Physics student's dancing propels Instagram account to viral status

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Physics sophomore Charlotte Yun has generated a large following on Instagram with her hip-hop dancing.

Photo Credit: Sezzy Rodriguez | Daily Texan Staff

From Korea to Texas to L.A., physics sophomore Charlotte Yun is dancing her way to international fame after taking center stage on social media.

With less than two years of formal training, Charlotte Yun’s dancing has caught the attention of thousands via an Instagram account that went viral earlier this year. Yun said she has always loved to dance, but it wasn’t until she graduated high school that she joined a studio and began to get more formal training in hip hop — her main area of expertise.

“Dancing is my favorite feeling in the world,” Yun said.

Yun moved to Austin about six years ago after being born and raised in South Korea. She said it was on a trip back to visit family last year that she joined 1Million Dance Studio, where she started taking formal lessons, choreographing and producing videos.

“It is a blessing that a lot of people know me by videos and have people recognize me on campus or when I go to dance events,” Yun said.

Tyrik Patterson, who has danced with Yun and choreographed some of the videos on her Instagram, said her perseverance has been an inspiration to him. Patterson said he particularly admires the way Yun combines her individuality with the ideas he wants to showcase through his work.

“To see her love it so much to share it on her personal Instagram, whether it be for countless number of followers or just one, is very meaningful to me,” Patterson said.

Patterson isn’t the only student who has been inspired by her motivation. Radio-television-film junior Adrian Flores said he met Yun when she was a freshman and they began dancing together in Jester outside of J2. Flores said her ambition has inspired him to use her as the feature artist for his video production class project.

“She knows who she is and that’s how she portrays herself on social media,” Flores said. “People can follow and appreciate that. Her videos show that and show her growth. Her videos a year ago are not the same as her videos now — it is very inspiring.”

Meanwhile, Yun continues to pursue her love of science as she finishes her degree in physics. Dance careers are short, she said — so she wants to teach dance but is happy to have a backup plan that she is also passionate about. She hopes to use this as an opportunity to inspire others to follow all of their dreams, not simply pick one.

“You only live life once, so why stick to one thing?” Yun said. “I want to graduate with good grades because I want to show people that anyone can do what they want. I want to do it for college students, other women, other minorities that might not believe in themselves as much as they should.”

Though her account was hacked and disabled last week, and Yun hasn’t yet received a response from Instagram about whether she’ll be able to get it back, her new account created last week has already garnered more than 600 followers.

Despite the setback, Yun said she remains hopeful she will be able to continue using social media to share her art as she has already started moving forward, posting several recent videos on her new account.

Yun said she will continue dancing as long as she can, and plans to keep sharing her art with the world as she balances her dance goals with her academic ambitions.

“It gives me so much energy that after taking a dance class or making a video I can’t sleep until 3 a.m.,” Yun said. “It gives me so much life, positivity and confidence in and out of dance.”