The Hamas Dance Center, owned and operated by the renowned Takeshi Hamagaki (fondly known as Hama), has announced its Holiday schedule of online classes with classes taught by faculty members Hama, Kana Miyamoto, Eric Ellis, Christian Beasley, Amy Schadt, Risa Arisue, and guest teacher Terri Best.

Hama began his performance career as principle dancer with the Toho Theater in Tokyo. After relocating to New York City in 1964, he performed at Carnegie Hall, taught at the Harkness Ballet Company and became Luigi’s assistant and protégé before later becoming known as a master teacher in the Luigi style in his own right. Hama moved to the west coast in 1971 and began teaching at all the major dance studio while still maintaining a rigorous performance career on stage and television. In 1991, Hama founded the Hama Dance Center, first in Glendale and now in Studio City. He is the founder of the Jazz Dance LA Foundation and along with Claude Thompson, produced annual concerts featuring LA’s best jazz choreographers and dancers. Currently, Hama serves as an honorary teacher and instructor at University of Southern California.

There will only be one class taught by award winning choreographer and teacher, Terri Best. That class will be an intermediate level Lyrical Jazz class on Saturday, December 5, 2020 from 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM (PST). Best is the founder and Artistic Director of Terri Best Dance.  She received her early training at the American Dance Academy in San Luis Obispo, California under the directorship of Pat Jackson, and later moved to Los Angeles to continue her ballet studies with Eva Ralf and Paul Maure, modern with Bill and Jacqui Landrum, jazz with Jaime Rogers, Joe Bennett and Ben Lokey, and Luigi technique with Hama.  She performed both locally and abroad as a principal dancer with the Los Angeles Jazz Dance Company, and also appeared in the Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers Christmas Special, the American Choreography Awards, and in numerous music videos and industrials.  Her choreography for television and theater includes the 15th Annual Golden Eagle Awards, Star Trek: Phase II, commercials for McDonald’s and Pacific Resident Theater’s production of Noel Coward’s Tonight at 8:30, which received the L.A. Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Production of the Year (2000). To learn more about Best and her company, click HERE.


List of Hama’s Dance Center faculty with links to their bios.


Amy Schadt

Christian Beasley

Eric Ellis

Kana Miyamoto

Risa Arisue

Hama’s Dance Center also offers Hama’s Dance Calendar. The 2021 calendar incorporates vintage photos from Hama’s early years dancing with Luigi and Jaime Rogers. You’ll find a few surprises in it as well.  There is a limited supply, so order by December 15th by clicking HERE.

To visit the Hama’s Dance Center website, click HERE.

To email Hama’s Dance Center, click HERE.

You can also follow Hama’s Dance Center on Facebook and Instagram.

Compiled by Jeff Slayton for LA Dance Chronicle.

Featured image: Artist collage by Roger Martin Holman