Pop singer-songwriter, musician, visual artist Kira Takei
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Kira Takei

High School Graduation

Kira Takei high school graduation

It’s crazy to think about this chapter of life coming to an end. High school has taught me so much, and I’ve grown immensely in the past 4 years.

High school looked different for me, as I was homeschooled by my mom from 3rd grade to around Sophomore year, and I completed my education on online school. With that, my graduation will look a little different too. It was set in my backyard, with beautifully set tables for all the guests who came to my ceremony. My Mom and my Aunt Lisa did a beautiful job in planning, and creating such a beautiful setting - there were color palettes, accent textures, flowers, lights, etc. I am so thankful for their love and passion in creating such a special day for me. (I helped too of course, but just in setting up the vision instead of creating it.) The ceremony consisted of me walking with my parents from my house to my backyard where the guests were seated, commencing the graduation process, moving my tassel, and the celebration began. After the ceremony, my friends began to arrive and there were laughs, dance battles, snacks, smiles, and photos late into the night. It meant so much to me to see everyone I loved in the same space, and by the end of the night my heart felt so full.

Graduating high school is such a privilege, and I feel so blessed to do so with a supportive family and many supportive friends. Looking back, there were moments where I thought going to a public high school would have made my experience ‘better’, as on social media I saw all I was ‘missing out’ on; parties, friend study groups, football games, assemblies, etc., but knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t have done high school any other way. I was allowed time with my family, time to dive into and learn about what I love, I learned how to manage and build my own schedule, I learned how much I love my own company, I learned how I learn. There were so many things I’ve come to understand that I wouldn’t have if I attended public high school. I am so thankful for my education, and the way my high school journey played out.

Graduation feels so, so bittersweet. It feels like it all went so fast, but I also feel like I am SO ready for what this upcoming year has to offer. I trust I am on the journey right for me, and I continue to explore it every day. I am so thankful for all the people who made my high school experience - I am forever in debt.

Thank you so much for reading this blog post! I am continuously grateful for all your love and support! Keep your eye out… exciting things are coming soon! I’m sending love to you all!

April 2023 favorites!

As we close on another month, I want to share some of my April ‘favorites’!

Favorite album: ‘Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd?’ by Lana Del Rey - as a big Lana Del Rey fan, I think this is one of my favorite Lana albums! I feel it’s the most raw, authentic, and real she’s gotten… Most times she writes in terms of a story or character, but songs from this album seem to be based on things that have happened in her personal life. The emotion is so powerful. I am so thankful for songwriters like her.

Favorite Lyric(s): (From ‘Fingertips’ by Lana del Rey)

To get to you, save you, if I take my life
Find your astral body, put it into my arms
Give you two seconds to cry
Take you home, I, I'll give you a blanket
Your spirit can sit and watch TV by my side

'Cause, baby, I
Ran through a time when I felt you were doing it

I couldn't handle it, I was in Monaco
I couldn't hear what they said on the telephone
I had to sing for the prince in two hours
Sat in the shower
Gave myself two seconds to cry

It's a shame that we die

These words feel like shimmering light through a window - so effortless and beautiful. Her words are so real and heavy. The theme of the cycle of life has been very prevalent in 2022/23 for me, and finding songs that communicate the words that I can’t feels like a relief. I highly suggest checking out her newest album - it’s a hard listen, but so powerful.

Jewelry: There’s something about finding pieces that feel like you. I recently bought 5 new rings, and I feel so lifted and ‘complete’ when I wear them. They feel almost like makeup - extending your natural traits and beauty. I bought my rings (and some other pieces) from a website called ‘Evry Jewels’ - they have great customer service, quality of items, and always run different discounts! I highly suggest checking them out! https://evryjewels.com/

New additions to bedtime ritual: After washing my face, brushing my teeth, and changing into PJs, I use an Essential Oil Mist from Bath & Body Works called ‘Lavender & Iris’ and spray it on my pillow and sheets before crawling in. After I’m in my bed, I turn on my heating blanket that lays on top of my regular blanket and enjoy the calming smells and warm bed. My bedtime routine is my favorite time of the day - I love winding down, and being able to have some time by yourself in a calm environment. Developing a ritual has helped my body know it’s time to go to sleep, and helps me feel more well rested. Sleep is so important!

Favorite song to sing: Whether i’m in my car, the shower, my room, or cooking, there’s a few songs I keep on rotation that I like to learn how to sing. My recent favorites I’ve been working on are ‘Cherry Blossom’ by Lana Del Rey, ‘Big Eyes’ by Matt Corby, ‘TV’ by Billie Eilish, and ‘Normal F*cking Rockwell’ by Lana Del Rey. Finding time to do what you love just for fun is so important in keeping an open relationship to it - it’s so fun singing just to sing. It feels freeing, and puts so much less stress on it being ‘successful’ or sounding ‘good’.


