Asia, but particularly South Korea, has chased the rhythm and the beat in line dance choreography, thanks to two choreographers and instructors from the “Land of the Morning Calm” who pooled their talents to make history for their country and region.
Line dance aficionados from the United States and other countries in October gathered at the Crowne Plaza and the Ohare Hotel and Conference Center in Chicago for this lifetime experience of the best in line dancing, which started in the US of A in the latter part of the ‘70s.
The eight-member Korean team, quarterbacked by Eun Hee Yoon and co-choreographer Christina Yang, went up against gritty competition, but showed grace and self-confidence nonetheless. They took home the second place.
First placer was Chris Jacquel of the United States, with Daniella Portelada, also of the United States, in third place.
Dancing to the beat of country music “Homegrown Honey” by American singer and songwriter Darius Rucker, the Koreans—one of two teams from that country which attended the workshop—found themselves in a 32-wall, four-level and easy intermediate type of repertoire before five judges, including Amy Baily and Megan Wheeler, all from the United States.
Both Eun Hee and Christina are interested in country music and the latter suggested “Homegrown Honey”—entered as “Homegrown Baby”—for their participation in Windycity Linedancemania 2019.
“We liked this song because of the special rhythm and beat; we thought it was very attractive, so it would be suited for the competition,” Eun Hee told the Manila Standard in an interview.
A 7-point judging criteria were before the participants:
1. How well do the steps fit the music?
2. How well do the steps flow and how is the ease of execution through the dance?
3. Contents (originality of steps).
4. How much mass appeal does this music have?
5. How much mass appeal does the dance have?
6. How well was this dance taught?
7. How well did the steps on the sheet match the dance.
Eun Hee, president of the Korea Noble Line Dance Association and owner of a dance salon in Sungnam City near Seoul, started line dancing in 2007 and has been a choreographer since 2016, four years after Christina, owner of CY Line Dance and first placer in country beginner part of World Dance Master 2018 choreography competition in England.
When the Koreans learned they got second place, Eun Hee said they were “very much surprised because we didn’t expect it; our members were very happy.”
The judges and many in the audience congratulated them, with the judges quoted as saying “Really a great job, we are so proud of you and we are really honored that we did it together. Congratulations.”
It is not yet clear if the Koreans will fly to Palm Springs in June 2020 where the next competition will be held.
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