The story behind Kick Back by WayV with RyuD
Have you seen the viral Kick Back choreo? Maybe you saw the video of Lisa of BLACKPINK dancing with Ten from WayV, or the #kickbackchallenge on social media. Did you know that our instructor Ryu D is one of the people who made the original choreography?
Watch the full interview with Ryu D about the story behind Kick Back below! The text of the interview is included below the video.
Ryu D is a choreographer and the leader of Auspicious Crew, who was the choreography director for NCT and EXO as well as a World Tour dancer with BTS and a director for the show Kingdom working with ATEEZ. The questions below were submitted by our trainees via our social media channels.
Q: What's your biggest inspiration and when did you start dancing?
A (Ryu D): I started break dancing in middle school, and believe it or not, I was a trainee for a while and started dancing in earnest when I was 20. It’s been about 8 years now. As for my inspiration, I’m inspired a lot by dancers who came after me or newer dancers who do a lot of trendy work these days. I watch a lot of their videos on Instagram, for example.
Q: What advice would you give to anyone who wants to be a KPOP choreographer?
A: I think all possibilities are open. KPOP branched out overseas, for example, and I think foreign choreographers and dancers can become KPOP choreographers. It helps to upload and market your choreographies to seize these sorts of opportunities.
Q: When you create a choreography, where do you start your process and with what mindset?
A: I have two different processes for choreographing—one for making KPOP choreos, and one for personal choreos. When I make KPOP choreos, it’s a professional process in a workplace setting for me, so I analyze the artists’ characters a lot. For example, when I’m choreographing, I do analyses of what kind of choreographies the artist would be good at, what the concept of the song is, and which keywords need to be included. When I’m doing personal choreographies, I try to develop what I want to do and express. For example, I might experiment with a new skill that I want to use even if it’s over the top, then apply the elements I like to KPOP choreos.
Q: Do you have any tips for creating choreographies?
A: For this as well I have different processes for KPOP choreos and personal choreos. First, when you are making KPOP choreos, thinking a lot about the composition will be helpful for choreographing. Rather than a routine that is completely full of choreography, if you express different scenes in the composition, for example, it can be quite well-received by the public. Next, for personal choreos, as I said previously, a personal tip I have is to continuously attempt something technical or something that you don’t normally try.
To explain the composition to you in some detail, for example there was a part in the choreo that looked like this, then we did some free dancing. Afterwards, the members gather together in formation to show a cave, or they spin in formation, or they form a tree. In this way, if you express keywords that people might notice as a composition in the choreography with multiple dancers, you can express more diverse things. Also, rather than having one person expressing the shape of a tree, it also looks cooler to show a tree with multiple people, so it’s good to do these things when making a choreo. A tip for creating KPOP choreos is that if you include a composition in it, you don’t need to choreograph that part, which is nice.
Q: How did you come up with the first 8 count of the chorus? It's very unique and eye-catching!
A: I have something I want to say about this—for the choreo for Kick Back, well, for Resonance, I worked on it with one other choreographer, Danho, but many different choreographers worked on Kick Back. Ian Eastwood, Keone (Madrid), Auspicious Crew, and many others worked on it together. So this part is Ian Eastwood’s choreography. From there, MO.I and I added a more Korean approach in our edits. Like this, foreign choreographers worked together with us to produce this work in collaboration.
Q: How long did you brainstorm for "Kick Back"?
A: We received the job for Kick Back last minute, so to compose and put parts together it took 3 or 4 days. It was then implemented right away. As for WayV, they’ve been doing lessons with me since they were trainees, so I have a lot of affection for them. Because we already knew each other, we could move forward with the choreography more quickly.
Q: What was the theme that you had in mind when you first heard the song to make the choreo?
A: When I first heard the song Kick Back, I thought it was very unique. It had a catchy verse that we like, so I thought that it could come across well to people. The phrase Kick Back is intuitively understood, and “kick kick kick kick kick kick back” is very catchy, so I thought it would turn out very well. As I expected, there were a lot of challenges and many people liked it a lot, so I’m happy with it.
We did the Kick Back challenge with this choreo. I filmed it with the (WayV) members myself as well and filmed these videos, and the reaction was so much better than we had hoped for. On Instagram, for example, I still get tagged in the videos. I posted a Kick Back challenge about two days ago, and people really liked it. Please keep dancing to it! I would appreciate it.
Q: What was the main thing you wanted to show with this choreo?
A: The thing I most wanted to show as I created this choreo was that I wanted every individual member to stand out. Since I have so much affection for each member, I thought a lot about how to make all of them stand out, and when I was planning the composition, I talked a lot with the performance director team about these things.
Q: What was the most fun part of the choreography to you?
A: The most fun part of the choreography is definitely the Kick Back part. This is also the only part that I remember, so I think that it’s the most important keyword.
Q: How can one improve sharpness in dancing?
A: When you dance, if you want to dance cleanly, the basics are the most important. Did you learn this? With your shoulders pulled down, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. This is a really important basic skill. I also do this when I do lessons with trainees. More so that you would think, if you practice the basics, your dance will become cleaner and prettier. So put a lot of power into the end here and with a fast and slow, cut it off, then cut it off and bring it back, all while making sure your shoulders stay low. If you practice to the music, I think that your dance will become cleaner than you might expect.
What do you think? If you haven't already, be sure to upload your #kickbackchallenge videos and tag Ryu D (@auspicious_ryud on Instagram)!
We hope you enjoyed this week's Predebut!