Korean Belly Dancer Ahn Yoo-jin

An article I read at another site about Chinese ladies taking up pole dancing, reminded me of another form of dance not rooted in the Far East, that’s become popular there.

Belly dancing was introduced in Korea in the mid-90s by Ahn Yoo-jin (now 39) shortly after she had begun studying it in New Zealand. Yoo-jin (also know by her English name of Xena) went on to found Belly Korea Academy in 1995, according to the site. However, I remember first reading about her in this article from the Korea Herald in 2001, in which the dates given don’t seem to jive. Anyway, regardless of the dates given, You-jin/Xena has appeared numerous times on Korean network television, is the only Korean belly dancer to hold a license from the Istanbul Total Dance Academy and has taught dance classes at several top universities in Korea.

Since a simple Google search of her name will turn up many results regarding her using a fake degree from a university in Australia, in order to land a job teaching dance at a prestigious women’s university in Korea; here you go ….but that or any other article on the subject will just tell you pretty much the same thing that I already did.

At any rate, so what if she did get caught passing off a phony diploma? It doesn’t mean that she’s not qualified to teach her art to others ….she just took a little short cut in doing so.


About the author

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Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Chris flirted with the music business there and in Nashville before joining the U.S. Army and serving in South Korea. He remained in Asia for several years afterwards, teaching English, traveling, and covering the regional entertainment scenes. Currently in a mindset between Seoul and San Francisco, besides Idol Features, you can also catch his writings in the print edition of the monthly magazine, Effective.

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