Dancing through life
Armed with just a camera and a computer, senior Emily Lin expresses her love for K-pop in her short, but well-planned dances by performing for her over 10,000 Instagram followers.
Inspired to try K-Pop dancing by other cover artists, Lin began to post videos in the summer of her sophomore year. Seeing the recognition and praise that other artists received, she decided to join the community and display her dancing talents.
“I saw some other people dancing, and because I like dancing myself, I just thought it would be really fun to make some covers. I’ve learned some of those dances before and I thought it would be fun to show other people what I have,” Lin said. “I also thought it would boost my confidence.”
Lin, as a members of the WHS dance team, uses her experience and knowledge of hip-hop to teach herself the new genre of dance. Because of her style, she typically covers female K-pop artists such as Red Velvet or Twice.
“Because of those hip-hop classes, I was able to pick up choreography much faster. I can learn it, just by looking at it, without people explaining it to me,” Lin said. “Most people follow me for K-pop covers so those covers get the most popularity. It’s easier to be recognized on the Explore page when you have videos that are similar [to what people like].”
Lin starts with music videos on YouTube and slows them down to learn choreography, practicing moves repeatedly until she feels confident in her work. Then, it’s time to record; she films up to 30 takes for each video, estimating that each dance takes her approximately two hours, from learning to execution.
“I think my favorite thing is seeing the support that I receive because there are a lot of people that support me for every cover that I put out. They respond positively to everything I post, and it makes me feel better,” Lin said.
After she finishes recording, Lin edits her videos to match the timing of the original; she then places borders around them to label the original group and song title. Afterwards, she posts her finished product on Instagram to share with her followers. Lin dedicates entire weekends, to building her cache of ready-to-post videos.
“I feel very appreciative. Each one of those likes is a person liking my videos and it feels very special that people like watching my stuff and are watching my stuff. When I see the saved videos, it makes me really proud of myself. They’re saving it because they want to watch it again, maybe over and over,” Lin said.
Through her Instagram account, Lin has learned how to deal with negativity. As a popular cover artist, she’s had her fair share of derisive comments. Despite these moments, Lin has continued to post and demonstrate her talents to a large audience. Although Lin is not seeking a career in professional dance, she anticipates maintaining her account for years to come. She hopes to join an K-pop cover group in college.
“I realized that I was only getting hate because I was becoming more popular. In the beginning,I cared a lot more about the hate comments because I had never really experienced them before. Now if I see something not that great, I just delete it,” Lin said.” It’s more important to see that I’ve outdone myself then the see that my numbers are outdoing my other numbers.”
By Nicole Chiang, Feature editor
Photo by Jessica Dixon