Pop Your Passion With Energetic Movement
Pop Your Passion With Energetic Movement
  • Lee Gayun ,Jo Yoo Suyeon
  • 승인 2023.12.01 10:00
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Dance is a form of language that expresses human emotions through movement. The audience can also feel the same emotions as the dancer as they are assimilated into the passion the dancer is expressing through the dance. Dancers with such influence are telling their stories nowadays through movements in various media. This time, an SMT reporter met Yeni Cho from the Wolf'Lo crew, a dancer who has been in the dance world for 16 years and feels affection for and pride in the genre of hip-hop.


To begin our interview, please introduce yourself to our readers.

Hello, Sookmyung Times readers. I'm Yeni Cho, one of the members of the Wolf'Lo crew that appeared on the program <Street Woman Fighter 2>. Also, I am currently working as a dance instructor and owner of Stance Dance Studio.


We are curious to know how you got into dance and what made you decide to pursue this career.

When I was in elementary school and middle school, I was interested in K-POP culture, and dancing came naturally to me. I used to move the class desks to the back during break times and dance in the classroom. At that time, I didn't think about developing this into anything more than a hobby. I think I was just trying to study normally, graduate, and get a job. However, in high school, I realized that doing the things I love will bring me more happiness than living a life of complacency. Once I realized that, I started dancing seriously alongside my studies, and I think that's when my life started to change a little bit.


There are so many different genres of dance in the world. Why did you choose hip-hop in particular, and what do you think makes it unique?

I have one word to describe it, and that's "swag." When I look back on my life, I realize that I've been chasing that one word. Loving and chasing it led me to hip-hop, and I think that's where I settled down and started dancing. What I love about hip-hop is that it's inclusive of all cultures. Music, fashion, dance, lifestyle, and everything that surrounds us that we need to live our lives can be hip-hop, and I think that's the coolest thing about it.


You've performed on so many stages over the years, showing people what hip-hop is all about. We'd love to hear about the most unforgettable stage you've ever danced on.

It was probably the K-POP mission stage for <Street Woman Fighter 2>. In my life as a street dancer, I never thought that so many people would see my dancing through the media. I was curious to know how they felt about it, and I felt both excited and nervous. I choreographed the COUP D'ETAT stage with CHOCOL, and it was pretty much the archetype of hip-hop that we were going for, so I was kind of proud of it, but I also wanted to make sure that I got a reaction. I've always danced in front of audiences, but for about two months before that show, I was preparing for the broadcast and competing, so I think I was a little bit more nervous about dancing in front of people. One thing I particularly remember is that the fact that I had to look at the camera to make sure my dance was captured well on the show made it very difficult for me, and I remember dancing with that in mind.


What skills or mindset do you think you need to have to be a dancer?

I think the most important thing is to remember how much you love dancing. Will I love it if I can't wear the clothes I want or do the hobbies I want? Or will you still love dancing, even if you have to cut back on sleep to make ends meet? Can I love dancing even when I feel unappreciated by others while everyone around me is doing just fine? These are the questions dancers need to think about. I think the mindset of how much of their life they can put into their dancing is the most important thing. Talent and hard work come second.


The charm of dancing is that it gives people the freedom to express their own emotions through music, but we think that it's not always easy to do so. Have you ever experienced a slump in your journey as a dancer, and if so, how did you overcome it?

I'm not the type of person to get into a slump, so I haven't struggled with it yet. However, when people ask me this question, I tell them, "If you do have a slump, don't let it stop you. Just keep working on the things that you can build on through simple repetition, like practicing the basics, your movements, and your rhythm." One day, when your slump is over and you're back on track, you'll be glad you practiced these exercises so your skills aren't rusty.


As a dancer, you need to put a lot of effort into taking care of your body. We are curious how you try to stay in the best condition.

I'm the type of person who practices dance every day. No matter what, I'm practicing at least 3 hours a day. When I practice, I always stretch and do handstands, and after that, I always practice the technique I'm currently focusing on, even if it's just for a short period of time. Stretching is necessary for flexibility, and handstands help me with my upper body strength, which is the weakest part of my body. Practicing technique is something I will use later in my dancing, so I keep it up to diversify my dance elements. In fact, that's all I do to stay in top condition. Through these exercises, I try to develop different parts of my body. I don't think I have to do much else to stay in the best condition because I already live a healthy life, manage my stress, eat well, and don't drink or smoke.


Factors like music and clothing also seem to play an important role in making each dance move more expressive. Do you have any tips for choosing these elements that can add to the appeal of a dance?

