K-Pop Dance Club widens perspectives, supports passion

Elizabeth Hupe, staff reporter

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First recognized in the Western World after the release of “Gangnam Style” by Psy, with billions of views on YouTube, K-Pop changed the perspective of foreign music according to sophomore Sarai Teruel, co-founder of K-Pop Dance Club. No longer the taboo genre it once was, “Gangnam Style” allowed for the growth and success of many Korean artists in the West according to Teruel.

Teruel says she was introduced to K-Pop through a friend but continued to listen to it because of quality and effort put into the music.

“I listen to it because there is so much more than just the music,” Teruel said. “The connection the idols have with the fans is more of a genuine type of love than the relationship between western artists.”

Teruel expresses her interest in the community, and notes on the differences of K-Pop and western, or American, music.

“The scenery and how much effort they put into it really caught my attention, and even if it was in another language, I [still] appreciated it,” Teruel said.

Ava Stevens, sophomore and co-founder of K-Pop Dance Club, explains that the scenery of a BTS concert, consisting of colorful lights and the high-energy level of the K-Pop artists, is unforgettable.

“The concert itself was really, really fun,” Stevens said. “I met a lot of people and talked to them in line about stuff we liked about K-Pop, and it was just a very inviting community. Meeting the [fans]in real life was really great.”

English Teacher Jen Jun, sponsor of K-Pop Dance Club, explains that excitement at each meeting is due to their passion for the music and dance routines of various K-Pop groups.

“It’s a safe community for people to come together and enjoy what they like to do,” Jun said. “Just having that space to meet with people who have common interests in music [is great], they really enjoy coming together.”

Additionally, Jun states she had never taken a liking to the music before she was asked to sponsor the club. With little knowledge of the industry, according to Jun, she decided to join this new community of Korean pop culture. Along with much of the Western Hemisphere, she and Stevens are being exposed to a new culture gaining popularity and appreciation outside of Korea.

“I think it’s really great that music of a different culture is coming to America,” Stevens said. “I think it’s an open opportunity for people to learn about new cultures.”

The club offers a great opportunity for students to experience beyond the walls of the nation, according to Teruel. The club teaches steps and routines featured in the music videos and performances of some of K-Pop’s most popular groups, like BTS, Twice and Blackpink.

“There are a lot of dances that the idols do, and a lot of K-Pop fans learn them, either because it’s fun or just because they enjoy the song,” Teruel said. “It’s like everyone is bonding through [the dance routines we learn together.]”

Stevens uses this music to indulge in new aspects of the K-Pop world and learn more about everything that the vast community holds.

“K-Pop sounds like a genre, but it’s actually an industry,” Stevens said. “It’s not just Pop. There’s R&B, and rap, and indie, and all of these things.”

K-Pop Dance Club is a way to expand horizons, relax, and enjoy the company of K-Pop enthusiasts according to Stevens. Jun describes the space and community as being a positive and refreshing through the supportive atmosphere of each meeting.

“I think that the K-Pop community is very intense and supportive,” Jun said. “I think it is very interesting to see how people find a home in music, and it’s just nice to see that.”

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