YG choreographer Aimee Lee Lucas talks about dancing, K-pop, her dreams (Part 2)
On the first part of our interview with performer and businesswoman Aimee Lee Lucas, she shared about how she started as the awkward ballerina in a hip-hop team to now being one of the household names in dancing especially in Kpop. She goes in-depth about her dance classes, dreams and inspirations on the second half of our interview. Check it out below:
hellokpop: After working with YG Entertainment, what were the opportunities that came after?
Aimee: Oh my gosh! Working in Korea, with Kpop and YG, opened so many doors. I didn’t know how big Kpop was and how many people it affected. Even after Korea, I was doing things that were not Kpop-related. One day, I just had this epiphany. “This is what I should do. I should teach Kpop.” But I don’t teach covers.
I just keep spreading the love and have an open outlet or platform for kids to come and meet each other. A lot of people in America are in the same church groups, same band, same dance group, that don’t listen to Kpop, with only just one person (in each group). Bringing them together is my main thing.
I felt like the fans were MVPs in Kpop.
Q: Is this where the idea to have a MVP (Music Video Party) started?
A: Yeah. MVP. You know when you are writing in your sketchbook, you start doing your autograph and write, “hi love” and so so. I came up with MVP like that. I was like, how do I say one big party because I didn’t want people to be intimidated with the word dance. Music Video Party. MVP is like the most valuable player in sports. I felt like the fans were MVPs in Kpop. That’s how I saw it.
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Q: How often do you have these workshops? How do you decide which song to teach?
A: Before, it used to be like, I will go to a place here and there. There will be 3-4 workshops a month and it was so much. Now, I need to look at fans. There’s a huge demographic on one place, I’ll go there. My classes are mobile. And then sometimes there’s a concert in L.A, like in November 8 and 10 there will be Infinite and VIXX’s concert. I’ll have a workshop right in the middle date for both.
Q: You go where the fans are.
A: Yeah. I want to cater to them. When fans wait for hours, like 6AM for a concert at 8PM, I want to go there and bring them water, etc.
It’s really amazing to build bridges and make opportunities for other people.
Q: What about hip-hop now that you are mostly focused in Kpop?
A: Not so much dancing anymore only because I am doing my transition in more like a businesswoman. I am pushing more of my students to be in the front line so they are doing that work now. I make connections. I have them in this radio show, or teach my classes or perform for me like in MNET. So it’s really amazing to build bridges and make opportunities for other people. But as far as hip-hop goes, I was just in Singapore and taught two classes and judged a competition. There’s amazing talent here in Southeast Asia.
All the time, I will forever be the hip-hop dancer, but because I had ballet experience, my movements have both.
Q: Did it ever occur to you that while listening to a Kpop song, you said, “ah I wish I choreographed that song”?
A: No. Never. I know Kyle Hanagami, Jillian Myers, Lyle Beniga, Shaun Evaristo, Gigi Torres. We’re all friends in L.A. We all hang out together like “Oh! You’re working on this or that?”. I’m never envious or jealous like “I wish I did that” but instead I am like “Oh let’s go. That is such a great concept” and “Oh! They are so smart. They did this or that”. So I feel like in a sense, we’re pushing each other to become better through the music video without talking to each other.
Q: Are there any Kpop groups you wish to work with in the future?
A: I’m currently talking to someone who’s new like brand new.
Q: What are your other dreams aside from dancing?
A: Other than dancing, because I know you can’t dance forever, which every Filipino parent or lola (grandma) or lolo (grandpa) will tell you. Of course, like I said, they want to make sure you are well taken care of. So for me, as a goal, even just like doing this now, I’ve been doing more things like being in a radio show, being a host. You know Jabbawockeez? I host for them in Vegas every month. They organize a little dance showcase.
H: It’s your monthly gig as well.
A: Yeah. I want for me to touch every Kpop fan from the very small island to the very small city. Sometimes they listen to Kpop and that’s all they have. I’m currently figuring out a way.
“I want for me to touch every Kpop fan from the very small island to the very small city. Sometimes they listen to Kpop and that’s all they have.”
H: Among all those M.V.P dance classes that you’ve had, which one was your favorite dance class?
A: The latest one was really fun. You know Mike Song? He did Gangnam Style with his mom. I started a new workshop, it’s V.I.P. VIP is our hip-hop class and MVP is our Kpop class. That was very fun to teach right with Mike. Every class is awesome and different.
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We’ve had Ellen, Lydia and Mike Song come. We had back to back hip-hop and Kpop class. For me, they are all my personal projects.
H: What are your plans for 2014?
A: Next year, my plans… right now, where I go, I travel. It’s very physically exhausting but amazing. I get to see new places and meet people. I want to have a life-long relationship, not going once and just leave. It will be great to come here again next year but you know later have my peers come in with me or for me. Have them see what I have seen. I don’t know. Maybe work on my own tv show? There’s so many things you can do. My team is like, “Let’s! have a t-shirt line” or “Let’s have a tv show and a radio show”. It’s hard. Where do you start? You know the song Que Sara Sara? You can’t see the future and whatever happens, happens.
It will be great to come here again next year but you know later have my peers come in with me or for me. Have them see what I have seen.
H: Lastly, do you have any message for your fans who aspire to be like you?
A: I keep telling everyone obviously to just be different. Go against the popular, you know, what everyone else is doing. There are so many quotes. I’m such a quotes person. That motivates me. “Dream big everyday. If your dreams don’t scare you, then you are probably not dreaming big enough” or “really live in the moment”. Like my lolo (grandpa) said, “When you do something, do it 100%. You’re already doing it, stop complaining. Do it.”
For the fans, readers and watchers, just keep going. If you have a rainy day and you can’t stand, you can’t do or think anymore, for me, just have a breathe of fresh air. Just keep going.
If you have a rainy day and you can’t stand, you can’t do or think anymore, for me, just have a breathe of fresh air. Just keep going.
H: I’m sure the fans will relate to that especially that you experienced going for your dreams and now you are all over the place.
How do you take what you’re good at and make it for everyone? …It takes a lot of thinking and prioritizing but there’s a way.
A: And you know, people will question. “You’re a dancer? That’s nothing.” Well, what do I do? It’s not just dancing. It’s not just teaching. How do you take what you’re good at and make it for everyone? How do you take what you do and make a living out of it? How do you take what you do and spread it for everyone to share it? It takes a lot of thinking and prioritizing but there’s a way. Every painter, singer, all these entertainment careers, someone’s making a lot from it because they do what they do very well. I think you can do anything. You can really make a career out of it.
H: Thank you so much for inspiring our readers and all the best on your upcoming activities.
Aimee Lee Lucas is currently in the Philippines for her Kpop Dance class on October 12, 2013, 2PM, at the function hall of EDSA Starmall. Don’t miss this chance to not only learn from her but also help raise funds for Gawad Kalinga. Regular passes are priced at only 200 pesos and VIP passes for only 500 pesos. This event is brought to us by the Philippine Kpop Committee Inc.