Randolph College’s 2018-19 academic year is officially underway, and there are several new faces among the faculty.
Visiting dance professor Eun-Kyung Chung is one of the new additions:
Where are you from originally and what is your background?
I am originally from South Korea, where I achieved my M.A. and B.A. in dance at Ewha Women’s University in Seoul. I began studying ballet at Yewon School (middle school) and Seoul Art High School, where my husband, Seyong (who taught ballet at Randolph for two years) also graduated from. After college, I worked at Seoul Ballet Theater doing ballet and contemporary dance for three years, then I moved to Germany to start my career at Mainfranken Theater Würzburg as a soloist. Three years later, I joined Landes Theater Coburg as a principal from 2013-16. While in Germany, I gained in-depth experience about expression of body and connections as I worked with many choreographers from many different backgrounds with unique styles of classical and modern ballet. I have certifications for the Vaganova teaching method as well as American Ballet Theatre (ABT) National Training Curriculum. Recently, I earned certifications in Gyrotonic and Gyrotonic for Dancers, and am in the process of being certified in Gyrokinesis. I am consistently researching safe body movement, personalized usage of body parts, and methods of raising internal energy to movements.
What attracted you to the job at Randolph?
As I observed Randolph the last two years, I was fascinated by the people here. The faculty was passionate for students and eager to research and teach, and the students were sincerely willing to learn and striving for self-development. The openness to different techniques and styles in the dance department is one of the charms of working and studying at Randolph. There were great opportunities for students as well as the faculty to learn and adapt various forms of ballet. I also loved the small group setting in the class, which enables me to know the students better and to teach them in a personalized way. Dancing is involved with not only some knowledge, but also the emotions and body movements, and our bodies are all different as our personalities are different, which makes me believe that a small group setting is a perfect condition to learn for students as well as the teachers.
What classes are you teaching this fall?
I am teaching Elementary Ballet, Intermediate Ballet, Advanced & Pointe Ballet, and Gyrokinesis.
Describe your teaching style. What can students expect out of your classes?
I demonstrate movements using Vaganova and ABT teaching methods with additions from my experience in understanding movements. I emphasize the importance of fundamental postures and basics, which is the foundation of all sophisticated techniques as well as the base of safe movement. I also try to explain the involvement of the body energy and the utilization of it, as this can bring a whole different experience of body movements and control. I hope to enlighten the students by increasing awareness of their bodies, which eventually equips each of them with a personalized way of movement as well as healthy utilization of their body parts.
What are your initial impressions of Randolph and its students?
As I mentioned, I already had some exposure to the students the last two years. The students here are diligent, kind, and enthusiastic on the stage. I see lots of potential in them.
What sorts of hobbies or fun activities do you enjoy outside of the classroom?
I like to play sports, especially swimming and bowling. Recently, I started learning golf from my husband, and it is getting competitive!