Myname is Miya; born in the US and raised in Japan. I started off my dance journey as a cheerleader when I was little. Then got into hip-hop around 5th grade. Most of my dance skills and journey took place in Japan. I came to LA to get better opportunities and expand myself to the dance industry.
Dance Mogul Exclusive Interview…
Dance Mogul: When did you develop a love for dance?
Miya Onaga: Since I was little, my family has loved music. They would always sing and dance, and I loved being around them. Every time I got a chance when music played, it made me feel thrilled and joyful inside. So I have always had a love for dancing! I also feel like dance brings out and shows me a different side of myself, which I also love.
Dance Mogul: How did you develop a work ethic to be progressive and successful?
Miya Onaga: If you love something, you will always have time for it. So for me, although I work two jobs and work over 12 hours a day, I still always find space/time to dance. I think it’s more of a discipline. People think you need motivation for everything, which is the case sometimes, but if you continue to do something with goals and discipline and love what you do, your discipline will turn into motivation. Also, being progressive and successful is different for everyone. I don’t think I’m at the place where I want to be in dance to call myself successful yet, but I know as I’m slowly reaching my goals for my success, I will continue to enjoy my progress. Trust yourself and keep promises to yourself and keep them. Have boundaries and always make room for growth! Don’t get too comfortable and try new things.
Dance Mogul: Did you have family support?
Miya Onaga: Yes! My family supports me, and I am thankful for that. They have always supported my videos and events I go to. Especially my mom. She has been with me since day one and always told me to do what I love. She always told me to take new chances and experience many things in life, it’s your life, and I will support you in whatever decision I make as long as you’re happy. I genuinely look up to my mom and will always appreciate her support.
Dance Mogul: When did you realize you could be a professional?
Miya Onaga: I don’t think there was a specific moment I realized that I could be professional, but as I continued to dance and enjoy every moment, that’s when I felt like I wanted to do it professionally. As I saw myself grow and began to be on bigger stages, that’s when I knew I wanted to take dance seriously.
Dance Mogul: What have been some of your most memorable dance moments?
Miya Onaga: I would say that one of them was when I won my first dance battle. I was in sixth grade, and some of my friends from the studio I was going to at the time saw potential in me and wanted me to enter a dance battle, but I never had the confidence to enter. Then one day, they told me they had already made an entry for me. So that has pushed me to go the battle. Although I was nervous and full of fear, I ended up getting third place for that season. I was amazed by my capability, and then came the end-of-the-year championship, and I ended up winning 1st place in my whole category. I was full of emotions and thankful for my friends who pushed me out there. I will never forget that feeling of finding a new version of myself and that memory. There are much more memories like dance tours, events, and classes, but I think the dancers and connections you make on the way make each memory more memorable.
Dance Mogul: How did you survive the pandemic and overall day-to-day of 2020?
Miya Onaga: Honestly, 2020 was a pretty tough year. It was the year I moved to LA. Within two weeks, that’s when the pandemic started. I was new to LA and didn’t know many people, and all the studios closed up. I did take some video Zoom classes, but the vibe and energy are just different. Who knew that a one-month thing would turn into two years? I often considered returning home, but I knew it would be worth the wait if I pushed through this. So during the pandemic decided to save up a lot of money and be prepared when everything got back to normal. I worked almost every day and saved my money. I think that was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Although it takes time, you can have enough time to spend on yourself. I was proud of myself. Being a dancer and trying to make a living, you are not always guaranteed the same monthly income, and it’s tough to balance out being stable. I feel like that is a reality about dance; people never talk about and that needs to be talked about more. PEOPLE SHOULD GIVE more credit to dancers and that notion ensures they are paid on time and treated fairly.
Dance Mogul: How has 2020 effective your artistic decisions and progress?
Miya Onaga: It made me appreciate things more. I came to LA ready to dance and make connections, but as the pandemic came, everything ultimately changed. I no longer got to move how I wanted to, and especially with all the studios closing, it slows down your process. It’s like the things we got to normally suddenly became special and eye-opening. It did hold me back a bit on dance, and I focused more on picking my feet up and adapting to the environment because I was still unfamiliar with LA. Although it was still a tough time looking back at 2020, it was such a good lesson for me, and without that, I wouldn’t be the dancer I am today.
Dance Mogul: What advice do you have for all artists as they return to normalcy?
Miya Onaga: Always have a good mindset/healthy mental health!
No matter how talented or good-looking you might be, you will never be happy without good mental health. Everyone has their journey and progress, so please be patient with yourself and enjoy the process. Never change for anyone, and keep pushing through because, trust me, hard work always pays off, and your time will come. 🙂
Dance Mogul: What would you like your legacy with dance to look like 20 years from now?
Miya Onaga: I genuinely hope I inspire as many people as possible through my dancing, energy, and voice. I want to be on bigger stages and set higher goals. A more elevated version of myself and expanding dance movement and knowledge. I hope to dance no matter what age I am.
Dance Mogul: Is there anyone you’d like to thank for helping you on your journey?
Miya Onaga: I have sooo many! Friends, family, and teachers I would love to thank. I’d say, my mom, for sure. As I said, she had been there with me since day one and supported me. Paying for dance class when I was young so I could do something I was passionate about, and she always gave me advice about life. I’d say this journey wouldn’t be complete without her. Not only that, I honestly would like to thank myself as well for pushing through the hard days and never giving up. I’m proud of myself and excited to see what the future holds.