It’s funny how the people you dance with are always a mystery to you. You don’t know their background, their journey, you just dance with them for a solid hour and bond with them in this universal language of dance. It’s quite powerful if you think about it: Dance and how it brings people together. I find it fascinating. May is very reserved and an introvert of sorts. A lady of few words. But once you get to know her, she can be witty, hilarious, and sarcastic. But most importantly, at least for me, she has been an incredible friend. She is sensitive and caring. No judgments. She’s been there for me during some of my tough days in Seattle. It was never easy being a new mom. She stood by my side during those rough postpartum days, and I’ll always love her and respect her for that.

Here, she shares her versatile broadcast background, love of dance, her Korean roots, and her immigrant story in America.

Tell us a little about your broadcast background? Did you produce or direct short-film documentaries?

I worked as a scriptwriter in Korea at a major broadcasting company. As a scriptwriter, I was involved in many different genres of TV shows—including talk shows, documentaries, variety shows, quiz shows, and more. I consider myself more as an expert in talk shows than the other types; not only was I most passionate about talk shows, but I also believe they were the best format for showcasing my talent at building relationships with the hottest celebrities of the time and scripting great segments.

I also worked as an Assistant Director on the film ‘Too Young To Die’, which was groundbreaking in its story, leading it to be invited to Cannes Film Festival in 2002. My experience in filmmaking led me to study Feature Film Screenwriting at the University of London, where I earned my Master’s degree and wrote my masterpiece—a romantic comedy film script, ‘Come back to me Lady’, which I wrote in English and have not yet translated into Korean.

If you are curious about the film, ‘Too Young to Die’, you can watch it on Amazon Prime Video.

How long have you been living in Seattle and what do you love the most about the city?

I have been living in Seattle for almost seven years. There are many things I love about the city. Seattle has green mountains, blue waters, fresh coffee, and diverse cuisines. I have built wonderful friendships here over these years. If I have to choose only one thing I love most about Seattle, I’d have to say Studio 206, where I go for dance.

I absolutely LOVE dancing with you. What got you into dance?

It is very hard to say when I started to dance. I’m Korean. I grew up with K-pop! I loved dancing since I was a child. From my college years until I married Jason, the love of my life, clubbing used to be my favorite activity (and means of working out). I even met Jason in a club: JJ Mahoney’s at the Grand Hyatt Seoul. If you go to Seoul, you must check out this place!

Tell us a little about your cultural background.

I am Korean. My family lives in Seoul. I was born and raised in Seoul. Historically, Korea is known to be a conservative country, and men in the family had more respect and power in their homes than women. It’s a patriarchal society. However, culture has evolved. Nowadays, Korea is not very different from America in terms of how people think and act.

You also love to travel, share your favorite destinations.

I have traveled throughout most of Europe and Asia. I have loved every city and country I’ve visited, each for different reasons. It is hard to pick a few destinations that I like the most. If I had to pick one that I considered to be the most interesting, it would be Cappadocia in Turkey. It’s like you’ve been transported to ‘Alice in Wonderland’. I highly recommend the Turkish pizza restaurant around the corner from the express bus terminal.

You are a brilliant cook! You cooked up a storm for me once. Tell us when started cooking, and why you love to cook.

As the only child, watching and helping my mom cook was just something I did. Once, I surprised my neighbors by visiting every single one of their houses to give them pancakes I made from scratch. I was too young to know it would have been much easier to simply use pancake powder. At that time, I was only nine years old.

While studying in London, I sometimes got intense cravings for Korean food. I think my real cooking started during this period.

I can say cooking is part of my meditation. It makes me calm, focused, and patient, but the biggest reason is that it allows me to eat what I want, whenever I want.

Any favorite food spots in Seattle you’d like to recommend?

While I don’t generally love sweet things, I have a sweet spot for donuts and my favorite is the General Porpoise vanilla custard donut.

Daniel’s Broiler’s new location recently opened in the Hyatt Regency Hotel two blocks away from my home. That place has become a go-to for us; we’re there often to eat burgers, drink cocktails, and whiskey in their bar.

Tell us about your dog!

My dog’s name is Dahnchoo, which means ‘button’ in Korean. She is a year and half cavalier king Charles spaniel and has a button-like spot on top of her head (hence her name). She is a very sweet dog, prefers sleeping with her dad vs. me, and loves playing fetch. Nowadays she is on a diet because she became a little chunky after eating too many treats.

Any nice dance motivation quotes you’d like to share.

“Dance is the hidden language of the soul.”  Martha Graham.

Maheen Mustafa is the writer of this article. She is the CEO/Founder, Editor-in-Chief and Senior Writer of Maheen The Globe (MTG) a Seattle-based, independent media outlet covering global stories and perspectives. Whatever rings global, we’re on it! Maheen covers social impact, education, health, fashion, culture, business and music on MTG. Her Twitter handle: @MaheenM_

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