Those are a few of my ‘favorites’ from April! Be sure to stay tuned, exciting things are coming soon! Thank you all for your love and support always. I’m sending love and good energy!!!

Juggling high school, dance, music, mental health!

Kira Takei studio vocal

Hello everyone!

Today’s blog post will be centered around juggling high school, dance, music, and mental health.

There’s no doubt that teenagers have a lot going on, especially in recent years - it’s hard to find time to turn off while you’re surrounded by school, friends, family, relationships, jobs, social media and extracurriculars all the time. And while I don’t attend traditional school, I am definitely still a teenager.

I feel like the end of last year was when I finally understood how I can best balance everything going on in my life. I found that being organized, and letting go of things that no longer served or supported me helped me feel more prepared and present in my many roles. I’ve continued to practice gratitude and appreciation as well - for example, if I had a bad day then I come into the dance studio, I try to remember how thankful I am to be here, and how lucky I am to have such amazing teachers. Practicing gratitude has really helped me feel less overwhelmed, irritated, and frustrated in relation to my schedule. I’ve let go of a lot of social media (I only have Instagram now), and the whole mentality that comes with it - Snapchat and Tiktok culture I realized were very toxic for me, and even now at times I need to delete Instagram until I can check in with myself again. Social media took up a lot of my mental space that is now clear and open to work on other things that hold more value to me.

A couple morals of mine are everyone deserves to know they’re loved, and showing up 110%. I love being the person to help others feel heard, loved, and seen - I’ve found so much joy and beauty in being an unconditional friend. It’s hard at times, and it has taken practice not to take non-reciprocated conversations/moments/relationships to heart, but by practicing gratitude it helps me remember the importance in holding that space for others. By showing up 110%, It makes me feel more involved and committed to what I’m doing, and helps me learn even more about it. By really diving into whatever it may be; a favor, the dishes, a conversation, a dance piece, a lyric, I learn so much more about what it can offer me and teach me. I also believe that creating a strong work ethic will ultimately serve you more than relying on natural talent. That can be applied in friendships, relationships, jobs, or extracurriculars. Even if the hard work goes unseen by peers or mentors, I know it doesn’t matter because I see it, and it’s a standard I hold myself to. Being committed, kind, hard working, and present takes some work, but will never do you harm.

Because of all the opportunities in my life, and really working on who I am in relationship to them, it can get pretty tiring and draining. Finding things I like to do that open up conversation to myself have helped significantly in keeping my mental space clear - things like painting, cleaning, running, stretching, and watching movies. The relationship you have with yourself is the most important relationship you’ll ever have. Finding ways to work on that relationship and conversate with yourself will help you discover more about who you are.

Those are a few things I’ve practiced and am working on in order to live a balanced life. :) Like I said, being in high school / a young adult is hard by default, but I feel through these things I’ve been able to be more open for all life has to offer me. I hope you all are safe and healthy! I’m always sending love!!

Kira's solo dance for this season



Hello!

In my last blog post, I shared a bit about how dance conventions run, and in this one, I want to share a bit more about a part of it - my solo! My solo this season is self-choreographed, and has had many changes, versions, and edits done to it. I thought I could share the process behind choreographing a self-performed solo, and all the things that have happened to get it to where it is today!

The process began by selecting music. I had an idea of the style of dance I wanted to do (contemporary), so, I looked for songs that moved and inspired me. I had come across one that I really liked, and I even started choreographing to it - however, after the process continued for a bit, I no longer resonated with the song, and it didn’t feel quite right. The search for a song continued.

Many Youtube music rabbit holes later, I found the perfect song. It inspired me so much, and told a story I was moved by. I quickly got to choreographing.

(Here is the song! https://youtu.be/HNw6GYRZ040 - ‘Witching Hour’ by the Echo Collective)

Choreographing was fun, confusing, frustrating, and very educational. I learned a lot about how I create, and the mental preparation that goes into choreographing. As I had mentioned earlier, there were many, many versions of my solo - there are parts that have stayed the same since day 1, and others that are still being changed today. It’s nice to know because it’s mine, I can change it if something feels better, or makes more sense. I drew inspiration from many things for this solo - colors, memories, feelings, stories… It was so cool working with so many possibilities. As I was working, the title ‘Inflection Point’ came to me - In math/business, it refers to a point where significant change occurs. It felt very fitting for this piece’s intention and emotion, so I stuck with that as its title.

Once the choreography was finished I worked with one of my teachers, Elissa Edwards, weekly to clean it, edit some things, add some things, and go over intention and purpose. I’ve learned how important it can be to gain a second opinion, or even just have a second set of eyes working with you. It’s sometimes difficult for an artist to step back and look at their work objectively, so I’m grateful to have had someone to help me out in that sense.

