Original publish date: January 2018

Hi, all. This is my first post for you and I’m honored to have been invited to write it. I’ll give you a little background as to who I am so you don’t have to wonder who this random person is writing about our beloved Jimin.

As you can see, I am a Jimin stan. I’m a relatively newer ARMY, but ever since the first second I saw Jimin, I was smitten. I knew I would forever be a Jimin stan and he would have my heart.

I have been dancing since I was 3 years old when my parents put me in dance like you do most little girls. I remember it was a tap class and I wanted more than anything to be in the jazz class, but I was too young. So, I waited two more long years (lol) until I was 5 and finally my dream came true. I already had two years of dance under my belt by that point in both ballet and tap, and now I was a finally in jazz class. This passion for jazz, contemporary, lyrical and all types under this umbrella would remain with me throughout my years as a dancer.

I danced all throughout school and college, taking classes and teaching in many different studios. At the age of 23, having been in the entertainment industry on the east coast of the US for some time, I packed up my belongings and my cat and moved out to Los Angeles.

I danced for many TV shows, videos and movies in my career as a dancer and loved every second of it. Choreography is also something that I feel very passionate about and I was blessed have the opportunity to use this skill as well. I also studied acting and was in several TV shows as well as a couple of movies.

Once I arrived at the difficult decision to retire from professional dance, I went behind the camera and worked as a casting director for many more years.

Having spent the vast majority of my life in the field of dance, my knowledge is primarily of the entertainment industry as it pertains to Hollywood. My knowledge of dance is a lifetime of gathering information here and there, experiencing the ups and downs of being a dancer, trying to break into the business and of trying to maintain a certain level of professionalism on top of 60+ hour weeks of dance.

Again, I am very honored to be doing this for you all and I strive to provide good, sound, and complete dance analyses. Ultimately, our love is for Jimin and his amazing talent, so I hope my writings will do his talent justice.

Now, without further ado…

What makes Jimin such a great dancer?

There is no debate that Jimin is an amazing dancer. His talent and abilities are highly respected and he has proven that he is a force to be reckoned with in this area. He quickly showed ARMY’s his skills and has won the hearts of millions. Well, it doesn’t hurt that he’s incredibly attractive, can transform from a smol chim bean to Daddy Jimin within .06 second flat, and loves Bangtan and ARMY’s more than anyone can imagine, yet I digress.

What is it that makes Jimin’s dance stand out above all the rest? Sure, K-pop is full of amazing talent.  There are dancers that will blow your mind, so what is it about Jimin’s talent that stands out so much?

We can’t talk about Jimin’s dance without mentioning that he was accepted to Busan Arts High School as a top student of the whole batch of freshmen and of the modern dance department. After his successful audition with Big Hit, he transferred to Korean Arts High School where he met fellow BTS member, V.

According to a post in Fancafé, Jimin began dancing because it made “bad thoughts” he was having disappear. He stated that was how he found the charm in dancing. Now, he practices as much as he can and it has been said that he has practiced so hard that he endured a nose bleed. Jimin puts everything he has into every move and that is evident when he performs, as he masters many styles of dance.

Around 8th grade, Jimin began popping which quickly showed his innate talent as a dancer.  He studied this style of dance for approximately 2 years before entering Busan Arts High School.  Upon entrance into the school, as we know, he started studying contemporary dance as well.

After 2 years at Busan Arts High School, Jimin joined BigHit. Since K-pop is predominantly hip hop/street dance, Jimin had to transition from contemporary dance into the hip hop needed for BTS. Mastery of this transition is close to impossible, or at least incredibly difficult for most dancers to achieve. The reason for this is based mostly in muscle memory.

As a contemporary dancer, the foundation is ballet. In ballet, the focus, if you will, is up. By that I mean, while standing in any position, the spine is elongated, core is tucked, and energy is aimed upward. Each movement then continues in this upward theme. Leaps, for example, are completed with the focus aimed at height, all prep for leaps are aimed at achieving that height, and position in the air is to maximize height and a lighter landing.

Imagine that you just spent a couple of years of your life training vigorously for your body to elongate, lengthen, focus upward, and you spent hours daily doing so. You could do this in your sleep. Add on top of this that you are the top student with the pressures and talent that come along with that. All eyes are on you and the expectations are high, so it would be natural to try even that much harder. You are on your way to complete mastery of this type of dance and you have worked very hard to do so.

Now, we are going to throw a wrench in your works. The opportunity of a lifetime has just appeared and you are taking it, however, everything you know, everything you have learned and have mastered must be discarded. Completely. You are now required to dance exactly the opposite.

In hip hop or street dance, the focus is down. The positioning of the body is lower, jumps and leaps are to achieve height, but not through elongation, but physical height or strength. The energy of the body in focused downward and outward, as opposed to upward.

Here is a clip from the TV Show, “So You Think You Can Dance” that touches on that exact predicament. The dancer is named Alex Wong and he is phenomenal. Yet, watch the clip and you’ll see the struggles he encountered doing exactly what was asked of Jimin.

Due to Jimin’s excellent training, which we will touch on at a later date, and his perfectionism, he has made this transition. Even though his body was trained to accomplish one thing, his muscles are trained to elongate and lengthen, he reversed this tendency to master hip hop. It wasn’t necessarily easy, as Jimin himself mentioned that there were several times he did not believe he was going to debut due to this transition period, yet being as tenacious as he is, he persevered and remained with Bangtan.

This should be recognized as an amazing feat as very few dancers can successfully make this transition and keep up with the demanding choreography of K-pop standards. Therefore, it should be noted that due to his training and adaptability, Jimin is in a class of his own.

If a hip hop/street dancer were to be pulled into a ballet class, the transition would be just as difficult. The body positioning, focus, and muscles, though very skilled in hip hop, would lack considerably to the demands of ballet. This is not due to lack of talent. It is due to muscle memory, body type, flexibility, what the muscles have been conditioned for and so forth. This difficulty in ballet would not diminish the hip hop dancer’s talent or ability as a dancer, but it is an example of how difficult it is to transfer styles as a dancer. 

Jimin has figured out a way to merge his contemporary roots with his hip hop style and perform each and every step with passion. If the choreography calls for him to extend his arm, he doesn’t simply extend it. It is as if his very being, every part of him travels through his arm when it moves, expressing the emotion that the song is portraying. He feels the music, analyzes it, understands it, then presents it back for us to see.

He doesn’t just dance what is choreographed for him, he internalizes it, interprets it, and presents it back to us so we can see passion, beauty and part of what makes Park Jimin so amazing, his very core. He puts everything out on the line when he dances and that is what makes him stand out so much.

You get to see his soul, moving beautifully in front of you and that is what makes the difference between someone who can dance and a dancer.

Jimin is a dancer.

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