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Kai dreamed of becoming a ballerino after seeing a production of “The Nutcracker” when he was ten years old. After nine years, EXO’s Kai stood on stage bearing the title ‘Best Dancer.’ Though it was not the stage of a ballerino he had always dreamed of, he was happy nonetheless. Now, twenty-year-old Kai revisits his childhood as one who studied classical dance. The lines and slopes of Kai’s body begin to move. Today, he is a dancing ballerino.
Kai, Falling in Love with Dance
Kai studied ballet when he was a child and just recently wished to go back to ballet after watching the movie <Billy Elliot>. <The Celebrity Magazine> wished to arrange a meeting with Kai and ballerino Lee Jaewoo, and the latter graciously accepted the request. “Stretch your arms forward to help steady and refine your breathing, then lift your hands upwards,” Lee Jaewoo of the National Ballet Company instructs Kai, grasping his body and guiding him step by step. Kai follows ballerino Lee Jaewoo’s motions effortlessly. The two of them forget about the photoshoot completely, sweating and losing themselves to the music. “It’s been such a long time since I last danced like this, so it has become quite difficult for me. Even so, I’m really happy and thankful that I have the opportunity to dance like this again. If I weren’t an EXO member, who knows? Maybe I would’ve been Jaewoo Hyung’s apprentice (laughs). He and I bonded quickly because we have such similar interests. If the opportunity were to present itself, I’d love to continue studying ballet under Jaewoo Hyung.” Ballerino Lee Jaewoo, who listens at the side, nods and says, “Sure, anytime.” Kai refers to Lee Jaewoo, three years his senior, as his Hyung with easy familiarity.
They spend their time stretching, posing, and jumping to their favorite music. As Lee Jaewoo watched Kai, he comments, “I heard he learned ballet when he was younger. I’m surprised at how much he’s retained. Even though he’s a dancer, maintaining the body lines and motions necessary for ballet is not easy.” Kai isn’t considered the best dancer for nothing. “It seems as though he has a quick understanding of the mechanics of dance due to the extent of his previous ballet studies. Ballet sets the foundation for other styles of dance such as jazz, which leads to a range of possibilities.” The movie <Billy Elliot> having inspired him to be just Billy himself, Kai wants to find happiness by fulfilling his dream. They truly look like two people who have been dancing together for a long time. “Beautiful” seems to be the only word capable of describing these two extraordinary men.
Like Michael Jackson
Though it was only for half a day, the time Kai spent with Lee Jaewoo was quality healing time. “Jaewoo Hyung and I are planning on meeting to talk again. It’s the first time I’ve ever asked someone for their number (laughs).” No matter what genre, Kai has managed to learn it all — jazz, hip hop, and popping/locking in addition to ballet. Kai’s eyes shine brightly as he talks about dance. He has watched the concert tapes of his eternal idol, Michael Jackson, over a hundred times; enough times to have mastered all the dance moves. Aware of his son’s passion for dance, Kai’s father presented him with many audition opportunities and continually supported him. Kai is willing to take on the challenge of any genre. “There’s a significant lack of urban dance these days. That kind of dance allows for a mixture of different dance styles, which accurately represents music through motion,” he says, demonstrating with his hand.
“While EXO-K and EXO-M have different overall styles of dancing, we create the most wonderful synergy when we all come together on stage.” As expected, when asked about the other EXO members’ dancing styles, Kai only has great things to say. They’ve worked with world-renowned choreographers to make their performances spectacular and the opportunity to work behind the scenes of the amazing music and choreography is a once-in-a-lifetime chance.
That day is dedicated to Kai and his dancing as well. He studies all music and all dances, despite the disparities in genre. “There are limits that accompany dancing only to fast-paced music. It would be great if we could experiment with ballads, rocks, folk, classic, and traditional music.” The manner in which Kai speaks overflows with respect. The world ought to look forward to the day Kai offers us a performance worthy of Michael Jackson. “Going beyond my dream of performing on stage, I want to be the inspiration and source of passion for someone younger than myself. I want to be to someone else what Michael Jackson is to me.”
❝In situations where I cannot dance, I simply listen to various genres of music and imagine how I would dance. I close my eyes and fall deeper and deeper into the music. Though I love dancing and always dreamed of becoming a singer, music is the one thing that has truly become my life.❞ — Kai
source: the celebrity magazine | trans: fy-exo
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