The process of cleaning and refining continued, before and between competitions as well. I had performed my solo at a competition in January, and looking back at it compared to the most recent competition, it’s safe to say it was in its early stages of life. (Which is probably what i’ll say at the next competition too! It’s always growing and evolving…)

At the most recent competition/convention we went to, 24/Seven, I was so nervous to do my solo. There were so many incredibly talented artists there, and I was so scared to showcase my dance abilities, as well as choreography! I remember standing behind the wings, taking deep breaths, and completely forgetting how my solo started. I shook it out, and was reminded to trust myself - I've worked so hard on this solo, and I’m so happy with the way it has grown.

After I performed it, I felt solid. I feel like it was the best time I’ve ever done it. I was able to relax, until I remembered awards. And while awards are not the reason I dance, they’re always a little nerve wracking. As they announced the overall placements, I was getting so nervous. Eventually, my number was called for 3rd place, and I couldn't have been happier. I cried in my hotel room because I was just so proud of myself. Like I said, awards are not the reason I dance, and they really don’t mean much - but in times where you do get that recognition, it feels so good. That competition was hard. I walked out of it with a proud heart, and happy soul.

I hope that explained a bit about the process behind creating and performing a solo! I am so excited to do my solo again at the next (and last) competition/convention. The link above is my solo at 24/Seven - I hope you enjoy it!

Thank you for reading, and thank you for your love and support always! :)

Spring Dance Conventions

Kira Spring dance conventions

Happy Spring everyone! 

As you may or may not know, a part of my dance world is attending dance conventions! In this blog post, I would love to share a look into that side of my life….

Dance conventions are a weekend (Fri-Sun) long event, filled with performance, auditions, and classes. A typical dance convention schedule will look something like this: 

Friday:
(The titles Petite/Mini/Junior/Teen/Senior are divided up by age!) 
•Starting at around 7/8am: Mini and Junior Solos/Duets/Trios Competition

•(Awards for Mini/Junior Solos) 

•Petite/Mini/Junior Group Dances Competition 

•(Awards for Petite/Mini/Junior Dances) 

•Teen Solo/Duets/Trios Competition 

•(Awards for Teen Solos/Duets/Trios) 

•Senior Solo/Duets/Trios Competition 

•Around 10-11pm: (Awards for Senior Solos/Duets/Trios)


Saturday: 
•Starting at around 7/8am: convention classes - classes take place in big hotel/convention center ballrooms, with a stage/microphone/speakers where the teachers/assistants dance. About halfway in between classes there is an hour/or 45 min lunch break. Convention classrooms are also divided by age, using the same titles (Petite, Mini, Junior, Teen, Senior). 

•Conventions classes end around 2/3pm, and the Teen/Senior group dance competition begins. 

•Around 11pm-12am: (Awards for Teen/Senior group dances) 


Sunday: 
•Starting at around 7/8am: convention classes, and on Sunday is typically the Senior room audition.

•Here is the audition explained: 


•What are we auditioning for? At Regional competitions, you are auditioning for eligibility to compete at that convention’s Nationals, as well as a full scholarship to next year's Regional convention. 

•In Ballet class on Saturday, we learn a combo that is then used in addition to a combo we learn during a class on Sunday that we audition with.

•During convention classes and auditions, we have numbers on our clothes that are used to help out in the audition/class process. 

•To begin, all numbers in the room are divided into groups, and will ‘go on the floor’ to perform the combo, then line up in a straight line as the teachers discuss and write down numbers they wish to see for a callback. This will continue until all groups have gone. 

•After all groups have gone, there will be a callback to perform the Ballet combo we learned the day before. The same process of calling out a few groups/standing in a straight line will happen until all Ballet callbacks are finished. 

•Then, there is one more round of callbacks where we perform the 1st audition combo again. 

•Finally, they will call out numbers who receive the ‘convention audition finalist’ title. The winners of the audition scholarship will be announced at a closing show after convention classes are finished. 


•Around 2pm: Convention classes finish, and the closing show begins. The closing show typically consists of scholarship winner announcements, guest performers, and studios performing a convention selected dance to showcase (meaning, the convention will select one dance that competed Saturday night to perform at the closing show again). Which means, we all need to get into hair, costume, and makeup again. 

•The closing show finishes around 3pm-4pm, and that is the end of the dance convention weekend.



So… dance conventions are a lot. They are filled with so much - performance, nerves, learning, competing, very little sleep… but they are also filled with laughter, joy, memories, and community. Dance convention weekends go by so fast (yet so slow), and I always try to take it all in. The class of 2023 only has one Regional convention left… It’s crazy to think about! 

Thank you so much for tuning into this part of my world - I have more dance related content coming soon, so be sure to keep watch! Dance conventions are a beautiful opportunity to grow, learn, and push yourself, and I strongly suggest going for it if you have any interest in doing so! 

I hope you all have a lovely start to Spring! :)