Shofuso Japanese House and Garden
Lansdowne Dr & Horticultural Dr, Philadelphia, PA 19131
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?
Dance class begins at 1:00 pm and ends by 4:30 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.
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.
Classes are organized into semesters. The semester fee is $135 for members, and $150 for non-members.
|May 6||August 25|
|May 20||September 16|
|June 3||October 7|
|June 17||October 21|
|July 1||November 4|
|July 15||November 18|
The teacher comes from New York City, so sometimes weather conditions either delay or prevent her from coming. In that case, she will make every attempt to notify you. In the event that students are unable to make a class due to weather conditions, travel, or a medical emergency, they should contact Moss via email or phone.
Most students are adults, but children 10 and over are also welcome. Parents should fill out a photo release form and an emergency/medical form.
After the first semester, students are asked to purchase a dance fan and a cotton yukata/obi set. The teacher will make every effort to see that those are available for a reasonable price.
Please contact the teacher, Helen Moss. For registration assistance, please contact the Shofuso staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.