practice. We would exchange new music/choreography and she would even write down notes so she wouldn’t forget anything! Soon after moving back to Japan, Yoshi became licensed to teach Zumba—YAYYYY!!!! While teaching 8-9 classes a week, Yoshi has set goals to introduce Dance Fusion and her own style/technique to the people in Japan.
Yoshi and her family made a quick trip back to Indiana this month. On August 3 & 4, she and I co taught two Dance Fusion classes. Let me tell you guys….the puzzle was complete! I’ve never felt so alive and happy while teaching with one of my best friends! Yoshi’s talents are now unleashed! She was meant to be on a stage, leading others with her positive, vibrant energy. I smiled, I cried, I sweat (a lot!), I laughed, I even had to step back and take it all in. I am so proud of YOU, Yoshi!! You are a great instructor. Easy to follow, fun to watch & motivational. YOU are an inspiration to us all. Continue doing what you love and be grateful you love what you do:)
As I always say, tell someone how awesome they are…you never know what kind of day they are having. Yoshi, my friend, my sister, you have a gift to make everyone’s day a little brighter. Thank you for being YOU!
Love, Shoshanah Riley (2015.8.9)