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Next visit to Heartbeat by dancers from our partner studio in Tokyo:     June 2007

In April, 2005 a Certificate of Partnership and Friendship between the ARTN Dance Studio (Tokyo) and Heartbeat Studios was signed by the directors of both studios.  A teacher and student exchange program was established and teachers and academy students from Heartbeat and teachers and students from ARTN visit each other’s studio annually in the spirit of enhancing their personal and dance lives. 

EAST MEETS WEST At Heartbeat Studios


East met west once again in the strengthening bond between two dance studios several time zones apart; Heartbeat Studios, Apple Valley, MN and ARTN Dance Studio in Tokyo, Japan.  In April, 2005, Heartbeat owner, Deborah Lysholm, traveled to Tokyo to establish a partnership and cultural exchange program with Yukiko Misumi, owner of ARTN.  A Certificate of Friendship and Partnership was signed between the two studios and according to Lysholm and Misumi, this is the first partnership/cultural exchange program of this type in the world dance community.

In November, 2005 five dance students from Misumi’s studio traveled to Apple Valley and stayed with host families from Heartbeat. Despite language differences, the Japanese dancers collaborated with dancers from Heartbeat to produce a sold-out concert.  In a reciprocal visit, 17 dancers, teachers and parents from Heartbeat traveled to Tokyo from July 6th to the 15th, 2006 to study dance and again collaborate in two sold out concerts at the Rising Dragon Jazz Club in Tokyo.  The representatives from Heartbeat were dancers in Heartbeat’s Academy Program for excelling students.  The Academy Program was founded by Kristin Freya, Heartbeat’s Artistic Director, who also taught a master jazz dance class while in Tokyo.  The dancers from Heartbeat immersed themselves in the Japanese culture and many new multi-generational friendships developed between the dance students from each studio and their respective parents.  

The purpose of the partnership and cultural exchange program is to enrich the dance and personal lives of everyone involved. The parents traveling with the dancers noticed how their daughters had changed over the ten days and how much more confident they became.  While in Tokyo the Heartbeat group took time do to the usual tourist activities, but they spent much more time getting to know the Japanese and appreciating the differences and similarities in each others’ lives.  Dancers from Misumi’s studio and the Heartbeat group celebrated the strengthening bond between the studios by ending their stay at a Japanese spa in Hakone near Mt. Fuji. The most important experience for the dancers from Heartbeat and ARTN however was reaffirming the importance of dance as a universal language and how important the arts are to cultures world-wide.  As one Japanese dancer said to Lysholm as Heartbeat’s group departed for the airport, “I know you go home now.  I know I am in your heart. Our friendship is promise.”  


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HEARTBEAT STUDIOS • 7661 West 145th Street • Apple Valley, MN, 55124 • 952.432.7833
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