” I think we’re naturally moving in a direction where artists are valuing dancers more. From the performers I met and watched, it seems artists appreciate the significance of dancers enhancing a performance. It’s vital for artists to remain open-minded about how to integrate dancers, rather than merely using them as set decorations.”
DaeSun: The moment I found out, it felt surreal. I had aspired to do the VMAs for a long time and wasn’t sure when, or if, my time would come. So, when I learned I was hired, I was in complete awe. I’m still processing the experience even now.
Dance Mogul: Walk us through your preparation process for the VMA performance. How did you and your team get ready for such a big stage?
DaeSun: Charm La’Donna, our choreographer, worked intensively to ensure we were ready for any performance scenario. She created several variations for each song and drilled us until we could perform flawlessly, even if upside down with our eyes closed.
Dance Mogul: What was the most memorable part of your VMA performance? Any standout moments or unexpected challenges?
DaeSun: The most memorable and challenging section was the crowd-surfing moment. We practiced lifting Shakira and carrying her through the audience countless times. But during the actual show, I believe we all underestimated the enthusiasm of the fans. They reached for her, trying to throw us off balance. It took everything we had to get her to her next mark in time for a seamless performance.
Dance Mogul: Were there any specific artists or performers at the VMAs that you were excited to meet or collaborate with?
DaeSun: I was especially excited to work with Charm again. I had collaborated with her on a couple of BET Hip Hop Awards in Atlanta. Given the magnitude of this event, I eagerly anticipated learning from her, especially as an aspiring choreographer.
DaeSun: I think we’re naturally moving in a direction where artists are valuing dancers more. From the performers I met and watched, it seems artists appreciate the significance of dancers enhancing a performance. It’s vital for artists to remain open-minded about how to integrate dancers, rather than merely using them as set decorations.
Dance Mogul: Can you share any behind-the-scenes stories or anecdotes from your time at the VMAs that the audience might find interesting or surprising?
DaeSun: I was pleasantly surprised by how personable Shakira was with us, her dancers. She consistently displayed kindness and consideration and even brought her family to support our rehearsals occasionally. Not all artists of her caliber are so generous, so I genuinely appreciated the attention she and her team gave each of us.
Dance Mogul: What advice would you give to aspiring dancers who dream of performing on such a prestigious stage?
DaeSun: I’d advise people to never give up, be kind to everyone, love the process, and stay true to themselves. By being genuine, you’ll attract the right opportunities. Many lose their way trying to control the blessings they receive.
Dance Mogul: What are some of your favorite VMAs performances from the past?
DaeSun: Justin Timberlake’s 2013 performance profoundly influenced me. Besides being a big fan of his music, I admired the dancers in his group. I also appreciated how he seemed to value his dancers and allowed their individuality to shine.
Dance Mogul: Is there anyone you would like to thank for helping you on your journey this far?
DaeSun: There are so many people I’d like to thank that the list could go on. Specifically, I’d like to thank Charm for trusting me with this opportunity and Marc Marvelous, Codie Wiggins, and Sherrod Tate for their guidance in navigating this industry.