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‘K-Pop Dance Night’ excites New York group dancers

Posted May. 08, 2023 08:12,   

Updated May. 08, 2023 08:12


Last Friday night (local time), Stony Brook University's K-Pop dance team “KBS Dance Team” performed the chorus part of K-pop girl band TWICE’s "Talk that Talk" with a dance cover tutorial provided at the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center, New York. Following its lead, around 100 New Yorkers and teenagers started dancing accordingly. The crowd included avid K-pop fans and citizens who visited the stage merely out of curiosity.

Alice, a Hip-hop dancer in her 30s, said that she briefly came over to see what this Lincoln Center-hosted event would be like. She already knew of K-pop but could take a closer look at how K-pop dancing is powerful, high quality, and inspiring during the on-street performance that night.

Jointly organized by Lincoln Center and Korean Cultural Center New York, "K-Pop Dance Night” connects college-based K-pop dance teams and citizens to learn about K-pop dance. The event also honors May, or “Asia Heritage Month,” for Asians in the United States.

Also, New York University’s K-pop dance team “KNESIS” performed another K-pop girl band NewJeans’ “OMC” dance. KNESIS’ leader Grace Chung recalled her childhood when it was hard to see any role model who was Asian in the media, making teenagers including her think hard about whether to follow the U.S. mainstream led by Caucasians or to discover their own identity. It was K-pop music videos depicting cool Asians that boosted her sense of pride as being of Asian descent.

Founded in 2013, KNESIS has provided a free dance session to students every week at New York University. Chung said that the team asked the school to provide larger space as its sessions are often fully booked instantly. This dance team has more than 1,000 members on Facebook. Tyrese Woodham, a member of Stony Brook University's KBS Dance Team, commended K-pop as a music genre combined with perfect group dancing. His love for dancing started with J-pop when he was young. Turning 10, he started doing K-pop dance covers.

The event was also attended by not an inconsiderable number of graders accompanied by their parents. Six-grade girls named Eden Lonier and Isabella Sagles, who are friends in school, were inspired to love and learn K-pop dance thanks to their school friends enjoying K-pop. They seemed to be completely into the dance cover. Lonier, whose mother is of Korean ancestry, attributed her growing interest in K-pop to her inborn curiosity about where she came from.

Hyoun-Soo Kim kimhs@donga.com