Ruda (Sungjin Kim) is a professional dance coach specializing in hip-hop, with 17 years of coaching experience. He is also a popular YouTuber, running a channel named Rudakris, which features dance and K-pop.
1. Hello, Ruda, could you provide a brief introduction about yourself and share your experiences with us?
Hello! I’m Kim Sungin, and I’ve been teaching dance for 17 years. I also go by the name Rudakris on YouTube. I’ve helped over 20 to 30 students pursue dance-related majors, and in 2015, I was responsible for choreographing the hip-hop section of the Gwangju Summer Universiade.
2. I’ve been watching your YouTube videos, especially the ones where you covered K-pop classics of the early days on your channel. It seems like you have a special passion for K-pop. When did you first start engaging in dance scene?
I’m not actually a choreographer who performs on stage; I’ve always worked as a dance trainer, exclusively teaching dance. I got into choreography as a result of turning it into content for my YouTube channel.
Since I was young, I had a lot of curiosity about questions like, “Why can some people dance so well?” or “Why does a stage look this way?” So, I think my knack for understanding these aspects developed in this direction.
These days, I occasionally engage in various activities such as participating in music events and documentary shoots.
3. What struck me the most was your introduction of lesser-known K-pop songs, which I personally still watch sometimes. Even though these songs didn’t gain much popularity at the time, many of them are still great. How would you compare K-pop from the 2000s to today?
The advancement of media and the widespread use of smartphones have completely transformed the K-Pop market. Before the 2000s, students and teenagers didn’t have much say in their music choices. Having a CD player or an MP3 player was a privilege, and those without them could only listen to music that was played on TV programs or the radio. The control over music was largely in the hands of adults. Consequently, the music was predominantly geared towards an adult audience, focusing on the struggles of office workers, love stories of grown-ups, complicated destinies, and reflections on life. Now, the situation has changed, and teenagers can consume music as they wish. They have more freedom to choose and access music, and the industry is adapting to the needs of teenagers who spend more time consuming music than people in their 20s and 30s. So, the key difference lies in this shift in consumer behavior.
4. Among all the K-pop songs and artists, which one do you like the most from the perspective of dance?
If we’re specifically talking about dance only, it’s worth mentioning Yoo Seungjun’s “Nanana,” which has become quite a challenge to even mention nowadays.
5. Outside of K-pop, whose dance moves do you find most impressive among musicians worldwide?
For this question, the answer is unquestionably Chris Brown.
6. Many people are eager to learn dance these days. Could you offer some advice for our readers who are just starting to learn dance?
Dance thrives on consistency. Without consistency, you can never expect to improve your skills. As a simple analogy, think about it like putting food in your mouth but not chewing it. Learning to dance is akin to buying that food, while actually dancing and practicing is the process of chewing. So, learning is when you invest in dance, and practice is the actual work to improve. Many people who haven’t experienced dance often make the mistake of not realizing that learning is not the same as knowing how to do something.
7. You’ve created a lot of content related to the TV show “Street Woman Fighter” these days. I’m sure many readers are curious about fun TV shows on dance. Could you recommend some interesting dance shows and highlight their appealing aspects?
Indeed, dance programs come in various forms globally, with different languages and formats, making it difficult to pinpoint just one. Rather, I’d like to recommend a movie instead, one that had a significant influence on the Korean dance scene as well.
I suggest checking out “You Got Served.” This film showcases raw and powerful performances and captures a time when showmanship and foundational dance coexisted. It’s packed with impressive performances and is sure to offer plenty to see from a performance perspective.
8. Can you tell us what your interest was before becoming a choreographer and a Youtuber.
During my early years, I wasn’t very good at studying (lol). It’s not a joke; I really struggled with academics, so I was in no position to filter through what I was interested in, what I wanted to become, or what I desired… Fortunately, I had an interest in dance, so I just continued down that path.
9. You have an excellent understanding of dance and street culture, and I’m curious about your fashion sense. Where do you usually shop for clothes, and what style do you enjoy wearing?
I prefer not to spend a lot of money on clothing. I believe that clothing is not about the brand or price but rather about the color and fit, so I don’t usually use specific websites or platforms for shopping. However, when I do shop, it’s mostly on AliExpress, H&M, or Nike.
10. To achieve a hip style, one’s hairstyle is also crucial. Could you share your current hairstyle with us?
My current hairstyle is a foil perm. It’s a perm done using aluminum foil similar to the foil used in the kitchen, and it’s not too complicated. My students are the ones who actually do it for me.
11. I assume you receive numerous requests for dance analyses. Are you open to requests sent via email?
Yes, I do receive requests through email or Instagram DMs quite often. While it’s not possible to respond with video content for every request, I do occasionally create content when I come across something with a really good and sincere message.
12. For readers who want to experience Korean K-pop culture, could you recommend some must-visit places or experiences?
I did visit the HYBE Corporation headquarters recently for the Leserafam music event. I’m not sure to what extent it’s open to the general public, but if you ever get the opportunity, visiting the HYBE headquarters could be a fantastic and memorable experience.
13. Lastly, please say a few words to our K-Crush readers who love Korean content!
K-Pop has indeed been shaped by the popular groups active today, but we should not bypass that it has been formed through the diverse influences of previous generations. While the current songs and performances are fantastic, comparing them to those of earlier generations can also provide valuable insights into the evolution of K-Pop culture. Thank you!
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