Downtown’s Ninja Karaoke aims to be a hub for hip-hop, dance and positivity

Ninja’s VIP karaoke room.
Photo: Steve Marcus

He’s from the Las Vegas b-boy group Super CR3W; she’s from the LA crew We Are Heroes. Together, Steve Corral and Mami Kanemitsu have been inseparable ever since they met on Season 8 of MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew. “She was my enemy for a good month,” Corral jokes. “We battled, but I won.”

Now husband and wife, Corral and Kanemitsu partnered with their friend Takahiro Takamatsu to open Ninja Karaoke in the Arts District last fall. “We put a lot of work in it,” Kanemitsu says. “We love to entertain people. We believe that entertainment has a positive energy that can cure peoples’ hearts and give people the energy to live a better life.”

At nearly 6,000 square feet, Ninja Karaoke is huge considering its relatively uninhabited surroundings on Main Street just north of Charleston. There’s 2,000 square feet devoted to private karaoke rooms, 2,000 square feet of bar and lounge space and another 2,000 square feet of patio space. That last area transforms into an outdoor stage—where hip-hop emcee Blueprint performed on Friday, and Jericho Jackson and Doppelgangaz threw down Saturday—for musicians and dancers alike. “We planned on being early [to the neighborhood], so that when the business took off we would be ready,” Corral adds.

It’s also the new home of the Human Experience open mic, a daily karaoke open mic and a dance battle every First Friday. The winner takes home $1,000 in Zappos dollars. “Our goal is really to be the most positive people in the Downtown area,” Corral says. “We want people to have a good time.”

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Leslie Ventura

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