Top Five Assets that make a Dancer ‘Great’ (with Examples from the K-pop Industry)
By Aleks Zhelyazkov
Everyone loves seeing professional and talented dancers and strives to be like them and learn from their work by reflecting on a personal level. But what makes a dancer ‘great’? Is it just learning and practicing a piece of choreography until it looks stage-ready? Or is it more than that? Here are the top 5 main assets that make a dancer ‘great’ and some examples from people from the K-pop industry:
While it seems like there are more things involved in perfecting a performance, the choreography part of a dance is still the main asset of the whole thing. Things like accuracy, precision, balance, sharpness and great rhythm are at the core of every choreography. And of course, the way to achieve the levels of your favorite choreographers like Lia Kim, Mina Myoung, Jinwoo Yoon or Kasper, is practice.
“Practice makes perfect” – requiring of several hours every day can get your technique to highs you have never imagined. A perfect example of a technical dancer in K-pop in undoubtedly ITZY’s Ryujin, who made a huge trend with her iconic shoulder move in the song “Wannabe”.
Getting on a stage and performing a choreography is simply not enough to get your audience on a standing ovation. The way you execute a dance is important, but how you manage to impact on the people who watch you is a whole another story. Most of the times the right answer for having a strong presence is confidence. It should be felt in every step, in every move, in every glance to the crowd (or your partner, if you have one). The best example of a group, full of presence is 2NE1, who, needles to mention, made the crowd go wild at MAMA 2015 in Hong Kong, from the beginning of their songs to the very end of their act.
For many, the previous point ‘presence’ and this one ‘energy’ mean one and the same, but they are very distinct and different. Energy consists of explosive dance moves and powerful delivery of the choreography. Without energy the dance turns out as vague and shallow and will not be as impactful to the audience. An energetic performance consequently brings the stage presence to a whole new level and is much more complimentary to the choreography. And that applies to all types of dance –
even the most innocent and elegant ballet performance requires energy to be fully completed.
In K-pop, a group that has been praised for their energy on stage and that has made a lot of eyes turn on them, is ATEEZ. This 8-member group is almost the exact embodiment of an energetic performers. Every one of their performances is breathtaking even for the viewer from the beginning to the very end.
4. Facial Expressions
Since quite recently fans and dance lovers have been pointing out this irreplaceable asset of dancing, and its power to truly elevate a performance. Now, every glance, every lift of a brow, every smile and
smirk are equally important to a dance move in a choreography. The wide range of face expressions can be a most-valuable arsenal to every dancer and, though, some people have the talent of an expressive face, most have acquired that by, you guessed it – practice. We cannot talk about face expressions in K-pop without mentioning the “king of facial expressions” – BTS’s V. The power he bears with just a single glance and the diversity of his nonverbal talk make him a true idol to his hoobaes in this aspect.
Last, but not least, every dancer has his own way of doing the moves to a choreography. And, that
makes them special and memorable. Finding your very own groove can be challenging, but it sure is rewarding when you do so. There is nothing more satisfying than to have a choreography and being able to make it ‘your own’. A lot of the times this asset is what really differentiates a ‘good’ dancer from a ‘great’ one. Never stop searching for it! A truly fitting example of a unique dancer in K-pop is NCT’s Taeyong. He manages to stand out in every dance practice, performance and stage video with his own style and feel to the music.
These were the top five assets that make a dancer ‘great’. Be sure to start practicing and improving on them today by heading over to www.kdaacademy.com and choosing a dance workshop to attend from our many classes this month.
Koreaboo. (2020, May 7th)
KDA Academy (www.kdaacademy.com)