Forty-seven female dancers glared at and checked each other. They seemed to be having a war of nerves at first. In the following scene, however, they danced with a serious and sharp look and cheered for each other once battles were over. It was all about how well they danced, not a staring contest. The dance competition “Street Woman Fighter” on Mnet, which premiered on August 24, was planned with an intention to shift the spotlight from K-pop artists to dancers. Forty-seven female dancers in eight crews are gaining popularity as the show goes on.
There is a narrative at the center of their viral popularity. The dance battle between Honey J of HolyBang and RiHey of CocaNButter is an example. The two had danced together in the same team for seven years before parting ways. After the battle, the two dancers who saw each other for the first time in five years hugged with teary eyes. “As many of them have been dancing for a long time, there is a great deal of relationship drama and war of nerves among leaders who are trying to get the win for their crews,” said a member of the show’s production team in a written interview with The Dong-A Ilbo.
Viewers are wildly cheering at a close bond between leaders and crew members, as well as their spirit of fair play. The leader of Hook, Aiki, picked up a microphone to praise one of her crew members who was selected as the worst dancer while other dancers applauded her action. La China’s Peanut asked for a battle against Lip J of Prowdman against whom she never got a win. Even after a loss, she accepted the result. This is why viewers believe in the dancers’ sincerity despite the apparent competitive structure for which Mnet is known.
Each crew’s unique performance is quenching people’s thirst for live performances suspended due to COVID-19. “The fact that dancers share genuine passions for dance and respect each other after fierce competition and behind the camera seems to move people beyond the matter of wins and losses,” said a production team member. “Their performances also show people how attractive of an art form dance is.”