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K-Pop dance, music classes for overseas visitors

If you’re interested in K-pop culture, come and experience it to the fullest by learning to dance and sing to the music. You’ll find it fun and surprisingly educational.

K-pop music isn’t just for ardent K-pop fans. Anyone can enjoy the catchy songs and dynamic dance moves of K-pop music. So why not be brave and take the next step by learning to dance to a K-pop song while in Seoul? From tourist centers to private dance schools, many different classes are available to tourists and K-pop fans.

90 MINUTES OF K-POP FUN

The Seoul Global Culture and Tourism Center in Myeongdong in downtown Seoul has held the free K-Pop Dance Class and K-Pop Music Class since March as part of the Korean cultural experience program, and both have become instant hits.

Free K-pop dance classes are available every week at the Seoul Global Culture and Tourism CenterFree K-pop dance classes are available every week at the Seoul Global Culture and Tourism Center.

“We first promoted the classes to Korean language academies at major universities and the city’s Global Village Centers. At first, most of the students were from China and Japan, but as word of the classes spread, we began to receive students from all over the world, from countries like Uzbekistan, Mongolia, and Argentina,” says Park Gae-yeon, organizer of the K-pop classes.

After the success of season 1 of the classes, the center continued with season 2 and season 3 this fall. The classes are now one of the center’s most popular programs. The dance classes are held twice every Wednesday afternoon. During the 90-minute class, students learn all of the choreography for a single song from start to finish. With the energetic and detailed guidance of the English-speaking instructor, students can master the dance by the end of the class.

The K-Pop Music Class teaches all-time favorite Korean songs that are easy to sing along with. Students sing along to music sheets with lyrics in Hangeul (Korean language) and pronunciation in English. The instructor teaches the meaning of the lyrics during the class, which is a bonus for students studying Korean. Season 3 of the K-pop dance and music classes continued until the end of October.The music class was held every Tuesday, and the dance class was held every Wednesday.

TAUGHT BY PROFESSIONALS

There are also private dance schools in Seoul that provide professional K-pop classes and programs for foreigners. The DEF Dance School near Seolleung Station in the Gangnam area is one of the top dance schools in Seoul. It has a well-structured dance program for amateur dancers and offers a teaching experience for Korean celebrities and K-pop stars like Big Bang and 2PM.

Carlson Allen is a student at DEF Dance School learning K-pop and Korean hip-hop dance.Carlson Allen is a student at DEF Dance School learning K-pop and Korean hip-hop dance.

The school became well-known outside of Korea through the dance video footage of the school’s instructors posted on YouTube. The DEF Dance School YouTube video got over 100,000 hits, and in time, the school gained a huge international following among K-pop fans and dancers. Other popular groups and celebrities from Asia including Lollipop F, a popular Taiwanese boy band, recently came to the DEF Dance School to learn the Korean style of dancing and choreography themselves.

Apart from occasional international celebrities, the school also has foreign students, many of whom are studying or working in Korea. Carlson Allen from the United States is one of those students. “I first came to DEF a year and a half ago with a friend to learn K-pop dance,” she says. “I loved dancing so much that I also took the hip-hop dance class. I like how it makes me feel more confident and powerful.”

Hip-hop students at DEF Dance School pose for the cameraHip-hop students at DEF Dance School pose for the camera.

Tuition starts at KRW 100,000, and the K-pop and hip-hop dance classes and popular girls-only classes are scheduled every day throughout the week (website: www.defdance.com).

*Article from Korea Magazine (October 2012)

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