Months away: creating & living my best memories

It’s been 4 months again and I’m finally back!

I have SO much to tell, to write about. It’s been such crazy, amazing months!

I met beautiful places and this city I live in that I always considered a bit mine, I met such wonderful people, I walked A LOT and I learned so much!

During this time, I made an extra three-times-per-week German class (which I absolutely LOVED) next to the main campus, I started ballet in October (and I can feel I’m getting stronger every class and I am SO happy to be able to be learning and dancing – I’m doing 4 classes per week – three usual classes and one conditioning and barre-terre class). ALSO, I did a Bollywood workshop and it was sooooo nice! I was a volunteer twice (The first time at an Opera project and the second during a 7 week Bienal of Contemporary Art) and loved the experience. I and my family played the bells in Sé Nova Monastery and was so incredibly nice! Thanks o part of the work of an artist of the art exhibition I was volunteering on.

I was in doubt about my course in the beginning, but now I can say I chose a subject I love to study and I have thousands of different plans for the future, which include a career in this area, on my ballet brand Merci, and dance-related projects, as well as much other stuff. Future planning.

My family came to visit me during the holidays and it was the best, even that I had to study in the meantime because I was going to have a super big exam ( and they haven’t finished yet – not sure if they ever will or it’s just a myth…) but we could visit and know a bit more about Portugal: Porto, Lisbon, Cascais, Sintra, Fátima, Aveiro and, of course, Coimbra. It was the best to have them with me and it was the worst to say goodbye, miss them a lot, but we always in touch.

I will add the details later or mix in the next stories because it’s way too much to write in one post, but I’m glad to be back and ready for this new year and the new semester.

(Also, I’m planning to do the 6th grade RAD exam – really looking forward to it!)


Arissa Ayumi

Summer 1 Arissa 0

Greetings from a tropical land, where everything melts during this 32 ºC Sunday. A place that can pretty much be compared to Dalí’s melting things inside his paintings.

I woke up at 9 and something today, had a late lunch, went to the local market, where I could catch some sun and vit. D, with my dad and brother and we were back in one hour so I could help my mom with her cake delivery.

She found some photo albums from her teenage years and also from the time she lived in Japan with my aunt, it was really, really nice seeing those! She cleaned them and we now storage them properly.

We bought pastéis and Cane broths in the local market, which I would definitely recommend you to buy and have if you come to São Paulo. That’s one of our traditions. I didn’t really want to eat those on lunch, though, because I felt like today’s too hot to have any oiled thing, like cheese (mine was pizza flavoured), but when lunch time came, it was really delicious.

I had a good, but lazy afternoon. I spent it reading My Life from Isadora Duncan, the great modern dancer, she doesn’t consider herself as a writer, but it has a nice, fluid writing. I liking to read it and know her story, although she also considers herself as “an enemy of the ballet” because she doesn’t like it. My thoughts to these sentences are always “How?! Why?!”.

The only reasonable food to eat today is ice cream and açai, and I just served myself a little box of açai. The news said a cold front is coming this week and I’m reaaaaally looking forward to it. I can’t melt anymore, I also love to do ballet classes while it’s cold, it feels endlessly better and I’m not all lazy, sweating and dying all time.

We had pointe shoes class Thursday, at Praça das Artes, and the teacher said, in the middle of the class, she was going to take some girls and transfer them to Beginner 1 or 2 because they couldn’t follow the class yet. I seriously thought I was going to be one of them. I was already pushing myself but after this announcement, I started being 500% in all exercises and corrections.

My friend and later my other teacher said I clearly didn’t need to be transferred to the beginner classes, but my brain always says the opposite to me, mainly because I had a poor performance during barre exercises, because of my weak feet. Well, I wasn’t one of the girls and I can continue my classes on Intermediate 2. I even talked to my teacher and she said all her students can come to whenever classes she gives, so I’ll start to be there every day, starting tomorrow.

I’m going to try to write more often and post some pictures too because I don’t like how my posts look without any photos to illustrate my life and visions, the place where I’ve been.

Hope you have a beautiful week!


Arissa Ayumi



Hard work always pays off

I don’t really know why I haven’t used these photos here. They are from a photoshoot I did in the first semester of this year in Paranapiacaba, a small ancient town here in São Paulo. I guess I was getting used to them. I have some others that I liked.

I have to start saying that I had a wonderful evening ballet class. One of those that you can see hard work is really paying off. 

(My legs and glutes muscles are all dead though. Probably means that I worked correctly on them, right?)

I actually enjoyed and danced on center today, and could follow the barre without being a bit lost, I understood the exercises and used then in a way to actually train my muscles, feet, arabesque, legs and so on. It was great!

About my morning, it was spent in swimming class, but mostly in the project I’m working on. My mom and I spent about 3 hours on it. I’m already so excited to start it soon! 

I had a great time today! This week is going to be a full and different one.

Hope you have a nice time.


Arissa Ayumi

Pas de deux 

Hi there!

