Santa, an artist living in China and born in Japan, is celebrating his 25th birthday on March 11th, 2023. His fans from all over the world have been expressing their hearty wishes and passions. After arriving in China in 2021, he won the second prize in the reality show Chuang2021 and joined INTO1. During this period, relying on his solid skills, expertise in street dancing, and his social influence, he became an ambassador carrying the mission of advancing international cultural exchanges and promoting street dance spirits.
SANTA was born in Nagoya, Japan, on March 11th, 1998. He has become a dancer, choreographer, singer, and member of INTO1, an international singing and dance group.
In 2015, at 17, Santa broke the record and became the youngest-ever winner of the world dance competition STREET DANCE KEMP EUROPE.
In his first 20-year life, Santa won three world-class championships and 27 national/intercontinental ones. He was SDK 2015 HOUSE world champion, the champion team member in CERCLE UNDERGROUND 2016 3 on 3, and NOTHING2LOOZ 2018 world final.
In 2021, Santa won second place in Chuang2021, the music and dancing competition reality show held by Tencent. As one of the top winners, he debuted as a member of INTO1, an international singing and dancing group.
Santa admitted that he was not blessed by people around when he decided to join Chuang2021. He even joked with his family, saying, “I’ll be back in a month or two. So don’t miss me too much.” Although he needed to be more confident, Santa put 100 percent effort into the competition. He then became the only one that obtained the supporting votes from all his peers and the MVP of all the performances.
Making to debut from Chuang2021 is not Santa’s end goal. Shortly after the group was formed, Santa attended a meeting and presented his elaborate proposal, which later led to his dance video series, Let’s Dance.
Let’s dance is a series Santa produced, choreographed, performed, and edited, featuring novel ideas and high-quality presentations. The dance styles involved in the series included House, Hip-pop, Krump, Locking, and Popping, as well as Chinese Classical Dance. It also covers various themes showing his unique perspectives on art and life. Episodes such as “Moriyama Daido · Memory Records art Exhibition”, “Seeking happiness in life under the epidemic situation”, and “insisting on seeing the world with his own eyes” took advantage of his dance skills and the modern film languages to tell touching stories which profoundly impacted the audiences. Meanwhile, with all the continuous promotion and vivid interpretation by Santa, people who had no idea about dance gradually learned its charm and fell in love with it.
Especially for House dance, which is Santa’s primary style, has a very narrow scope of audience in China. Many of them have even never heard of it.
Santa is an outstanding House dancer. Not only because of his high skill level, but he has also been pushing the boundaries of this dance style. When he first started with House dance, the senior dancers told him that House was not for dance battles. He might not be able to win any championship by performing House dance. Young Santa was not convinced. He determined to rely on House to win to prove the capabilities of this style.And he made it.
Santa has demonstrated and performed House dance in various shows and activities in China. His excellence and perseverance made the audiences know and favor House dance. As a result, many of them signed up for classes to learn House dance. In addition, they uploaded their dance videos to social media, which helped House dance gain more popularity.
Santa didn’t stop there. He has greater ambition. He had discussed with the father of House dance to understand the origin of this style. Later, he decided to bring his unique perspectives and create his unique house style.
His obsession with street dance has led Santa to learn the hip-hop culture and the knowledge and charms of various styles. He also respects the cultural differences of different countries. As a result, he made good friends with dancers from all over the world.
Wherever there is music and Dance, Santa is there.
In 2021, Santa joined the second season of The Masked Dance King, a well-known dancing battle show in China. In the show, he named himself “Wuxia” (the hero of dance) and won the 1v7 seven-to-smoke battle against the top dancers in China. He performed various dance styles in the battle, including House, Krump, Urban, and Chinese classical Dance. In the end, he won the “Battle King” title of the show.
In the same year, in Super Nova Games (a sports competition), Santa won the championship of the street dance sector with an eye-opening performance. His friendly battle with BouBoo, a French dancer with multiple world-level championships, was a big hit at the moment.
In 2022, Santa was a leader in the dance variety show Great Dance Crew. He presented multiple high-quality stage performances in diverse themes and styles with the crews and other leaders. “Wings of Black and White”, a group dance paying tribute to Michael Jackson; “Serendipity”, a dance drama featuring House and Locking styles; “Duan She Li”, a modern dance duet; and “Yezi” in contemporary dance style. These stages demonstrated the attractions and characteristics of diverse dance styles and generated a large amount of attention and discussion.
It was a special experience for Santa to participate in the fifth season of Street Dance of China, the most notable dance show in China. Many guests and competitors in the show are Santa’s old friends. They used to practice together and battled in various competitions around the world. Now meeting in a Chinese dance show created a special bond. Perhaps it is to commemorate this encounter, Santa invited his friends—dancers from around the world to record an episode of “Let’s Dance.”
Although with different dance styles and languages, the dancers share the same world.
As a guest dancer, Santa collaborated with Zyko (a French choreographer and the latest champion of Street Dance of China) and Dykens (a French hip-hop dancer) and created a short dance drama named “Slow Down”. It told an inspiring story about stressed young men trying to “slow down and finding happiness is life”.
Santa contributed his excellent physical expressions and enhanced this performance’s emotional impact. Later Santa was once more invited to perform on the final episode of “Street Dance of China” season five. On the international stage of thousands of audiences, Santa brought a dance with his first original song, “I’m from…”
Two years ago, at the finale night of “Chuang2021”, Santa said, “I want to tell the world that dancers carry many, many possibilities. I hope what I have achieved will give all the dancers in the world some confidence. We can.”
Santa fulfilled his dream because of his courage to go to a foreign country where he couldn’t speak the same language, to jump out of his comfort zone and step into a brand new track, because of his persistence to learn and practice dancing from the age of three for twenty-two years without negligence, because of his passion for breaking through a path that no one has ever stepped on before, because of his sincerity, to treat people from different countries gently and truthfully, because of his charisma, to infect the audiences with the charm of the dance.
We see the possibilities of dancers in Santa.
Many audiences and fans said they couldn’t appreciate the beauty of dance until they saw Santa’s stage. The audience enjoyed his performances while gradually learning to perceive the aesthetic qualities of dance. Dancers and audiences were linked through creative stage performances and grew together. His example showed a new route to the dancers struggling in the dilemma as he used to. The ones who practiced for years but had few accesses for larger stages or more audiences, who were wrestling to support the life as a dancer.
With no doubt, Santa gained a large group of fans, who named themselves “Claus”. Believing that courage and persistence can overcome the predicament, Santa’s fan groups are actively practicing in charities, such as “UN Children’s Charity”, “Water Purification Project”, “Village Beauty Education Project”, and “Stray Animal Food Donation”. The first time when Santa spoke to his fan groups, he said, “I am Santa Claus. I wish to bring everyone surprises, dreams, love, and thumb-ups.” Following his example, the fan groups are spreading the surprises, dreams, love, and encouragement to the people around them.
Santa, a pioneer champion dancer, has bridged people from different countries and cultures with his creative works and performance, making him a true ambassador of international cultural exchange.
After March 11th, 2023, Santa will step into the 25th year of his life.
Santa persists in being courageous and passionate. We look forward to the surprises brought by 25-year-old Santa.
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