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ORIGIN STORY

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Super Short Biography

I was born.

I put on dance shoes.

Now I'm a engineering-deejay-dancer.

Short Biography

Kai took his first plunge into the world of dance in 2013 when he started West Coast Swing.  With no prior dance experience, it did not come easily to him, but he quickly fell in love with the Boston community.  Once he realized how much technique there was to learn in West Coast Swing, he was able to use his athletic background and technical mindset to his advantage and excelled quickly.

In September 2014, Kai started to teach West Coast Swing at the Beginner and Intermediate levels.  As a trained engineer, he loves to focus on in-depth technique in his own dance, and he brings that passion and point of view into his lessons.  Kai has also been developing as a DJ throughout the Boston area since January 2016.  He loves introducing new music to the Boston area and seeing everyone experience the new songs on the dancefloor.

When Kai isn’t dancing, he can be found writing software for robots at QinetiQ North America.

Long Biography

Kai was born in Vineland, NJ and lived in Milleville, NJ until his family relocated to Pittsfield, MA when he was 6 years old. Being active has always been important for Kai, and shortly after the move he joined the swim team because he loved being in the water. Discovering that he had talent, Kai continued swimming all the way through high school, where his team had a lot of success: the Taconic High School swim team went undefeated their first year, won their county title 3 of his 4 years there, and Kai himself qualified for Western Mass championships all 4 years, and MA Championships twice. Despite the successes, Kai lost his enjoyment for swimming during high school, partly due to coaching experiences that fell a little short. These experiences, however, made him realize just how transformative good coaching can be, which has helped to make him the teacher and coach that he is now.

In college, Kai decided to take a different path and joined the Ultimate Frisbee team. During his time at Wentworth Institute of Technology he learned everything he could about this new form of movement, and delved into competition strategy. Kai's team went to states 3 of his 4 years, and division III nationals once. He loved everything about the sport: the atmosphere, the people, and the fact that it was so common to start playing Ultimate Frisbee in college with no prior experience. Kai enjoyed training newer players and teaching from the ground up. He quickly learned that he had a knack for explaining things and breaking them down - a skill that was also enhanced by his academic studies in engineering. After college, Kai transitioned to coaching the team and supervised the development of players and team strategy from 2012 to 2014. He then moved over to coaching the Lesley Ultimate Frisbee team from 2014 to 2015.

Ultimate Frisbee laid the foundation for Kai’s love of teaching and mentoring, but also introduced him to dance. Kai met a girl through playing Ultimate Frisbee who also happened to dance West Coast Swing. She was attending a class at Lesley University, taught by Neal Klein, where students get the opportunity to learn WCS as an academic course. Kai first stared dancing at Fire+Ice in Cambridge, MA in November 2013. When he started he was very casual about it. He attended every Wednesday night, and really enjoyed the music and the people but not so much the dance itself. But after a year of social dancing, Kai participated in his first J&J competition at Swingin’ New England (2014), and even drew the person who taught his very first WCS lesson in finals. It was such a special experience for Kai that he decided to really pursue learning the dance.

Over the next year, Kai discovered the other dances in the Boston area and could not stop learning as much as he could. He realized how much he was capable of improving, and that any goal he set was far more achievable than he had previously believed. A pivotal part of his development was getting the opportunity to help with Lesley's WCS academic course as a TA. There, he not only worked on his leading but also learned how to follow. It was his first experience with teaching West Coast Swing, and from that point forward he has always been passionate about teaching and supporting students, helping them overcome the difficulties he experienced himself.

Kai continued to balance his two main interests, West Coast Swing and Ultimate Frisbee, until the summer of 2015 when he received a relatively serious concussion while playing with his club team. After recovery, he decided to step away from Ultimate Frisbee (both playing and coaching) because he did not like the heavy toll it was taking on his body. With so much extra time now free, Kai was able to pursue dance even more seriously. 2016 was a big year. He started deejaying and teaching regularly with the Dancing Fools on Wednesday nights, and he also announced his X-Gen project. He was surprised at how he was able to dance for a whole year without ever hearing about the other dances in the Boston area (which happen almost every night of the week!) so he started X-Gen to consolidate all of the WCS dance information into one place. 

Since then, Kai has been teaching and deejaying at various events. Competitively, he has progressed through the Advanced division and qualifies for the All-Star division. He is always trying to push himself in every way: teaching, deejaying, judging, working on his own dance, building the Boston dance community. What really motivates Kai is his desire for answers in cause and effect. He wants to know the why and how for everything, and his approach to dancing is no different. He has recently pushed his teaching methods in the same way, figuring out different strategies for communicating his dance knowledge and coming up with more efficient and effective ways to teach dancers. 

Above all, Kai continues to try and make an impact in the Boston area, looking for new projects to implement in the community, such as J&J nights or his Drills and Skills sessions. He is also now the owner of a monthly dance. Kai’s primary goal is to contribute just as much to the community as he has received over the years—and more! He wants to make future dancers' journeys easier and even more enjoyable than his own.

"Sometimes you gotta run before you can walk."

-Tony Stark a.k.a Iron Man