Songhee Lee was born in Pusan, Korea. She began training in modern dance at age 12, and won several major competitions while still in high school. In 1979, while majoring in modern dance at Pusan Women's College, she joined the Pusan Metropolitan Dance Company as an intern dancer. There, she became interested in traditional Korean dance and began taking instruction from a number of traditional Korean dance masters, each of whom practiced specific kinds of traditional dances, such as Sung mu (Buddhist Monk Dances) and Salp'uri (Shaman Dances). Among her teachers were a number of designated National Treasures. Building on this training, Ms. Lee came to focus on creating a personal style of choreography that drew on both modern and traditional Korean dance forms. She has developed a style of dance that manages to be both contemporary and timeless, international and Korean, intensely personal and deeply transpersonal.