Tamah Nakamura


Professor turns to Dance!

Tamah Nakamura (Japan) was financially secure but institutionalized – She felt like a puppet being bounced around on a string, and toward the end she found that her creativity was being stifled. Tamah felt stifled, shriveled and as if she were losing her identity by the end.

She resigned from her tenured university position about 6 months ago. She is now writing her doctoral dissertation. This is a different kind of stress but her schedule is now her own. Tamah creates her own working hours. She continues to teach adjunct at two universities and has chosen to accept these offers because both courses are connected to Tamah’s life PURPOSE and vision: To change the energy of the whole world through movement from the marginalized, oppressed which will push the top layer of folks so the whole world moves in change together.

Tamah teaches a course on Music and Dance; the other on Contemporary Japan and gender with a performance focus. She knew change was necessary when she was overeating and drinking too much – every evening at home – this resulted in a weight gain.

Her regular exercise routine was interrupted and a negative pattern of gain/eat/no exercise developed. Her husband does not drink so he joined in eating ‘junk food’ and watching ‘dumb TV’, and he gained weight, too.

For Tamah, every minute of her life outside the university was taken up with analyzing and trying to figure out the politics of the situation. She spent, long hours in like-minded faculty offices discussing the change in the attitude of the administration. They were affected too and felt just as helpless.

Tamah’s transition needs were not about ‘them’ but about having matured beyond her present situation therefore she was the one who had changed. It took her some time to learn that.

Through honoring and caring for her body (exercise, shiatsu, acupuncture, butoh practice), and, most of all, through learning a new decision-making process of staying in the centeredness of her body and staying with her feeling of what felt right or not right….she began to make body-based decisions that honored her as a human being, and not decisions ‘for the sake of the society’ or that she ‘should do’.

Tamah describes a feeling of being in amazement that she is getting paid to teach/do lifework that is her. Tamah explains that work does not have to be hard, we do not need to struggle to work. Our work is who we are, that which comes from the center of our being, that which we are good at. Share it with others with the enthusiasm in which embrace it in our own lives and others will benefit and ‘move in joy’.

What can we learn from Tamah?

When you are true to your life’s PURPOSE and vision of what feels right, you follow it. You follow it for yourself without worry as to what others will think. This is your life and your right!