On September 12th, the ‘2017 Korea International Modern Dance Competition’ finals were held at the Main Hall of the Cheonan Arts Center. One of Dankook’s own students, Xu Mengxuan (徐梦璇), were among the winners at this event which is one of the most prestigious competitions in Korea. Xu Mengxuan, a Chinese student in Dankook’s Graduate School (PhD) program took 4th place and received a special award.
Xu, who started majoring in Chinese traditional dance since she was 16, joined Dankook’s Graduate School program (master’s program) to switch to modern dance in 2015. As modern dance is not widespread in China yet, Xu decided to come to Korea and applied to Dankook University which boasts with leading faculty and a strong curriculum.
Her decision was a success. Along with the university’s support and her own personal efforts, Xu placed her name on the list of winners in an international competition only 2 years after changing her major.
Prior to the Korea International Modern Dance Competition, Xu also placed first in the ‘Czech Brno Conservatory Dance Competition’ and received a participation award at the ‘22nd Korean Modern Dance Competition,’ not to mention taking the special award at the Chugye School of Arts National Dance Competition on the 17th.
Xu said that “it was tough at first as Chinese dance is about expressing external images while modern dance is more about expressing what is inside your heart” and added that “but, DKU’s department of dance offers a lot of opportunities to actually take the stage at places such as the Arts Center and Seoul Art Center which made it easier for me to learn quickly.”
In addition, “professors Heajung Kim and Eunsun Lee taught me how to express myself through modern dance which helped me gain confidence, and I was touched by how professor Kim looked after me like her own daughter, even taking me to jjimjilbang, the Korean bathhouse, during the holidays knowing I was here in Korea alone without my family.”
She also commented that not only the academic program, but also Dankook’s overall system such as dormitories, scholarship benefits and student services provided a convenient environment for foreign students studying overseas and made it possible for her to solely concentrate on practicing dance. Thanks to this, the number of foreign students in the department increased from four when Xu first entered the graduate program to currently around 20 students.
Xu says that she would like to realize a greater dream through Dankook. “Based on what I learned and experienced here at Dankook, I want to promote the beauty of modern dance in China. Just like what I learned from my professors, I would like to be a warm and caring teacher to students of my own someday.”