K-pop class shares culture through dance

The Korean Culture Club (KCC) recently started a K-pop dance class at Lawrence University. The K-pop class runs from 8-9 p.m. on Mondays in the Multipurpose Room of the Buchanan Kiewit Wellness Center. The class usually reserves 30-40 minutes for exercising and understanding basic steps of K-pop dance. After warming up, students begin to practice dancing to the K-pop songs.

Junior Yan (Kathy) Li organized this dance class on her own after asking KCC to advertise and open it at the university. “We actually opened this course in the last term, but many students failed to join our class because of the finals,” said Li. She is now teaching dancing to the K-pop song titled “Good Boy” and is planning to teach “Shake It” by the Korean idol group Sistar.

Li has long been interested in the dance movements of K-pop and jazz. Although she is currently majoring in psychology, the dance choreography of K-pop became one of her favorite interests during her free time. Moreover, she finds great joy in teaching dance to other students since it helps her practice dancing on her own before the class. To systemize her teaching styles, she is trying to come up with the fastest way to learn the dance.

For future purposes, Li is planning to set up a Facebook group so that everyone can be involved in choosing a specific dance and K-pop song. She believes it could be a good way of increasing motivation among the students. “I am also thinking of presenting flash mobs and other performances in the [Activities] Fair next year so I hope to recruit more members later,” said Li.

Learning K-pop dance mostly consists of repeating the same dance movements and steps, but can also transform into a very engrossing cultural experience as it progresses.

As Korean pop culture is becoming an increasingly global phenomenon, this K-pop dance class adds a valuable asset of diversity to the Lawrence community overall. It not only offers students a chance to learn the dancing skills and techniques of K-pop music, but also helps them comprehend modern Korean culture. The students in the K-pop dance class seemed very eager to learn every single movement of the dance, as the class was teeming with great enthusiasm for learning. The K-pop dance class will remain open until next year, as Li hopes to recruit more teachers later on.

Senior Heidi Thiel, one of the students in the dance class, said, “Kathy is a great teacher and I was always interested in Korean culture and I think it is a good part of it.” Thiel started to take this course since she was not sure she could learn the dance on her own. She was satisfied with the dance class and found it a great channel to learn more about Korean culture.

Following up this K-pop dance class, KCC also introduced another opportunity to learn the Korean language from 8-9 p.m. on Wednesdays in the Media/Conference Room of the Seeley G. Mudd Library. KCC explains that the Korean language class can be an effective way of experiencing Korean culture as well.