My first time ever being exposed to K-Pop music and dance was when I attended last year’s K-Pop Dance Club (KPDC) Showcase: Checkmate. I remember having an amazing time, and I found all the music and dancing very entertaining. More than that, it introduced me to a whole new genre of possibilities. Going in last year, I didn’t expect that I would like K-Pop, but I surprised myself. Since then, my interest and fascination with K-Pop music have gradually grown, and I went into this year’s event, Paradise, full of excitement.
The location and setup for the showcase were pretty much the same as last year’s: it took place in the Cohon Center’s Rangos Ballroom and student organizations such as Carnegie Mellon’s Taiwanese Student Association (TSA), Korean American Students’ Association (KASA), and Awareness of Roots in Chinese Culture (ARCC) were at the front selling food. I noticed that there was a way bigger crowd this year. The seats were almost all filled when I got there, and my friends and I were lucky to find a spot. Even more, people continued to show up during the event, with a good mix of K-Pop lovers and those who knew little to nothing about the genre in the audience. The large numbers and liveliness of the crowd added to the excitement of watching the performances.
The showcase was hosted by KPDC president Alina Yu and one of the club’s dance directors Justin Yook. Their cheesy puns and paradise island-themed introductions helped create an enjoyable experience for the audience. There were twenty-two dance performances during the event, most of them by members of KPDC. However, there were several dances performed by members of KASA and the University of Pittsburgh’s Fresh Entertainment by Student Artists (FRESA). All the dances were covered or inspired by choreography from famous K-Pop groups such as BTS, SEVENTEEN, and Girls’ Generation. There was a good variety of performances, from hip-hop numbers to dances in the bubblegum pop genre. Despite the fact that all the songs and dances were new to me, I still felt the urge to (attempt to) sing and dance along.
In addition to the songs and dances being entertaining, the performances were also polished. Each dance group color-coordinated their outfits, with some being very sparkly and eye-catching and others very dark and in all black. Several dancers also dyed their hair and put on makeup to match their outfits.
Learning more about and experiencing the fun and animated aspects of the K-Pop culture made my time at the KPDC showcase very worthwhile. It was clear that the rest of the audience had as great a time as I did. All the hard work put into the event by the performers and club members certainly paid off, as the performances were impressive. Whether you have no idea what K-Pop is (Korean Pop, for those still wondering) or are just looking for some new songs and artists, KPDC’s talent and energy are sure to leave you looking forward to their next performance.