Artistic Director/Salsa & Bachata Instructor
Koji was born in Tokyo, Japan, and came to Gainesville, FL in 2005 after he obtained his PhD in biology/embryology. He has been dancing Salsa since then, and his first dance performance on the big stage happened in 2011 at the Orlando Salsa congress. He loves learning new things and techniques to improve his dance skills and to better understand his interactions with his dance partners as well. He has taught Salsa in a few different dance studios in Gainesville, and is now an artistic director at Salsa Mundial.
Koji has had the great fortune to meet talented instructors and passionate fellow dancers who instilled in him a love for salsa dancing. Now, as an instructor/artistic director himself, he hopes to create a welcoming salsa community and to inspire others to experience the joys of salsa dancing.
During the day, Koji is a scientist at the University of Florida conducting research regarding brain aneurysms. Conducting research can be stressful sometimes (a lot of times…), but dancing and being at Salsa Mundial in the evenings and the weekends relieves a lot of his stress.
“The key of Salsa dance is communication and connection between partners. The leader and the follower work together in harmony to look fantastic. You shouldn’t need to use force to lead your partner while dancing…” – Koji… 😉
Pet Peeves: Rough lead and Back-leading; when someone, who is not an instructor, “teaches” their partner what is wrong during class or in a social dance scene.
Koji loves good craft beer…