Within dance, Lia Kim emerges as a luminary of originality and motivation. Progressing from her origins as a dancer to her current role as the progenitor and principal choreographer of 1MILLION Dance Studio, her journey serves as a testament to diligence, enthusiasm, and the potency of dance to transcend barriers. Lia Kim’s influence extends far beyond the confines of her studio; it reverberates globally, nurturing a vibrant society of dancers and devotees.
Lia Kim, your journey from a dancer to the founder and chief choreographer of 1MILLION Dance Studio is truly remarkable. Could you share some pivotal moments that led to the establishment of this renowned dance studio?
Dancers have often been supportive in the entertainment world, but my vision was to put choreographers in the spotlight, where they could express themselves as the main characters. I aimed to create dance content that could be appreciated by a wider audience, and that’s what I’ve been working toward and will continue to pursue.
You’ve had experiences teaching trainees and working with artists like Hyoyeon, Min, Minzy, and Momo. Can you tell us about these collaborations and what you’ve learned from them?
In my early twenties, I had the opportunity to work with trainees from entertainment agencies. Despite our age differences, I was inspired by their dedication to self-improvement, both in dance and other areas. It motivated me to work alongside them, and thanks to artists like Hyoyeon, I became an SM trainer, opening up more opportunities for me.
1MILLION Dance Studio has garnered a massive worldwide fan base. Can you share your vision for building a strong dance community and making dance accessible to everyone?
Our goal is to make dance mainstream, not just for enthusiasts or professionals. We want everyone to feel confident dancing as part of their daily life. In the future, we envision a world where physical presence isn’t required for dance classes, allowing people from around the globe to exchange dance. We’re working to create an enjoyable and healthy dance culture leading to that bright future.
You’re currently participating in a popular dance battle show in South Korea. What motivated you to take on this challenge?
Many around me questioned the risks of taking on this challenge, but I wanted to avoid being trapped in my past achievements. Focusing on what I can do now and what I want to try feels truer to me. I believe in moving forward rather than being confined by past glory.
Dance battle shows involve intense competition. How do you prepare mentally and physically for such high-stakes performances, and how does it differ from your usual work as a choreographer and dancer?
There are similarities to what I’ve done before, but the pressure to complete missions in a short time is more challenging. Leading 100 dancers during the 1MILLION Mega Crew Mission was a unique experience. It required speaking and acting with confidence to ensure everyone’s performance matched my vision. It demanded countless rehearsals for confidence. As for the physical aspect, I focused on maintaining stamina to avoid injuries.
What strategies or tactics have you developed for excelling in dance battle competitions?
In this competition, strategy and tactics are less relevant. It’s about creating a performance quickly. Sharing the process with my team, maintaining a calm mind under pressure, and careful decision-making have been valuable strategies.
With the growing popularity of dance in mainstream media, how do you see dance being used for social or political commentary?
I’ve always aimed to create meaningful performances. Some of my work has tackled social issues, like our ‘Corona-related campaign’ in collaboration with the Korean government. The 1MILLION Mega Crew mission also criticized the distortion of Asian beauty.
1MILLION Dance Studio has a strong online presence. Can you discuss how you’ve leveraged digital platforms to connect with your audience and promote the art of dance globally?
Without extensive promotion, we’ve received love by producing quality content, thanks to YouTube’s influence. Consistency is key. We upload 2-3 pieces of content daily without fail, and it’s a collective effort involving our dedicated choreographers, directors, and the 1MILLION staff.
In the dance community, mentors and fellow dancers play a significant role. Are there any mentors or peers who have significantly influenced your career, and what lessons have you learned from them?
Participating in events like Urban Dance Camp and Fair Play Dance Camp in Germany was influential. Observing dancers coming together to exchange dance inspired me to establish the 1MILLION company.
What are your future aspirations for 1MILLION Dance Studio, and how do you envision its impact on the global dance scene in the coming years?
I’m confident that dance, once seen as a minor culture, will become a major field in the future. I anticipate a time when people can enjoy dance content and classes comfortably and casually. Documentaries, movies, and entertainment content related to dance will increase, making it a culture that resonates with a broader audience.
As we draw the curtains on our discussion with Lia Kim, we gain a glimpse into the thoughts of a trailblazer in the dance domain. Her unwavering commitment to making dance accessible to all, her dedication to substantial performances, and her excitement for the future of dance are genuinely inspiring. Lia Kim’s odyssey, transitioning from an aspiring dancer to the originator of a global dance sensation, serves as a vivid example of the metamorphic force of art and determination. As 1MILLION Dance Studio persists in moulding the dance culture of the future, we ardently await the remarkable impact that Lia Kim will perpetuate in the sphere of dance.
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