SAY Inc.Fujii Haruko
Please tell us about the Ageless Ballet Stretching business by SAY, which aims to realize health and longevity.
SAY Inc. provides an exercise program using the basic methods of ballet for health maintenance and improvement called “Ageless Ballet Stretching,” targeted to adult women, with a specific goal of “being able walk on one’s own feet until the last day of life, and complete one’s life lively and in one’s own style.”
IThere used to be no exercise program utilizing ballet exclusively for the health improvement of middle-aged and older people. However, the basic methods of ballet are highly effective in health improvement, and there had been a conference presentation on this at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons in 2016.
The basic point of ballet is the beautiful, straight standing position, which requires torso training that develops the abdominal, back, butt, and upper leg muscles. It is also an exercise that can be done by anyone!
We had been repeating demonstration experiments from 2013, and spent four and a half years stablishing the lesson program. Also with the help of a supervising physician, professional ballet teacher, musician, and an osteopathic physician, a highly effective 60-minute lesson provided in three parts was completed. When we measured the body heights of students in 2017, about 75% of them experienced height growth in six months.
Given the rapid aging of population around the world, we believe that an unprecedented, highly effective program that can be effortlessly done by anyone, anytime, and can be continued for life because it is comfortable and fun, is required.
We will realize health and longevity throughout the world with Ageless Ballet Stretching!
Tell us what made you start your own business.
I used to work for a company. I started learning ballet from the age of 30, and realized the health effects of ballet with my own body. My posture improved, my muscles developed, and I realized my sense of balance was increasing with a more secure core and equilibrium. As a result, I no longer became tired or catch a cold easily, and the trouble of poor blood circulation I suffered for a long time also disappeared.
My motivation for starting the business was that I started to think that the wonderful health effects the basic methods of ballet have to offer should be utilized for health improvement of those who are middle-aged and older, and that this will be of help in resolving the problem of the super-aging society in Japan.
I started giving ballet lessons for health improvement targeted to middle-aged and older people in 2013, as a volunteer, together with by ballet lesson friends. In 2015, I started the business with my current business partner, reaffirming confidence in the effects, needs and business potential, as well as our strong belief that we want to dedicate our lives to expanding this business in the world.
Tell us about the future developments.
Currently, lesson classes are held in 12 locations (not stores) in the Kansai region, with about 150 students and 6 certified trainers. The number of students will reach 300 before the end of this year, and we are scheduling to complete the establishment of model patterns for lesson development within the area. Last fiscal year, we also started training program to develop trainers.
In 2020, we are hoping to start establishing a store-type business model.
With success in branding and advertising, we are considering the national development of our business through the development of certified trainers and a national franchise. (The first franchise business base already opened in July 2017 in Nagoya.)
We are already receiving inquiries for the dispatch of trainers from throughout Japan, especially from Tokyo. We would like to definitely start our business in Tokyo by 2020, and are also willing to develop business in Asia, the U.S., and Europe with at least one business base in each region.