Lifestyle elements like them are so embedded in my daily life that I can now call them my tastes. I attribute this to the fact that from the time I thought about making a living as a hip-hop dancer, I spent a lot of time refining and developing them. I've researched artists to understand why I like certain music, or studied the heritage of clothing brands that I've grown to love. The accumulation of all that research and study leads to commonalities in the things I like, and once I fully understand them, I feel like I know exactly what my tastes are. I feel like the careful consideration and research has made my vibe and character more distinct. The tip is to know yourself!


Since your appearance in <Street Woman Fighter 2>, you've been loved by many viewers. What made you decide to participate in this program and what did you hope to accomplish most through this?

The main reason I wanted to be a part of <Street Woman Fighter 2> was to give the public an idea of what hip-hop dance is like. Now that short-form media has taken over the internet, street dance, which can only be truly appreciated in person, is slowly disappearing from the public. I hope that the street dancers who are silently working will be able to appeal to the public more. Also, I was looking forward to creating something like the dance videos I watched as a child that inspired me to dedicate my life to hip-hop dancing. I wanted to do it on the show for aspiring dancers who might see my dance videos and decide to follow in my footsteps, just like I did.


Out of all the crews featured in the program, what do you think are the unique personalities of your crew "Wolf'Lo" and yourself that will imprint themselves on viewers?

If there's one thing that defines Wolf'Lo's personality, it's hip-hop. As there are not many individuals, let alone teams, that can give such a strong flavor of classic hip-hop. I dare say that Wolf'Lo is the coolest crew in the entire cast. Also, what sets me apart from other dancers is that I have a dance spectrum that allows me to mix standing dances, dancing on the floor, b-boy techniques, and more, and the transitions are natural. Transitioning with impact is easy to apply once you learn how to do it, but transitioning naturally is something that only comes with practice. So, I pride myself on that.


During your time on the show, you've danced a lot of genres outside of hip-hop. What were some of the challenges of dancing outside of your comfort zone and how did you overcome them?

As a hip-hop dancer, I think a lot of things were difficult for me because I hadn't been exposed to choreography before, and the way choreography dancers worked was unfamiliar. Every single physical movement of choreography was new to me, so it was very difficult to prepare for the performance. Therefore, I focused a lot on adapting and digesting it rather than enjoying the dance. I think the only way to overcome it was through hard work, sleeping less than the other crew members, and putting in the time.


It seems like the people you work with and the places you perform is one of the factors that makes the difference in each performance. Is there someone you'd like to work with or a stage you'd like to stand on?

I always say I have a dream that I want to do a performance with my favorite friend, my celebrity, my Japanese hip-hop dancer KYOKA before I die. I want to dance on the same stage as her because she's my most important and wonderful friend who has allowed me to love and dance hip-hop as much as I do. So, I am looking forward to performing with her one day.


With the success of dance competition programs, it seems like there have been a lot of changes in the dance world as people have become more interested in it. How have these changes affected you as a dancer and what direction do you hope the dance world will go in the future?

I think the biggest difference has been that I've gotten a lot of exposure to the public. So, I've gotten to perform in front of a lot of people, and many show promoters have approached me. I hope that dance competition programs continue to be successful so that there are a lot of chances for dancers. I'd also like to see the spectrum of the street dance scene broaden, with many street dancers putting on great performances.


Since your love and passion for dance has kept you active in the dance world for a long time, we're expecting to see your performance more in the future. Do you have any goals for yourself as a dancer?

I want to share with a lot of people that dancing makes you happy. Before I participated in the program, my personal goal was to be the most important person in the world, and I danced because I wanted to be the best I could be. However, after the program, now I want to share my dance with people who love it.


Finally, please give a word of encouragement to Sookmyungians who are passionate about working in the field they want and persevere for a long time to do what they love.

In the world, where life constantly throws difficulties at you, there are more trials than you think when you're doing what you love. If you keep doing what you're doing with the mindset of "I'm going to succeed someday!" your life might break like a branch that breaks because it is too hard. So, it's important to grow with the trials and accept that you will always experience them. One day, when you look back, you will see a slightly different picture of your reality. I think it's good to walk steadily, step by step, and feel a little happiness on the way to your goal. I support Sookmyungians in all of their journeys.



- Appeared in <Street Woman Fighter 2>
- "Dred Island" winner
- "Break Easy vol.2" winner
- Appeared in Jay B's "Go Up" music video


Lee Gayun / Editor-in-Chief
Jo Yoo Suyeon / Reporter

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