Talent behind recent K-pop hit moves is a 20-year-old Japanese dancer | Inquirer Entertainment
Close  

Talent behind recent K-pop hit moves is a 20-year-old Japanese dancer

/ 07:07 AM March 26, 2022
Japanese dancer ReiNa take photos with her students after her dance class in Tokyo, Japan February 26, 2022. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Japanese dancer ReiNa take photos with her students after her dance class in Tokyo, Japan February 26, 2022. (REUTERS)

South Korea’s distinctive K-pop music genre has swept the world in recent years, its catchy tunes and flashy dance videos making international stars of its top performers.

But not every element of the global phenomenon is made in Korea.

ADVERTISEMENT

Some of the genre’s dance moves are being created in neighbouring Japan, by 20-year-old dancer and choreographer Reina Kaneko.

The talent behind recent K-pop viral dance videos, Kaneko has choreographed for top groups GOT the Beat and NCT 127, the winner of the grand prize at the Seoul Music Awards in January.

FEATURED STORIES

Kaneko, known online as ReiNa, began dance lessons at five years old, created her first original choreography for a competition a few years later and by middle school was teaching hip hop dance workshops.

Her 176,000 followers on Instagram, where she posts dance videos, now include global superstars like Rihanna.

Kaneko said she was shocked when two years ago she opened her email to find job offers from entertainment agencies to choreograph for the K-pop groups.

“They (Korean boy bands) were so big and it (choreographing for them) was well over the pressure I could take,” Kaneko told Reuters.

“But I tried to put everything I’ve got (into the choreography). Also if I was going to choreograph for an artist, I wanted to produce a choreography where they would outshine others.”

SM Entertainment confirmed they had hired Kaneko to choreograph for NCT 127’s “Favorite(Vampire), NCT U’s “Universe(Let’s play ball) and “Make a wish”, and GOT the Beat’s “Step back”. The agency declined an interview request.

ADVERTISEMENT

The coronavirus pandemic made the task a little trickier by ruling out travel, forcing Kaneko to record a series of videos, including one of her explaining the choreography while dancing very slowly and another of her performing in formation with others.

“She’s working internationally and choreographing for big stars at a young age,” said 22-year-old dance student, Shoya Yamada, who was attending a hip hop class in a Tokyo studio. “I’m so proud and happy for her because she’s my teacher.”

As well as teaching in Tokyo, Kaneko holds online classes for dancers abroad and choreographs stage performances for Japanese artists.

For dancing inspiration, she likes to go shopping in the Tokyo fashion district of Harajuku, and says that while her resume hits new heights, she will always be the girl-next-door who genuinely just loves to dance.

“My goal at the moment is to show the world how amazing dance truly is,” she said.

gsg

The hottest entertainment news straight to your inbox

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.
Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Dance, K-Pop, ReiNa, South Korea
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Subscribe to our entertainment news

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and
acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.



© Copyright 1997-2022 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.