In Which I (Try to) Learn K-pop Dances

As I'm writing this, I'm cuddled up in a pile of blankets and pillows, recovering from a cold.  All I can see out my window are trees.  My little corner of the world is peaceful and serene, whilst Monday continues around me.
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Anywho.
Haha, you can see my reflection in the computer screen.

My friend and I had made a deal: I would learn K-pop dances with her if I could blog about it.  This past weekend, we made that deal valid.

K-pop is Korean pop music.  From my K-pop enthusiast friend, I learned that it's a massive industry, and that K-pop stardom is highly competitive.  A huge part of its appeal, I soon learned, was not necessarily the music, but the aesthetic- and the dance.  K-pop dances are generally hip-hoppy, fast-paced, and very smooth.

I've been dancing for twelve years.  I'm no prima ballerina, but I like to think that I'm pretty good.  K-pop dances proved me wrong.
(Hence why I am not posting the videos we took, and the only photos you will see of this occurrence are very blurry: I'm a little embarrassed of my performance).

I met up with my friend on Saturday afternoon.  She will hereby be referred to as Emma, because that's her name.  Emma had picked out several songs for me to try.  After we listened to several different K-pop groups, including BTS and its parody BGA, she started me out on what was supposed to be a fairly easy dance: Like OOH-AHH by girl group Twice.

The music video for Like OOH-AHH includes the members of Twice, dressed in school-cheerleader-style outfits, escaping a zombie apocalypse.  Emma taught me the chorus of the dance and accompanied that education with the actual music video and tutorials made by other people.  The choreography itself wasn't super hard, but I kept getting my left and right sides mixed up.  It's a very bouncy dance, so it was really fun to do.

The next dance we did was TT by Twice (Twice's dances are supposed to be easy so fans can learn them).  The song is very cute, and it reflects that in its dance.  It made me want to wear cat ears.  Despite how cute I felt while doing it, I learned that I have no sense of position without a mirror in front of me; Emma had to keep correcting my arm placement.

After TT, we gave Mamma Mia by Kara a try.  Emma can totally rock that dance!  To her credit, she tried her best to teach me, but I just couldn't get it down.  I looked like a total idiot.  Emma had mercy on me- we called it a night.

The dancing resumed Sunday morning, after a hearty breakfast including some of the sweetest raspberries I've ever had.  We attempted Mamma Mia again, but I just couldn't get it!  My hands moved like floppy bear paws, while my shoulders jerked at odd angles.  I stumbled and staggered and, despite my friend's best efforts, never knew quite what the choreography was supposed to be.  We moved on.

The final dance we attempted was Fingertip by Gfriend.  Beforehand, Emma warned me that it was harder than the others we had attempted in the past, and she was right.  It was all complex, fast arm movements that had to fit in just right with each other.  I flailed my gangly limbs in what I hoped was the correct order, and considered myself lucky that my friend was there to help me out.  When I wasn't dramatically messing this dance up, I really had fun with it, especially the parts where I could toss my hair.


Concluding thoughts:

Most of the K-pop songs I heard this weekend were pretty similar, but each song was cleverly catchy.  I've had Not Today by BTS stuck in my head all day.

K-pop groups put a lot into their music videos.  (I was about to say that this was different from any musician/band I listen to, but then I thought about Muse's Panic Station video.)  Apart from the actual music and dancing part of the videos, I really like the outfits.

As someone who been learning and performing choreography for nearly twelve years, I was a little embarrassed that I couldn't pick up on these dances quicker.  K-pop dances are not quite like any type of dance I've ever attempted- quick, intricate, close to the floor; sometimes provocative, sometimes elegant like ballet.

I can definitely see why K-pop dances have so much appeal.  Even when I was floundering and blundering, learning the dances was enjoyable.  Dancing alongside a friend (especially one so learned on the topic of K-pop) made it super fun.

One of the biggest things that I got out of immersing myself in the K-pop fandom was a new enthusiasm for my dance classes.  The K-pop girl groups Emma showed me have a certain aesthetic and really good synergy when they dance.  It made me want to recreate that energy in class.


To my readers (haha, what readers? kidding. I know there are at least two): If you ever want a fun, cute way to get some exercise, K-pop dancing will do it.

Thank you to my friend for being so patient with me, and thank you for a terrific time.  The songs are stuck in my head constantly.  Right now, I'm humming TT.

World peace and love,
Heather <3

2 comments:

  1. I had no idea K-pop songs were so catchy. I only knew it as a nickname for a girl in my Spanish class.

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