Today is cold, now it’s 17:15 (5 pm) and we have about 26 ºC, but in the morning it was freezing cold, about 14 ºC.

It’s more difficult to me to wake up on cold days and today I set the alarm to 7:00, then 7:05 and so on, until 7:35, when I decided that I was going to definitely get up. Then I fall asleep! When I woke up was 8:06, and I had pas de deux class at 9:00!

I rushed to do breakfast, but we usually do natural orange juice, and it takes eight oranges and a lot of time. My mom was already awake, but she couldn’t help because she needed to go to the atelier and finish an order, so dad helped. Anyway, I had breakfast and rushed to ballet 9:05, what’s awful, because I need 10-15 min of warm up to be able to do a good class.

We had rehersal today of the Caterpilla’s pas de deux. Actually, my friend is going to be the Caterpillar in my school’s show Alice Adventures in Wonderland (I’m the March Hare), but we all are learning in case we need to switch. It was my first pas de deux class after surgery and it felt great! (Even I was late).

After that, I went to help mom and then went to the gym by walk with my dad and brother. I did one and half hour workout/stretch and then we returned. I went to the atelier to help again and my mother and I came back home to have lunch. We were starving!

Now I’m sewing another pair of pointe shoes and will probably watch some Netflix. I’m feeling so tired.

Have a great afternoon!

Lots of love,

Arissa Ayumi xx

Born and raised in a japanese offspring family. What does it look like?

(In the picture, me traning the kanji ‘ai’  (means love) and some japanese objects such as a kokeshi, a Buddha Hello Kitty, a Daruma, a Minnie from Tokyo and a japanese-portuguese dictionary)

Japan is present in everything in my life since always.

Starting with my name. I have three japanese names: my first and middle name and one of my last name, the last last one is portuguese (or italian, I’m not sure). My japanese side comes from my mother’s family and it’s the nearest offspring I have and I’ve always been extremely proud of having japanese blood and the possibillity to live a bit of this wonderful culture.

Let me tell you a bit of our story: when first japanese came to Brazil in 1908 and then to the other decades, they knew nothing about portuguese language and this new and different culture we had here, so they united into their community. Japanese community was pretty closed by some years ago and some famillies didn’t even let their sons and daughters to marry brazilians, or people from any other culture! We can them Gaijin – which means Foreigner, and I know some friends which their famillies still practice this “closeness” until nowadays.

That was part of my grandmother’s story. Children raised in japanese families call them Obatian, but my grandmother’s never taught us that way, so we used to call her just Granny. My grandpa is descendentes of french and dutch, born and raised in Brazil, and he fell in love with my grandma (japanese, also born and raised in Brazil), they got married, but my grandgrandmother always prohibited that and she didn’t supported my grandma for many and many years in her marriage because of my grandpa descendence. He was not japanese.

  •  I live in a japanese neighborhood, most people who live here come or is descendent of Okinawa, the Hawaii of Japan, an Island in the South of Japan. I am not from Okinawa, but from Akita and Kobe. However, I love to live here. We have a kaikan a few blocks away from home and every year, at the second semester, we have Okinawa Festival, a huge two days party to celebrate Okinawa culture. There are typical food, shows, music, dance, martial arts (I even presented for four years in a row, when I was in Karate class – miss it).

But how is to grow up surrounded by this culture? First of all, some of the words we (me, my brother, cousins and part of the japanese community living abroad) learn as a child are in japanese. We eat Gohan (rice) and learn the difference between it and the brazilian one (gohan is always better) or lamen, tempuras, guiosa, udon, etc, we sleep in our soft makuras (pillows – actually, I have a story about that too, but will tell later) and some of us have futons (enormous, warm and cozy blankets). To turn on the TV, we need to find the  rimokon (remote control) – of course – to watch Doraemon, Anpaman, Pokémon and all that japanese programs that were part of our childhood.

And we never (never) wear shoes at home, it’s a dirty and unhealthy practice to us, so we always use only socks, suripas, flipflops or nothing at all, the rule is to never let this dirty coming from street to infiltrate our houses.

To grow up as part of a japanese family is to hear stories about your relatives, grandparents or parents about Japan, the snow, the sakuras, the trips to Mont Fuji or to the ski center, about their baitos (jobs) in factories as dekasseguis, the amazing  100¥ stores and the Tokyo Disneyland. Is to hear japanese music since you are a baby and to know how to sing them even when you have no clue what any of these words mean (all time). Is to dream to visit this country and having the most wonderful feelings when you finally discover the land where your ancestors came from – guess what? Is better than your dreams! (Yes! I visited Japan once and it was one of the most wonderful places I’ve ever been! Will tell more about in another post) It’s the most wonderful place and it worth every single day you spent thinking about it.

I will tell some of these stories over time, in new posts. Meanwhile, thank you for reading a bit of my life! (I’ll also upload some photos to this post later)

Hope you have a great day!

