You’re only as old as you feel.

Starting as an uncoordinated youth who shunned athletics, it’s nothing short of inspiring to see how our reporter Mr. Sato began pole dancing in his 40s and continuously improved his art and himself. Now, six years since starting, he received his first-ever invitation to be a guest performer.

The invitation was for the Aerial Dance Hachinohe showcase in Hachinohe City, Aomori Prefecture. The venue was pretty far north of Mr. Sato’s apartment in Tokyo, but he was too excited by the opportunity to say no so he hopped on the bullet train and went.

On the train ride, he thought in awe that if he had told his teenage self that he would one day be asked to perform at a dance recital he never would have believed it.

Two hours and 30 minutes later, he arrived at Hachinohe Station. It was noticeably colder than Tokyo by about five degrees but his heart was racing so much he could barely feel the chill.

He made his way to Aerial Studio Hachinohe the day before the show because he was told he could attend a workshop and take some time to get used to the studio if he wanted.

Mr. Sato was blown away by how big the place was. In Tokyo, space is very limited so even the bigger studios are either really tall but narrow or really wide but with a low ceiling. This place was both tall and wide and the chance to dance in such a place totally wiped away his fatigue from the long train ride.

Even better, it had remote-controlled lighting and killer little JBL speakers that pumped out crisp bass. Mr. Sato asked his contact at the studio, Mr. Osawa, if he could get some practice in before the show. Mr. Osawa said it was OK and that he’d be heading out for the next hour or two on business, so Mr. Sato could have the whole place to himself.

Our reporter’s eyes widened at the suggestion…

Mr. Sato: “Woooo Hoooo!”

Like a kid in a candy store, he made full use of the facilities and danced his heart out. And with the added benefit of privacy, he decided to really let loose and popped in the song “Kickback” by Kenshi Yonezu which is also the opening theme song for the anime Chainsaw Man.

As the rapid beat pulsed from the speakers, Mr. Sato kicked things into high gear…





> Riiiiiiiiip!!! <

 ̄Y^Y^Y^Y^Y^Y^ ̄

Mr. Sato’s soft-shoe was rudely interrupted by a tearing sensation in his lower right leg, accompanied by searing pain.

Mr. Sato: “Argh! My leg!”

Mr. Sato: “Mr. Yonezu! What have you done?!”

Mr. Sato thought that the song had been so cool that it broke his leg. However, upon more careful consideration he knew better than to blame the award-winning singer-songwriter. He was 48 and should have been more aware of his own physical limitations.

This didn’t bode well for his performance the next day, but Mr. Sato decided to take it easy for a while and keep an eye on his leg before bringing it up to the event staff.

As luck would have it, while his leg still hurt, Mr. Sato found that if he wrapped it tightly then the pain was bearable. He wrapped it in a bandage and added a leg band for further support. He wouldn’t be able to fly around at peak performance, but he was sure he could work with it.

It had been a close call, but he was able to get through the workshop and performance without a problem. In fact, watching him in action, you’d never even know he was injured.

On his way back to Tokyo, Mr. Sato contemplated this valuable lesson he learned. It’s great to keep active as you get older, but equally important to know the limitations that come with age and not get carried away.

That being said, Mr. Yonezu really should consider putting an upper-age-limit warning sticker on his songs. It’s dangerously catchy stuff.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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