Rei Hanashima was born in Japan and trained at Canada, the United States (New York City), and the United Kingdom. She studied at the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance where she danced pieces by Martha Graham, Kerry Nicholas and Regina Wielingen, amongst others. Her pieces Yesterday and Parade have been performed at Platform Theatre's Design for Dance (D4D) program and Lilian Baylis Studio.
After graduating with a degree from the University of Kent in 2012, Rei moved back to Japan, going on to work with 66b/Cell, Shuji Onodera (Company Derashinera) and Mari Natsuki (MNT). She danced in operas such as The Merry Widow and Hansel and Gretel and currently works as a teacher and choreographer for operas, plays, music videos and commercial events.