Shohei Iwahama

“Ballet should be a tool that is available to all.”

Shohei, or “Sho," is a dancer, choreographer, and dance educator from Tokyo, Japan, and currently an M.F.A. student and Teaching Assistant at Sam Houston State University. He received his training from Miyako Kato Dance Academy, The Ailey School, and Sam Houston State University, where he received his B.F.A in Dance in 2012. Prior to returning to his alma mater as a grad student in 2019, he worked professionally with James Sewell Ballet, Hope Stone Dance, and NobleMotion Dance as a company member as well as many other choreographers in the U.S. and Japan. He’s also a self-declared “cat person.”

He has been wearing PerfectFit since 2015! As a male dancer with super wide feet, finding the right pair of shoes was almost impossible, but PerfectFit changed everything. He was able to achieve better alignment, stopped having ankle issues, and hasn't seen his bloody toes with blisters ever since. “It felt like I was wearing a pair of custom shoes. Because I was able to trust the shoes, it helped me focus more on the technique and choreography."

When we asked Sho to describe his dance journey in the form of a metaphor, he said that “it’s been like a home. There have been times where I left the dance world for various reasons, but ballet has always been there for me to come back to, a home to my body and mind and a place to tune into myself.” As an educator, Sho wants to open a school where a diverse group of people can build a safe community through dance in the future. “Being a professional ballet dancer has always seemed like just for a handful of people due to the stereotypical traditional ‘ballet body aesthetics’ and culture associated with it, including gender roles. However, ballet should be a tool that is available to all."