UEHASHI Kanya performs at a dance contest.(Courtesy of Uehashi)


Kobe University aims to be a campus that attracts people with rich personalities and it has adopted a variety of selection methods in admissions. One of them is the “expressive arts examination” in the Department of Human Development and Community of the Faculty of Global Human Sciences. UEHASHI Kanya, who now is a third-year student in the department, chose to take this entrance examination to specialize in dance and start his career as a Kobe University student. We asked him about the background of his enrollment, his studies at the university, and his dreams for the future.

The “Kokorozashi” Special Selection and the Comprehensive Selection are alternative to the general entrance examination. The Expressive Arts Examination of the Department of Human Development and Community is part of the Comprehensive Selection and includes three fields of study: music, fine arts, and physical expression. Students will comprehensively study theory and practice in each field after admission.

Uehashi began attending a street dance class in his upper elementary school years. The impetus was the recommendation of his mother, who teaches tap dancing. He recalls, “I genuinely enjoyed mingling the rhythm of the music and my movements.” He continued to attend the class in junior high school and participated in a dance club in high school. When he first joined the club, he was the only male member. He didn’t care about this situation at all, and he spent his high school days creating dances with the club members. “This is how I spent my youth,” he says.

At the end of his freshman year in high school, the COVID-19 pandemic began. He danced in the park every day while the school was closed. He says, “I imitated my favorite dancers and just danced all the time. Looking back at it now, I think it let me grow and helped me pass the entrance exam.”

He performed a creative dance based on the theme of “resist” in the practical part of the entrance exam. There were candidates with various backgrounds and skills such as in ballet, jazz dance and others. He danced believing in his expressivity and in the spring of 2022, he enrolled in Kobe University.

A theme park dancer, a dance club representative


There are classes in a variety of fields at the university, but he most enjoys dance-related courses. He is stimulated by the diversity of expression of other students around him, which varies from person to person. He has joined the student club “Etoile,” where members dance K-POP and other music and has become their representative this year.

He also gathered experience off-campus as a theme park dancer last year. It was his first time to dance in front of a large audience and he was impressed by the sight of people watching his dance enthusiastically.

He says, “I think I have learned a lot from dancing at the theme park and teaching beginners in my club. I feel that both my expression and technique have evolved since I entered the university.” As an expressive dancer, he aims to create original dance that is not bound by genres. He feels that he can do this because he did not specialize in a particular field of study and has been self-taught.

His dream is to create a society where dancers can live from dancing if that’s their dream. The reality is that some people have to give up dancing for a living even though they have talent. Uehashi hopes to change this. He is thinking about planning events such as K-POP dance contests during his university years in order to build a foundation for the realization of this dream and wants to share dance-related information on social media.

Recently, a line from FUKUYAMA Masaharu’s song “Ikiteru Ikiteku” (I’m alive, I keep living) resonates with him.

<I had one big dream / The dream is embarrassingly stupid / And then somehow my little dream came true before I knew it.>

He says, “Like that song says, I want to hold onto a big dream even if it is vague. If I do so, my small dreams will come true. Looking back to my life up to now, I think that’s what I’ve been doing.”


UEHASHI Kanya was born in Amagasaki City in 2003. He graduated from Amagasaki Inazono High School and entered the Department of Human Development and Community of the Faculty of Global Human Sciences at Kobe University in 2022. Before entering Kobe University, his image of the university was “not too formal, not too sparkling, just right,” and he says it has not changed since entering the university. He lives in Amagasaki City.



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