The Kinjaz are a Los Angeles based dance company formed in 2010, comprised of an all-star roster of creative directors, industry professionals and internationally renowned choreographers and instructors. They are known for their signature intricate choreography style and creative storytelling through dance and new media. The crew is extremely diverse, ranging from a wide variety of Asian ethnicities including Vietnamese and Korean as well as Caucasian, Hispanic and African American members. They were recent contestants on NBC’s World of Dance.
(These questions are answered on behalf of Benjamin Chung, co-owner and principle member of The Kinjaz)
Mission Hills, California
Los Angeles, California
What does it mean to you to “Go Against The Grain”?
To “go against the grain” for The Kinjaz, means to stand firm and die hard for the things you love and believe in the most. It means to look the opposition to your goals head on, and conquer it with hard work, dedication, humility and loyalty to the ones supporting you.
What made you decide to pursue a career in this industry?
I decided to pursue my career path, because I couldn’t see myself doing anything else. I loved dance, and dance loved me. I wanted to take everything I knew from what I learned at school in traditional academia, and apply it to the hard work of making an artistic dream come true. I haven’t regretted or looked back ever since.
What have been some of the challenges you faced/lessons you learned as an Asian American in this field?
I think being any minority makes life difficult. I think by definition, the term “minority” implies that you are not a part of the “norm” and therefore considered to be “different.” I try not to define my abilities or capabilities for that matter by my ethnicity or race. I believe that no matter the color of your skin, the human kind is made equal in the sense that we are all capable of doing anything as much as the next person is. Sure, based on privilege and even natural ability, you may have to work harder than the next person, but if you let the hard work scare you away from achieving your goal, that is where you let yourself “hit your ceiling” so to speak. If you love something hard enough, you will stop at nothing to go get it.
What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment and why?
My biggest accomplishment has been being able to do what I love, with the people I love. That is a luxury that so many people don’t have. The fact that I can confidently say that makes it one of my life’s greatest accomplishments.
What’s up next?
What’s next is Kinjaz global expansion. How that looks will only tell in time. One of our tenets is to positively impact the world by creating a global footprint. We intend to stick that life principle. Stay locked with us, and you will see how that all manifests.
Quote to live by:
“Respect all. Fear none.”
Sign (Eastern Animal Sign & Western Zodiac):
I personally am a Leo and the year of the Rooster. We as The Kinjaz are the Tiger.
God, people, culture, and food.
I can safely say that all of The Kinjaz love RAMEN! My last meal however would be Numero Uno pizza.
Can’t live without:
Living without music would SUCK!
We Go Against The Grain #beCAUSE:
We believe too much, work too hard and love to a fault…when you’re that extreme the grain is bound to be pushed to the side at some point.