Dancing to a Different Beat

Seyong Kim, visiting assistant professor of dance, Randolph College

Seyong Kim, visiting assistant professor of dance

Visiting artist’s unique background adds new dimension to dance program.

Seyong Kim is not your stereotypical dancer. At 37, he attributes his ability to perform at what’s often considered an “older” age for dancers to the military training he received as a member of the Republic of Korea Marine Corps.

As Randolph’s newest visiting professor of dance, Kim is intent on sharing his passion for dance with as many students and community members as possible. During his first semester, Kim worked with others in the dance department to host weekend dance workshops for area high school students.

“Around Lynchburg, there are only a few studios that teach ballet and this kind of dancing,” he said “We have a beautiful studio here, so we want to use it to help local dancers and to also promote the College, especially to prospective high school students.”

Unlike many dancers, Kim has earned multiple degrees while also dancing professionally. Among those was a M.F.A from Sung-Kyun- Kwan University in South Korea, and a M.A. in dance education from New York University. His scholarly research has been published by the Korean Society of Dance, and he has taught dance courses at New York University, Peridance Capezio Center, Libera University in Italy, Seoul Arts High School, and most recently at Rutgers University.

In addition, he is a member of the American Guild of Musical Artists and the International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association.

“We frequently have male visiting artists, but they tend to be here for residencies that are one to two weeks in length, while Seyong is here full-time,” said Pam Risenhoover, the Charles A. Dana Professor of Dance. “Consequently, he is able to connect with and establish relationships with students.”

Risenhoover said Kim’s background has helped him connect with male and female students, and she hopes his influence will result in more athletes utilizing the dance program as part of their crosstraining.

“One thing you’ve got to know about Seyong Kim is that this is a man who studied ballet as a youth, and then served as a member of the Republic of Korea Marine Corps,” she added. “When he has spoken of his time in the Marines and compares it to his ballet training, he has found ballet to be more difficult. His discipline and strength, along with a genuine and good-natured personality, are attracting more students—both men and women—to study dance.”

Kim is known internationally for his talent and skill as a dancer. He earned gold medals at both the Korea Dance Association Competition and the Sung-Kyun- Kwan Dance Competition and has performed in numerous other prestigious venues across the world. In addition, he has been a member of multiple professional dance companies, including the Metropolitan Opera Ballet in the Lincoln Center, Albania Opera Ballet Theatre, Korean National Ballet Theatre, and the Baltimore Ballet.

Kim was drawn to Randolph for its small class sizes and because of recommendations from others in the international ballet community.

“I like it here because the students and I can connect with each other as instructor and student,” he said. “The dance studio and campus make a beautiful environment.”