Born in Tokyo and raised in London, this Royal Ballet School graduate is the new face of #AerieREAL! Sonoya’s inner strength, talent and beauty have taken her from the ballet stage to the big screen, where she debuted in thriller Ex Machina and the soon to be released films High Strung and La La Land. Read on to learn more about our newest #AerieREAL girl!
How long have you been dancing?
Way too long! I’ve been dancing for 20 years. Whoa! I used to dance really professionally in ballet companies. That’s a lot different than what I do now. Now I just dance, I take class for myself, and then I do videos and smaller projects here and there.
What do you love most about dancing?
I love the feeling of physical expression through your body and the connection that you have with the music. It’s the most cathartic thing I experience in my life.
How did you start modeling and acting?
I was very lucky when I was dancing to also be exposed to the modeling industry, because it gave me another avenue to explore. When I was living in London or Tokyo or other big cities, I had the chance to dance and start acting and do modeling, so it was more invigorating for me. Now when I dance, I’m sure I’m not technically as good as I used to be, but I’m really doing it from an authentic place.
What music are you currently listening to?
Lover or fighter?
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Who would you go with?
All my brothers and sisters.
Breakfast in bed or dinner out?
That’s really hard! Can’t I have both?
What makes you really laugh?
My friends and family.
What is one thing you think the world needs more of?
One thing? There’s so many things! Communication.
How did you feel when you found out you wouldn’t be retouched?
First I thought, that’s a really cool concept. Then I went into, what about my legs and this and that? After I got over that, I think it’s really empowering. It’s a great message for younger girls to look up to.
What makes you #AerieREAL?
Being who you are is being #AerieREAL. My look isn’t defined by a particular place or country, and I’m really proud of that. I’m so many things. I’m just me.
Dancing, modeling, acting. What’s next for you?
Acting! But dancing, modeling, acting, they’re all who I am, so they will continue to be all of who I am.
Any advice to girls who are working hard to follow their dreams?
Just keep working hard and keep following your dreams. Do what is in front of you with all your might, and you’ll get there. That’s it. It will happen.