Trandee Rock Talks About Dance Career, K-pop idols and Working with Kai in Interview


Trandee Rock, is a South Korean Hip-hop dancer and choreographer (sub-genres: Popping, House). He has performed alongside various K-pop artists, such as JUST B, Kep1er, The Boyz, SHINEE's Key, and NCT's Taeyong (ex. backup dancer, MV appearances). He's all set to do a mini three-date dance workshop across London, Frankfurt, and Madrid. Get to know more about Trandee as he explains his love for dance and dreams for the future dreams.

You have worked with so many K-POP groups so which group was the most fun to work with and why? 

The first artist with whom I worked on a big project was Kai, so I was nervous while working with him.

KAI is famous for sexy performances (laugh) do you think you are sexy?

I don't normally do sexy choreography, but when I was working with KAI, I did a lot of unisex/neutral choreography. So I thought that "Let me also become sexy! I am sexy!" while working with Kai.

You still remembered the choreography and danced with the ‘hmm’ by KAI, is there a special reason?

I was a big fan of KAI when I was in high school. I think his song called Mmmh has a perfectly matching choreography to its song and I think my definition of sexiness is a more toned-down version. I still remember all the dance moves although 2 years have passed.

How did you feel about working with the artist you loved from high school?

At first, I was just nervous. KAI is a perfect artist which is made possible through practicing a lot. During the project with KAI, I got to practice with him a lot to ensure that I can perform my best in his M/V and broadcasting shows. After all the work I've done, the fact that I worked with KAI became more realistic. I thought to myself, "I made it".

What was it like working with other artists?

For ‘ZOO’ by NCT Taeyong, it was very surprising to see him communicate with the dancers to choreograph the dance moves. It was new to me to see idols and dancers work together for choreography, so I have been immensely inspired as a choreographer myself. I thought to myself that one day I wish to work like this.

If you have the chance to work with foreign artists, who would they be?

I admire Justin Bieber and Bruno Mars. Their albums truly make you feel overwhelmed with joy and inspiration.

Where do you get the inspiration for the dance choreography?

Movies, traveling, webtoons, and animations are the sources of my inspiration. I spend a lot of time trying to express the emotions and stories involved in fight and love scenes through dance moves. 

Have you ever forgotten the dance steps during a performance? What happened?

I don’t think I have recently, but I of course have forgotten in my early days. My mentor once told me that when you get the dance moves wrong, don’t think about it and panic, but rather improvise it with freestyle and continue the moves. His words helped me develop as a dancer. I think it’s important to not reveal the fact that you forgot the moves. Trial and error during numerous performances taught me this.   

What made you choose dancing as a career? Was it hard to do so?

It was the toughest when I first began my career as a dancer. I was somewhat self-conscious about how others would view me, and also worried if I would be able to be respected as a dancer by them. For those hesitant about starting a dancing career, I would advise them to just give it a go and see how it goes. To really feel whether the fear is big or small, I think you will be able to really know what you want when you start dancing. I personally really like slumps. One of my coolest mentors said that the reason why slumps come is that you have reached the next level, but your body is still at the lower level. When your body reaches the next level, dancing will be fun again. So when slumps come, I think it's a good opportunity for me to further develop my dance skills. 

How do you ensure you stay strong and fit enough to perform?

Days before my performance, I tend to cut down on alcohol, calorie-rich food, and any other food that may affect my performance. Rather than weight training and cardio workout, I practice the same dance moves with varying energy levels to stay fit. 

Describe the best performance you’ve ever put on. What did you learn from it?

I think the best performance I've ever come up with is the Michael Jackson-inspired choreography used in a competition I participated in when I was 20. Although I don't smoke, whenever I think of Michael Jackson, I could imagine him walking in vintage suits while smoking. This performance is very memorable as I visualized this image to make a performance for my very first major competition which paid off very well. I had to mix and match the song and the beats myself and I remember considering the chores, image, and performance from scratch, so it was quite a memorable stage.

As there are lots of dance styles out there, name one dance style that you want to try.

I recently got to know of a tutting dance expert, TUTAT and was also inspired by an ad that had included sign language, which got me wanting to choreograph a performance with elements of sign language. +with TUTAT)

Before you develop a dance routine, what do you need to determine?

Story itself. Listeners can feel different stories from the songs played. Choreographers can also take different points of view from the song such as a breakup with a lover or family, friends etc.I kept thinking of how I will deliver the story of the songs. 

Do you have a dream as a dancer?
Dancers are usually undervalued compared to other types of artists, as they are secondary creations. Realistically it is hard to make a living as a dancer so I would like to make it possible for dancers to be treated the same as primary creations. As a dancer, I want to become someone who can have a positive impact. Society's view of dancers is becoming more positive, and I hope that in the future there will be more opportunities for dancers to actively participate. 

There is a dancer who was my role model and had a big impact on my life not only as a dancer but also as a human being. So I wanted to become a person who can have the same impact on other dancers. My long-term goal is to become a good papa. Like a papa who can be confident in front of their kids and a proud son, I always work hard to become a good individual.

Any words to beginner dancers?
You may be anxious and nervous to start as a dancer. You may try some ways as a freelance dancer. You may also be a Hidden Gem. You never know as you haven't tried and you never know until you try. So please try and feel your dream.

Follow Trandee on his instagram @aka_trandee_rock

Kirsty Bright

A UK freelance writer, who stumbled into the land of Kpop while studying Korean. Her bias groups are BTS and Seventeen, but she loves a range of groups and finding new artists to listen to! Contact on Insta: @kirstybright_ Portfolio:

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