Love from me to you,

Arissa Ayumi



How to deal with the constant struggle in dance and steps to stop struggling

Before we start, let me tell you something: My first contact with ballet was with 3/4 years old, then 5 and at 7 I officially entered a huge ballet school. I loved ballet so hard that when the class was finished I couldn’t wait until the next one. I had the passion, the time, the age, the body. I spend six years there until I realize I wasn’t learning nothing. Nothing. I changed to a better Studio, and they were professionals, so I realize how much time I lost, I knew no steps names, no technique, nothing. I was 15 by that time (I’m 18 today).

Meanwhile a lot was in my mind, I felt terrible for struggling with ballet in every single aspect, I had two tests a week in the school plus afternoon classes once a week, there was a lot going on. To summarise everything, I decided to stop ballet because I couldn’t see a future on it and I felt extremely disapointed with myself and the old school. Then a friend of mine told me there was a great teacher in a art school near home and after two months I stopped I was back to ballet, practically in level zero again. I was restarting ballet at 16. You can imagine how much I still struggled and struggle everyday. So, Yes, I know what I am talking about, trust me. I learned to deal with it and I wanted every single person in the world to know they are not alone.


So, I’ll make a list:

I. Calm down

By that point, you probably suspect you are not the best, you feel terrible and appears that everybody can improve at least in something, but not you. We all have been there. Don’t stress about that, it’s perfectly normal and even if you can’t see it, if you are worried enough and caring enough to work hard on your dreams, it maybe don’t show today, but improvement will come with time and hard work. Give yourself some time to see it.

II. Don’t give up on your first disappointment

Dancers may be a little more perfecctionists in their jobs than the others, specially talking about technique and our bodies. We all have bad days; days when don’t turn as much as we want, days in suck in class, times when we seen to not being aswering the way we need, but, hey, it’s one day, and maybe it’s not even near to good today, but tomorrow is another story and also all the other days, better times are coming! Inspire yourself with some videos, give yourself some time to relax, listen to music, try to give some time to your mind, stretch a bit, you’ll feel better in the other day.

III. You are your only limit!

Human bodies have endless capacities and we all have potential, so, if you want to achieve great flexibility, if you want to conquer that scorpion/needle/scorpion/oversplit you need to word hard, nothing comes easy in this dance life. Some bodies are not as flexible as others, some people have a good natural back flexibility (unfortunately, not my case), or just are naturally flexibles and other struggle in their splits. In all this cases we have a common thing: if you want it, you need to workout, to stretch and to be determined. Stop procrastinating and go reach your dreams!


                                                                                                      (Image from Pinterest)

IV. Not because everybody does it it’s right

Sometime ago, I was in stretch class and me and all my friends were struggling so hard to do the exercises that I decided to change myself and start to create a stretch schedule and follow it every day. In the other class, I could do the exercises in a much easier way and without die before the end of the class, in the other hand, my friends were still dying in the half of the time. If I had continued doing what they were doing (using their time to school, social media, a normal life without take a bit of time to focus in ballet)I probably was going to be the same, and no change was going to be visible. A quote I love tells that “sucess is not for the lazy.”

V. Don’t care so much about age

Yes, age is important to be a professional ballerina and they say yonger you start, better it is, however it’s always possible. Misty Copeland started ballet at 13, considered late to a ballet start, and she became a star, one of the most beautiful ballerinas nowadays. I am not a professional ballerina – and even if it hurts me to the soul – I probably won’t works as a ballerina, but I am dancing and learning and as long I can do it I am happy. A lot of ballet students fight agaisnt time and still late, they actually become ballerinas, you can always work and believe you can until you do it! Carry on!

VI. Yes, you can!

It’s important to keep motivating yourself, because the gold come to hard workers. Ballet isn’t a fair or easy world, but it is rewarding to these who keep themselves fighting. Work, search, research, workout, stretch, believe, it will all be worth it in the end.

Hope this helped in some way, if you need or want to talk about it or make any questions, I am right here, contact me through the comments.

La réussite, ce n'est pas toujours la partie visible...:

                                                                                                   (Image from Pinterest)

Good luck!

Arissa Ayumi


Park time


One of the things I love the most is spending time in nature, being in places with trees, grass, birds and no cellphone (except for photos) and this just make me so happy!

Today I had swimming class and right after that, mom and I went to the park in the next neighborhood and it was the best decision. I already told that we are in winter now, but today was specially hot (no surprise, since we are in Brazil), sunny and with the endless blue sky. We walked through the whole park and them layed down in the grass in a towel we had.

Both of us like having exercises and them I had my time stretching – legs, back, arabesques, scorpion and using SuperiorStretch band – as mother was doing some “gym” exercises.

Although it’s supposed to be colder, you can see by my clothes that we are not having a proper winter here. It was probably something around 22 ºC degrees and super nice weather. The Sakuras flowers are opening here and they look so beautiful! One of the most beautiful flowers for me (besides Camélias).

I tried my best in the last picture, but clearly my hips and en dehors are not working well – let’s just ignore that this time.

It was a great day and I really hope to be able to have more time spent with nature.

Pss- In a week I’ll be doing my surgery!

Good night!

Arissa Ayumi