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9 Vata Facts About The Viral “New Thing” Choreographer From Street Man Fighter

Facts about Vata

Leader of the We Dem Boyz (WDBZ) dance crew, Vata is an up-and-coming choreographer in the K-pop industry, and the creator of the iconic New Thing choreography that has gone viral on social media. Here are 9 facts about Vata you may not have known about the amazing dancer.

1. He shares the same name as 2 other SMF contestants

vata - vata leader pic
Image credit: @mnet_dance 

Vata’s real name is Kim Tae Hyun (김태현), and he shares the same given name as 2 other contestants on Street Man Fighter (SMF).

vata - trix
Image credit: @mnet_dance 

Trix, the leader of Prime Kingz and the world’s 1st Korean Krump champion, is also named Kim Tae Hyun. Yes, even their family name is the same.  

vata - roh taehyun
Image credit: @mnet_dance

The 3rd Tae Hyun on SMF is Roh Tae Hyun, who belongs to the Mbitious dance crew and was formerly in the K-pop groups HOTSHOT and JBJ. 

vata - trix vs taehyum
Image credit: @mnet_dance

The MBitious Tae Hyun and Prime Kingz Tae Hyun faced off in the “No-respect” dance battle during the first episode, where crew members could call out other dancers to face off in a dance battle. Interestingly, both Tae Hyuns were from the same krump crew Monster Woo Fam and even trained together. 

vata - ssaebing gif
Video adapted from: The CHOOM (더 춤)

Meanwhile, Vata and Trix filmed the leaders’ New Thing performance video together.

vata - vata freestyle
Video adapted from: Viu

With so many talented dancers named Tae Hyun in the show, maybe changing your name to Tae Hyun is the key to becoming a better dancer.

2. His stage name was inspired by James Cameron’s Avatar 

vata - boa
Video adapted from: Viu

Vata is blessed with long limbs that complement his 180cm-tall frame, making even the queen of K-pop, BoA, blush at his model-like proportions.

vata - avatar
Image adapted from: Viu

In the first episode, Vata said that due to his relatively long nose bridge and small eyes, he resembles the Na’Vi in James Cameron’s Avatar. He thus based his stage name, Vata, on the James Cameron movie.

vata - avatar full body
Image adapted from: Viu

Combined with his model-like proportions , the only thing separating Tae Hyun from the Na’vi is his skin colour and dance skills, making “Vata” the best dancer name he could have picked – “Ava” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

3. His MBTI type is ESFJ

vata - wdbz poster
Image credit: @mnet_dance

According to the official Mnet SMF profiles, Vata’s MBTI type is ESFJ. states that ESFJs like to make the people in their life “feel supported, cared for, and secure”, which seems befitting of the leader of a world-renowned dance crew.

vata - bromance
Video adapted from: vata(바타) zip.

WDBZ members all agree that Vata is a caring leader who creates a good atmosphere in the crew. There’s no shortage of SMF footage where Vata is messing around with his fellow crew members, and We Dem Boyz just seems like a fun crew to train with because of him.

vata - hype
Video adapted from:
vata(바타) zip.

ESFJs are also known to be mood-makers, usually one to hype others up and get a party atmosphere going. You’d be hard-pressed to find a clip in SMF where Vata was not in the thick of the party, being loud and jumping around. 

vata - interview
Video adapted from: Viu

One weakness of ESFJs is that they can sometimes be too selfless, neglecting themselves while trying to ensure others feel secure and supported. In Gyu mentioned during an interview that throughout the JustJerk plagiarism controversy, Vata did not want to confront the JustJerk dance crew as he preferred to keep the peace.

4. Youngest crew leader in SMF 

vata - posing pic 1
Image credit: @vata_500 

Born on 12th December 1994, Vata is the youngest leader amongst the crews in SMF. Despite the other leaders’ headstarts in terms of experience, his perseverance and good work ethic meant that Vata was just as good as the others.

vata - ygx interview
Video adapted from: Viu

In fact, Vata and WDBZ are starting to take over the K-pop choreography market with their unique style and trendsetting moves. 

vata - 1million
Video adapted from: Viu

1Million’s Choi Yongjoon remarked that instead of requesting for his choreographing services, companies now call him hoping to get WDBZ’s contact information. That’s how you know you’re beating your competition.

vata - qna 2
Video adapted from: WE DEM BOYZ 위댐보이즈

Vata works extremely hard to improve in dance. While he was training, he used to only take one dance class a week, but spent the rest of the week practising the choreography he learnt for up to 7 hours daily.

