Renowned for her skills in surfing and traditional Japanese dance, 74-year-old Saruwaka Kiyoshie has recently developed a passion for breakdancing, sparked by its inclusion in the 2024 Paris Games. She remembers watching young breakdancers near railroad tracks and imagining herself joining them when she was younger. Starting her journey with Nihonbuyo dance at age five, Saruwaka never expected to embrace breakdancing in her later years. Yet, drawn to its unique appeal and excitement, she eagerly seized this unexpected opportunity.

Saruwaka is now an enthusiastic member of Ara Style Senior, an exclusive club in Japan where elderly citizens practice breakdancing. This innovative club was initiated by 71-year-old Tokyo official Reiko Maruyama, who aimed to energize the community through engaging physical activities. Maruyama, together with former national breaking champion Yusuke Arai, introduced breakdancing to older residents, inspired by its forthcoming Olympic debut. Arai, known for mentoring talents like B-Boy Shigekix, believes this initiative could change views on age and fitness. Maruyama hopes to make breakdancing popular beyond Edogawa ward. Ara Style Senior, with about 15 members, recently performed at a local festival, receiving enthusiastic applause. Although they do not perform Olympic-level acrobatics, members like 69-year-old Hitomi Oda enjoy the physical benefits of simpler moves. For Saruwaka, breakdancing is a refreshing break from her duties at the Saruwaka school of classical dance. She sees it as essential for maintaining her fitness and expressed optimism about continuing this passion into the future.