From the HeArt: Kayla Uchida

"The arts are so valuable in our society because creativity is an integral part of humanity."

Hello!

My name is Kayla and I am 23 years old. I have been involved in the arts since I was four years old as both a dancer and violinist, and I am also active in the local musical theatre community. I graduated this past semester with a B.A. in music, and a minor in dance. Currently, I enjoy teaching and performing all over the island.

I did not go to a traditional school until college, so the arts made up a majority of the extra-curricular activities that I was involved in as a child. It allowed me to express myself creatively while giving me the opportunity find my own community of friends and mentors to rely on and guide me. The arts also instilled many life skills including passion, motivation, problem-solving, and discipline; which I was able to take with me into adulthood.

Kayla, second right, with her chamber group from UH Mānoa. 

The arts are so valuable in our society because creativity is an integral part of humanity. With creativity comes empathy and out-of-the box problem solving, which is such a necessity in this day and age when we are running out of solutions for many of the real world problems we are facing. The arts are also an aspect of culture that everyone can relate in one way or another and make connections, even all the way on the other side of the world.

Kayla hopes to continue to teach dance at Punahou School and violin lessons at her private studio.

Lightning Round Q&A:

Hardest dance form.

Ballet. It's so painful.

Favorite dance form.

Tap.

Favorite violinist.

Hilary Hahn.

Scariest performance moment.

When I had to do a double show Saturday for Camelot (at Diamond Head Theatre) on a high fever. Body aches, chills. I literally was standing on the stage and I thought I was swaying back and forth.

Tell me about an arts mentor who inspired you.

One of my mentors who inspires me is my long time dance teacher. I have many memories of having fun in dance class every week, being cast in productions, and being mentored on a professional level. She instilled such a strong love of dance into me and inspired me to continue dancing throughout childhood and into my adult life.

Tell me about a teaching experience you had that inspired you to turn teaching into a career.

My high school violin teacher encouraged me to become a violin teacher to give back to the next generation of students as well as allow me to use my knowledge of the arts in a meaningful way. She inspired me to pursue the arts as a degree in college and receive pedagogical training to help me grow as a performer and a teacher. Her passion, dedication, and work ethic that were instilled in me as her student have carried into my adult life.

What is the most important lesson you would want your students to take from their arts experience?

I would want my students to know that they can be whoever they want to be and that they can do whatever they set out to accomplish. As a teacher in the arts, I want to encourage their creativity and challenge them to be the best people that they can be.

Kayla maintains an art and practice blog on Instagram @kaylamu_art.

"From the HeArt" features working artists in various fields, including but not limited to music, dance, theatre, and the visual arts. In this series, we hope to share stories of growth and inspiration through the arts.

compiled by Brooke Lynne Alcuran