Meet Jong, K-Pop's Go-To Choreographer
Jong proves there’s no such thing as “too late”
When it comes to dance, there’s sort of a universal understanding that one needs to start early in order to be successful—which isn’t exactly wrong. After all, most individuals that make it in this space start off very young. It’s a discipline that they need to work on for decades in order to truly master the craft.
But when it comes to dance and choreographer Jong, that just wasn’t the case.
Now 29 years old, Lee Hyun Jong (he insists, however: “Just call me Jong!”), only began dancing at the age of 19. He himself admits that he was late to the game, with most of his colleagues having begun earlier in their teenage years. But while he’s clearly in love with it now, dance began as a way to simply relax.
Sports such as kickboxing were more his forte in those years that marked his adolescence. But as it does with everyone, stress started to creep into Jong’s life and he needed a way out. The solution he found was dance—and fortunately, it loved him back.
It starts with the music, he tells us, and the feeling it evokes in your body. When it comes to creating steps, he’s more of a free spirit. The music moves him first and it’s only after that he refines the steps.
When we ask what the best part of his job is, Jong says it’s that he’s able to do what he loves and still have a handle on his time. But with this freedom comes with the fear most of us in the corporate world can’t seem quite to face: the unstableness of it all. After all, who knows when the next job will come along when you’re working as a freelance choreographer?
Nevertheless, with dance numbers beside some of the biggest names in K-pop (BTS, anyone?) under his belt, Jong’s clearly made a name for himself. But watching him in a studio teaching eager young dancers and taking part in something like K-Crew Dance Fest, it’s easy to see that he has so much more to give. And what’s even more important is how willing he is to share.