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Portola Pilot

The student news site of Portola High School

Portola Pilot

The student news site of Portola High School

Portola Pilot

Senior Renee Yasuda Elevates Passion for Dance Though Instagram

Senior+Renee+Yasuda+dances+at+1+Million+Dance+Studio+in+Korea+in+August+2022.+They+followed+hip-hop+choreography+to+the+song+%E2%80%9Cbad+guy%E2%80%9D+by+Billie+Eilish.+Yasuda+said+the+dance+instructor+taught+the+students+the+choreography+in+about+one+hour+and+filmed+them+at+the+end+for+their+YouTube+channel.
Courtesy of Renee Yasuda
Senior Renee Yasuda dances at 1 Million Dance Studio in Korea in August 2022. They followed hip-hop choreography to the song “bad guy” by Billie Eilish. Yasuda said the dance instructor taught the students the choreography in about one hour and filmed them at the end for their YouTube channel.

In the realm of digital media, finding a sanctuary for expression can build confidence and ignite passion. A captivating art form, dance, has offered senior Renee Yasuda a mode of expression along with a digital stage. By creating an Instagram account (@_rrenee_) dedicated to posting dancing videos, Yasuda has grown her dedication to and love for the practice.

Yasuda picked up dance in middle school and enjoyed learning and practicing hip-hop and K-pop with her friends. She joined Dance 3 at Portola High in her freshman year but continues to pursue dance as a hobby outside of school. She even takes occasional lessons when she visits Korea, according to Yasuda.

“So I feel like I just wanted to learn how to dance because people who danced look cool,” Yasuda said. “I feel like I was just surrounded by dance culture wherever I went because so many people around me were dancing.”

Yasuda learns dance mainly from creators who post their dancing videos online. She said she likes to learn pieces of choreography from her favorite dancers and film TikTok dances with her friends. Yasuda has also strengthened friendships through the online dance community.

 “Opening up that dance account kind of made a space for me to post the content where me and my friends dance or just me dancing,” Yasuda said. “It’s my hobby and I just want my friends and people to see that I enjoy dancing. And then I also made a lot of mutual friends through dancing, so I feel like social media is a really good place for me to show what I like to do and then connect with other people.”

Yasuda’s Instagram account serves as a visual display of her growth and improvement in dance. She sometimes compares older videos to her latest clips and takes note of the change in technique.

“I could tell that I improved in dancing a lot and I was kind of surprised by how much I improved without professional help,” Yasuda said. “It was just kind of cool to see that.”

Still, starting and running an Instagram account did not come without challenges. Yasuda said she had to develop the courage to share her hobby on an online platform.

“I definitely was nervous to post just because I was kinda nervous for if there was any judgments I would receive,” Yasuda said. “Because I know that a lot of my school friends and then just the people at school might be able to see my account, I was kind of scared that I might get that negative feedback.” 

However, as friends showed their support, Yasuda overcame hesitation towards posting on her account. Yasuda says that the community and friendship she developed is what makes the social media aspect of her hobby special.

“After posting a couple of videos, I found that a lot of people actually enjoy when I post dance videos, and I think it’s a source of entertainment,” Yasuda said. “Because whenever I post dance videos, my friends always tell me, ‘Oh, this is really good. We should dance next time.’ So I feel like because of that, I overcame that fear of judgment and then I just post whatever I want now because I know that there’s people that actually enjoy the dance covers that I post.”

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About the Contributors
Cindy Mei, Social Media Team
Cindy Mei is the co-social media manager for her first (and only) year on the Portola Pilot. She is excited to explore various writing styles and finally learn how to use a camera. When she is not reading or writing, she can be found judging books by their covers at Barnes and Noble, daydreaming, starting a Webtoon and never finishing it, or watching really cheesy Chinese romance dramas.
Maya Tedini, Opinion Editor
Maya Tedini is the Opinion Editor for her second year on the Portola Pilot. She’s looking forward to working with the leadership team along with getting to know the new members of the Pilot. She’s excited to discover all the fascinating opinions of the wonderful staff and to continue to grow her strengths as a journalist. Outside of the newsroom, she’s most likely listening to music, that may or may not all be by Taylor Swift, at cheer practice or spending time with her sister.
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