Yuka dancing at Belasia Fair 2014

© Jan Duchau



Yuka was born and raised in Japan. She started dancing Modern Jazz in high school. She then went to a university in Brighton (UK) where she obtained a bachelor in Linguistics. It was also where she danced Salsa and other Latin dances with her friends. In September 2006, she took up lessons in Middle Eastern Dance with Salwa in Brussels, which soon became more than a hobby for her. She performed in Salwa's  troop at various events, notably as an opening act of Fadel Chaker's concert at Tour&Taxi, Baladi Festival in Amsterdam, Dance4Children at Bozar. She also took workshops and lessons of world famous dancers such as Aziza (Canada), Jillina (US), Tamalyn Dallal (US), Serap Su (Turkey), as well as of talented Belgian dancers, Maëlle and Fédra and Maya.

In summer 2009, Yuka followed a week-long Bollywood workshop given by Maya Sapera - it was a real eye opener and came to hold a fascination for her - she has not stopped following Maya's training since. She joined Masala Dance, Maya's student dance group, and danced at school recitals and various private and community events (Deewali and Holi festivals). In 2013, she started dancing with GoriKa dance, and performed at Couleur Café (2013), Belgium's Got Talent (2013, as one of the back dancers of Yamuna), Belgium Meets Bollywood (Europalia India 2014), Brussel Danst! (2014), and most recently at 8th contest "Bellydancer of the World" in Duisburg (1st prize Group Bollywood & Folklore). Probably due to her Asian origins, Yuka has a special affinity with Indian dances and feels invigorated by the energy and the synergy of dancing in the group, Maya Sapera Dance Company.

Yuka, Maki & Anna

Yuka also learns Indian classical dances; she has followed Bharatanatyam lessons with Maya and workshops with Shijith Nambiar.  She dreamed of an extensive Kathak formation, which came true last year with the workshop given by Maya's guru Shila Mehta and frequent lessons by Maya, and she intends to continue pursuing her dream of dancing Kathak under Maya's guidance.

Yuka is married to a Greek-Belgian, wonderfully supportive husband. They have two daughters, who both, not surprisingly, love dancing. They have taken private lessons in Baratanayam and Bollywood with Maya. Anna, her youngest daughter, has also started learning Kathak in 2014.