If you’re a K-pop fan (or even if you’re not!), you probably recognize ITZY‘s Ryujin. The K-pop idol went viral for her “shoulder dance” from her group’s popular song “WANNABE” in 2020. Not only is her dancing impressive, but so is her debut story — as she was first discovered at a fan-meeting event for a K-pop group!

Keep reading to learn more about Ryujin.

Who Is Ryujin?

Ryujin was born in Seoul, South Korea on April 17, 2001 — making her an Aries. She actually got her start in K-pop by being a fan first, too! She was discovered by JYP Entertainment at a fan-meeting event for GOT7, whom she was a huge fan of at the time.

She trained at JYP for four years, and appeared in multiple different projects, such as BTS‘ “Love Yourself” highlight reel in 2017. That same year, the future members of ITZY (except for Lia) appeared on the Mnet reality show Stray Kids as a project group alongside the boy group that would eventually be named Stray Kids.

On top of that, Ryujin competed on a JTBC survival show in 2017 titled Mix Nine. She placed first among the female contestants but ultimately, lost to the male contestants overall. What’s more, YG Entertainment CEO Yang Hyun Suk offered her to join his company following the show, but she decided to stay at JYP.

Who Are ITZY?

ITZY debuted as a girl group under JYP Entertainment in February 2019, with the release of their first album IT’z Different and title track “Dalla Dalla,” which means “Different Different” in Korean. ITZY consists of leader Yeji, Lia, Ryujin, Chaeryeong and Yuna.

Since their debut, the band has made a name for themselves due to their impressive dance performances.

“We practice for performances a lot … like a lot,” Ryujin told Billboard in 2022. “And when the audience watches it, people compliment us saying: ‘Your performance looks difficult for a girl group. It looks straining for a girl group. It’s too cool to be a girl group,’” she explained.

“These don’t exactly sound like compliments to me,” the dancer remarked.

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