Artist Spotlight: Nathan Nguyen


Pauline Nguyen, Staff Writer

To freshman Nathaniel Nguyen, dance is a way for him to express his passion through something that lets him be himself. “When I dance my adrenaline is really high and I want to put all my energy into it because it’s so fun,” says Nguyen. He first started dancing when he was inspired by dance groups that he saw on TV, like Poreotics and Kinjaz. Since the second grade, dancing has been an activity he pursued. His parents have been very supportive of his dream to dance and enabled him to audition for JYP Entertainment, a South Korean entertainment company. Also, while his family was in South Korea, his parents took him to 1Million Dance studio, a famous dance studio that has 4 million subscribers on YouTube, to further help in his path of dancing.
Nguyen dances wherever and whenever he can. “I dance in studios, outside, wherever really,” he says. Nguyen dances contemporary, jazz and break dance, but hip hop is his favorite genre to dance. When he was younger he danced for the studio MDPA (Mission Dance Performing Arts) and won twenty-three gold medals as a solo over a course of four years. He began dancing in a team about two to three years ago, and now he currently dances at the Purdance studio in San Jose and is part of the Syndikidz dance team and the JYP Entertainment Mini team. “I consider dance as a part of my identity,” says Nguyen, “When I perform I just have fun, after all the hard work I’ve done with my team and being able to show everyone it’s really satisfying and it feels like all the hard work has finally paid off.”
In 2016, he auditioned for JYP Entertainment. “It was really nerve racking because there were a lot of people in the waiting room, about 400-500. When I got to the auditioning room, it was only me and the CEO, I was so nervous, but he smiled all the way through so it boosted my confidence.” He then joined “JYP Mini,” a dance team and performs with a group of seventeen people, ages ranging from fourteen to twenty. He trains with them three times a week for five hours in San Francisco. Though five hours may seem like a commitment, Nguyen enjoys dancing often. “They teach us a lot of new choreography and they give us critiques and we have to make up our own choreography,” says Nguyen. Every two weeks, he competes against other JYP Mini teams in Los Angeles occasionally in San Francisco as well. “The competing is more private. We compete against other JYPs across the country, there’s a team from Toronto, Las Vegas, and New York,” says Nguyen.
As for Nguyen’s plan for the future, “If I make into JYP then I will pursue a career in entertainment, if not then I will continue to dance and learn as many genres as I can,” he says. Eventually Nguyen would like to be able to create his own dance team and become a choreographer. To all new and aspiring dancers, Nguyen’s advice is, “Don’t be scared to mess up or be bad at dancing, just have fun with it.”