His practice sessions consisted of breaking the moves down to their most basic forms and drilling them to perfection.

vata - qna 5
Video adapted from: WE DEM BOYZ 위댐보이즈

Vata believes in setting up your environment in a way that makes it easier to be disciplined. He took up part-time jobs near his training studio so that it would be easier to head straight over to train after work, rather than trust himself to leave his apartment after work to train. He also took morning shifts so that he could not sleep in and thus have more time in the day. 

5. Involved in famous K-pop choreographies

vata - kpop choreo gif
Video adapted from: Viu

While we often appreciate and enjoy the dazzling sharp moves that K-pop idols perform on stage, we hardly ever stop to think about those responsible for coming up with the choreo. But thanks to the popularity of dance battle shows, the tide has changed and popular choreographers are releasing their original demos of choreographies for fans to appreciate.

vata - kd pracitce
Video adapted from: WE DEM BOYZ (위댐 보이즈) 

WDBZ is also in on this trend, and we get to see how some of our favourite choreographies looked like before companies modified them to suit the idols’ needs.

vata - hot and omega x
Video adapted from: WE DEM BOYZ (위댐 보이즈), WE DEM BOYZ (위댐 보이즈)

Some of the choreographies that came from the brilliant minds of Vata and WDBZ include Seventeen’s Hot and Victon’s Unpredictable

vata - vata bg dancer
Video adapted from: Ink

WDBZ also frequently works with Kang Daniel, not only choreographing his dances but also performing with him on stage.

vata - tiger inside
Video adapted from: WE DEM BOYZ (위댐 보이즈)

Vata’s most famous choreography video is Tiger Inside by SuperM, and many netizens were full of praise, even going as far as to say that he did it better than SuperM.

6. Vata used to teach at JustJerk regularly 

vata - vata justjerk
Video adapted from: JustJerk Dance Academy 

Despite being competitors in SMF, Vata used to be a regular instructor at JustJerk Dance Academy. 

As of now, Vata is no longer a regular at JustJerk, but he does teach ad hoc classes occasionally. Most recently, he held classes using Chris Brown’s Liquor in June and CL’s Chuck in February. 

Do follow JustJerk’s Instagram to be alerted if Vata ever teaches there again.

7. Studied Mechanical Engineering in university

vata - qna clip 1
Video adapted from: WE DEM BOYZ (위댐 보이즈)

Seeing Vata in his element might make you think that he’s an artistic person through and through, even in school. So, it might surprise you to find out that he took Mechanical Engineering while in university. 

vata - qna 4
Video adapted from: WE DEM BOYZ (위댐 보이즈)

He did not study it much, however. During his time in the military, he realised that after weighing all the pros and cons, he wanted to dance professionally. Thus, he dropped out of university as soon as he was released from military service and went full steam ahead in his pursuit of dance as a career.

8. Started dancing when he was 20

vata - qna 3
Video adapted from: WE DEM BOYZ (위댐 보이즈)

Speaking of university, it was also when Vata first started dancing. He decided to join a dance club in university, and back then, dance was just a hobby.

But after reading self-help books during his military service, it got him to reflect on his priorities and ambitions in life. He then realised that dance was what he wanted to do as a career, which motivated his decision to drop out and pursue dance full-time.

9. Close to Stray Kid’s Lee-Know

vata - vata and leeknow
Vata and Lee Know working at a workshop organised by their crew, Souldance.
Image credit: Nate Pann

Ardent Stays will know that Vata is friends with Stray Kids’ Lee Know as they both used to train together in the crew Souldance.

vata - world of dance
Video adapted from: Thao Linh

They also competed in the World of Dance Korea qualifiers in 2016 together in a team named “Cupcakes”. 

vata - leeknow gif
Video adapted from: 스브스케이팝 ZOOM 

Lee Know is also extremely talented in his own right, as evidenced by his role as the main dancer in a group of similarly hardworking and driven people. It makes us wonder what they did back in Souldance that led to both of them being so amazing.

Facts about Vata, the choreographer of New Thing

With Street Woman Fighter and now Street Man Fighter bringing dance into the spotlight, fans everywhere are able to gain a deeper appreciation for the hard work and dedication that goes into being a dancer.

And with the virality that the New Thing choreography is enjoying now, like Hey Mama did in Street Woman Fighter, it’s nice to see that dancers and choreographers are gaining just as much well-deserved recognition as the idols they’ve choreographed for.

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Cover image adapted from: @vata_500, @vata_500, @mnet_dance