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Q&A with Kota Sato
May 27, 2021

Kota Sato. Photo by Karolina Kuras.

Kota Sato. Photo by Karolina Kuras. 

What have you been doing in your spare time since the pandemic hit?

I have been doing a lot of home workouts trying to improve my body and get stronger. I also was able to go home to Japan for six months and I performed Grand Pas Classique and taught young ballet students while I was there.

What would you have done as a career if you hadn't pursued ballet?  

I have always loved acting since I was a kid. My favorite roles to play are dramatic characters with big death scenes! So maybe I would want to be an actor in a historical drama.

Have you ever had an embarrassing moment on stage? 

I’ve been lucky until this point that I’ve never had a big embarrassing moment on stage. I have of course had a few slips and falls, but that doesn’t bother me.

What is your work philosophy?

My philosophy towards work is to go out and grab opportunities for yourself. Don’t wait! This is how I have made it successfully as a dancer.  

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Kota Sato in Company Class. Photo by Karolina Kuras.

How do you handle criticism? 

I like to seek helpful criticism from people to improve my dancing and artistry. But sometimes it’s hard to take criticism well!   

What is your definition of a successful ballet dancer?  

A dancer who believes fully in their own artistry and is able to express it.

What’s the best thing about being a dancer?

The best thing about being a dancer is being able to live the lives of different characters and experience their worlds and stories. 

What’s the worst?

Casting... sometimes it can be disappointing. 

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Kota Sato. Photo by Karolina Kuras. 

What music are you listening to right now? 

Right now, I am into 60s and 70s rock! It always puts me in a good mood. 

What are three random things most people don't know about you? 

I am a history nerd, I love singing/going to karaoke when I am home in Japan and I hate eating cucumbers.

What was the last thing you changed your mind about?

Ordering UberEats!

What cheers you up on an off day?

Nap, coffee, Asahi (Japanese beer)!

Do you have any bad habits that you're working on breaking?

I am trying to always have good posture!

What is your favourite onstage memory?

My favorite onstage memory was as the curtain was coming down on Anna Karenina while I was playing Levin. The ballet ends with me in a powerful solo and I felt very emotional and lucky to be in that moment.

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Kota Sato in Anna Karenina. Photo by Karolina Kuras.

What is your favourite ballet?

I have two: Nijinsky and Onegin.     

What's the biggest risk you've taken, either personally or in your career?

When I was 15, I could choose to study ballet either in Canada or Germany. I decided to come to Canada and have been here since. 

Could you name someone who has mentored or inspired you?

My ballet teachers across the world: Sergiu Stefanschi at Canada’s National Ballet School and Masahiro Shimura at home in Japan. These men not only taught me ballet, but important life skills and lessons.  

Tell us about an awe-inspiring thing you've seen or experienced.

I was able to stream Body and Soul by Crystal Pite. I ended up watching it three times because it was incredible. 

What is your perfect meal?

My ideal meal would be a traditional Japanese meal consisting of rice, miso soup, perfectly cooked and seasoned protein and maybe a few greens! And of course with an ice-cold Asahi to drink.

What’s the number one item on your bucket list?

I have always wanted to fly a plane or skydive.

Learn More About Kota >

Kota Sato is sponsored through Dancers First by Tony Arrell, C.M. & Anne Arrell.

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