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LOVE JUNX

What is LOVE JUNX?

LOVE JUNX, which now boasts over 270 members, is an entertainment school for children with Down’s Syndrome. The program began as part of the non-profit organization TOYBOX in October of 2002. The long term goals of the school are to foster self-sufficiency and self-expression in children with Down Syndrome through entertainment, and to spread knowledge and understanding of Down’s Syndrome to the public. Through their lessons and live performances at LOVE JUNX, students have the opportunity to meet other children, work together, share their joy, grow together, and make their dreams comes true.  Their live performances have already received acclaim on many levels, and there have been many requests to extend lessons throughout the country.


Profile of Anna Makino

Representative/Chief Instructor for LOVE JUNX, and Representative Trustee for TOYBOX, Ms. Makino spent her school days at an AmericanSchool in Okinawa. In 1983, her father began Okinawa Actor’s School - which would go on to become the most famous entertainment school in Japan, giving birth to many stars ? where she began to study entertainment. At 14, she made her singing debut with Watanabe Productions in Tokyo. Two years later she retired, returning to Okinawa at the age of 16, where she became an instructor at Okinawa Actor’s School. Later, she made her second foray into the music business as the leader of a group called The Super Monkey’s.  However, she soon decided to return to Okinawa, becoming the Chief Instructor of Okinawa Actor’s School. As Chief Instructor she was given charge of the entire school, and she turned her efforts to discovering new talent, fostering stars like Namie Amuro, SPEED and DA PUMP, who would go on to lead the Japanese music scene. In 2002 she worked with students with Down’s Syndrome for the first time though an event for the Japanese Down’s Syndrome Association, and in October of that year she began her work with LOVE JUNX.


Our achievements so far

As the first professional entertainment school for those with Down’s Syndrome in Japan, the teaching methods of LOVE JUNX have garnered the interest of many instructors and experts. Children with Down Syndrome are thought to have a hard time gaining muscle mass, and to be unsuited to hard exercise. Thus the hip-hop and break dance performances of the students at LOVE JUNX were said to be a landmark achievement, and the high potential shown by the students received high acclaim at LOVE JUNX’s first live performance in 2003.  LOVE JUNX became the first participants other than experts from Japan at the 8th annual Conference of the World Down Syndrome Association, which was held in Singapore in 2004, and were singled out for their performance and teaching methods which left a huge impact on both the experts and families of those with Down’s Syndrome from all over the world.

In Japan their activities have been the subject of numerous television programs: (List TV Programs appeared on)

In February 2005, 63 members performed at the Winter Special Olympics in Nagano. In March of this year 70 members performed at the opening ceremony of the Aichi Expo. In response to overwhelming requests, lessons will open in the Kansai area of Japan this April.


About our lessons

At LOVE JUNX we focus on making an environment where students will fall even more in love with what they love. Lessons that are enjoyable, and let students grow to love dance
Having fun, and growing to love dance is what makes students want to dance more. And once they want to keep dancing, they will begin to practice it on their own, to think for themselves and make their own discoveries. It is the moment that the student decides he wants to dance, and makes the decision to do so, that he take the first step towards growth. The students aren’t simply doing what they’re told, they are thinking for themselves. They aren’t simply waiting to be taught, they start to move forward on their own. This is the kind of environment that we try to create.

We believe that the most important thing in entertainment is not to force students into a mold provided by the instructor, but to draw out the myriad of talent and individuality sleeping within each student.  In order to do this, a large part of our lessons at LOVE JUNX focus on free style dance., in which each student brings their own power and energy to the forefront . This is the true basis of entertainment ? the most important thing to foster is not technique, but heart. To use both your body and soul to express what you feel in the music.  And in entertainment, it is important to want to do everything that you can for your audience, to want them to have fun. To give everything you’ve got for others. It is this generous heart that we believe it is most important to foster.  


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