Recent alum Gene Kim creates faith-based dance video series for Instagram


Photo courtesy of Gene Kim

Gene Kim (Communication ’22) dances in the center surrounded by members of his cast.

Jenna Wang, Reporter

Gene Kim (Communication ’22) knew he always wanted to incorporate his interpretation of Christian faith into his creative pursuits. When he noticed the lack of dance performance related to the Gospel, he decided to choreograph and edit faith-based dance videos for Instagram. 

His three-part project is posted on his Instagram account, @thegenekim. He has uploaded two episodes so far: “Fellowship” and “The essence of sin.” Both have casts composed entirely of Northwestern students and aim to appeal to both Christian and non-Christian audiences. 

“I thought (the faith-based dance space) was limiting because it wasn’t as relatable or as enjoyable for people that weren’t part of the faith,” Kim said. “I wanted to make a series more applicable for all people.” 

He conceptualized the ideas for each of the episodes over the summer but said he didn’t have the resources to begin until the school year started. Once he overcame scheduling difficulties, he would rehearse with the cast multiple times before filming the first episode.

Weinberg junior Michelle Lee, who is not Christian, said she appreciated how Kim explained the backstory behind his choreography. As a choreographer herself, she said she finds inspiration in how he incorporates different narratives. 

“My choreo was basically just dancing, but for him, it was a lot of storytelling, which I find really cool,” Lee said.

Kim said the messages behind his videos stem from his belief that people don’t know much about Christianity beyond the basics of heaven, hell and the existence of God. 

Throughout his journey in faith, he finds ideas in the Gospel everyone can relate to regardless of religious background, he said.

“The Gospel really gets into the human condition, the human psyche. It’s more than, ‘You need to be saved,’” Kim said. “Even if you don’t believe, hopefully it gives better insights to see how humanity is.” 

Though most of his cast is not Christian, Kim believes the essence of Christianity is all about inclusivity and letting people come as they are to learn about faith. 

Kim said he was initially worried about outside reception of the videos, but he said the series was far more well-received than he expected. He said he found that people were more willing to have a conversation about faith than he expected.

Weinberg junior Katherine Tu, who is not Christian, said she views Kim as an inspiration both creatively and in the way he treats people. 

“Gene is a very inspirational person in how after the beginning of each rehearsal, he makes sure everyone feels welcome and happy to start dancing,” Tu said. 

Lee said the dance style was new to her, but Kim created an incredibly friendly environment for all. She said Kim is one of the most inspiring people she knows. 

She recalled how he worked at the front desk of a dance studio in exchange for free dance classes as an example of that tendency. 

“He has the courage, determination and passion to put in a lot of effort and time into things that people usually won’t do,” Lee said. “He sacrifices all the time that normal people would be wasting and puts all that time together into something he thinks will improve himself and something he’s passionate about.”

Kim aims to finish the third and final episode in his video series soon. Until then, he said he spends his time choreographing new moves and working on videography projects for various organizations on campus. 

Once he moves to Los Angeles, California this summer, he said he hopes to further integrate faith into his creative pursuits. 

“The area of the intersection of faith, dance and videography is so small,” Kim said. “I really want to inspire others to be able to do more of that kind of work.”

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Twitter: @jennajwang

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