In a past video, Street Woman Fighter star Hyojin Choi revealed a story of the time she worked with ITZY‘s Yeji that truly proves her dedication and professionalism.
Most K-Pop fans know Hyojin Choi as the leader of Street Woman Fighter dance crew WANT alongside fellow members Lee Chaeyon (former IZ*ONE), Rozalin, Moana, and Emma. However, the 29-year-old had a long history in the Korean dance industry before joining the Mnet show. A choreographer at the famous 1MILLION Dance Studio, she also served as a dance trainer for idols like THE BOYZ, Suzy, and ITZY’s Yeji.
Hyojin worked with Yeji back when she was competing on The Fan, an SBS reality show in which celebrities “recommended” rookies and trainees to the public and helped them to accumulate fans. The contestant with the most fans among the viewers at the end of show would be the winner.
At the time, Yeji was around 18 years old and still gearing up to debut with ITZY. Throughout her time on the show, she drew in tons of praise, both from the viewers and the judges. BoA, who was one of The Fan‘s main judges, stated that Yeji showed “great potential to be a star” and added, “If I were to produce someone, she would be the one.”
However, as well as she did on The Fan, the experience didn’t come easily to Yeji. In a past video with choreographer Mina Myoung, Hyojin Choi shared just how “professional” Yeji was when they worked through her troubles.
Yeji… she’s really famous now. I was in charge of Yeji’s dance [on SBS’s ‘The Fan’].
— Hyojin Choi
Hyojin recalled that it all happened before episode five of the show. “Yeji was about to get eliminated if she didn’t do a good job in the last performance,” the Street Woman Fighter star explained, “So her company wanted to put in the extra effort to make it work.”
Hyojin went on to say that she and Yeji both “worked really hard” on her performance for the episode—a vocal and dance cover of Dua Lipa‘s “New Rules.” However, it seems that Yeji may have worked a little too hard. While practicing “rolling and splitting” as part of the song’s choreography, Yeji sadly injured her back.
In behind-the-scenes clips aired during episode five, Yeji’s fellow contestants were surprised to see her struggling through the rehearsals. After the future ITZY star confessed that she’d hurt herself practicing the day before, the production team told her not to try too hard before recording day, but Yeji still gave it her all.
After the rehearsal was over, the cameras followed Yeji to the hospital, where she received first aid treatment for her injury. Naturally, as Yeji’s trainer, Hyojin says she was “quite worried before the show aired.” But, even through her pain, Yeji still managed to push on and give the viewers an incredible show.
After watching Yeji’s rehearsal video before the show, Hyojin was surprised that the young starlet was “really good” even while injured. “So,” explained Hyojin, “I thought that she was very professional.”
Later, during the recording for episode five, young Yeji broke down in tears after learning that she’d improved her score despite the pressures she’d faced. While Yeji was eventually eliminated in that episode, she left the show after making a lasting impression of her skills, attitude, and determination.
“I guess that’s how she got to debut,” said Mina Myoung of ITZY’s professionalism and talent, and that’s something every MIDZY can agree with.