[Herald Interview] ‘K-pop dance covers are democratizing dance education’

K-pop dance cover videos rack up tens of thousands of views on YouTube.

They are filmed in places all around the world, from a shopping mall in China to a park in Spain. In the clips, young dancers typically dressed in colorful and coordinated outfits show off their moves to an intrigued audience, as the latest K-pop hits play through the speakers. Exuding confidence and joy, the dancers look almost as if they are in their own music video.

In her book “K-pop Dance: Fandoming Yourself on Social Media,” published earlier this month, Dr. Chuyun Oh, an Aassociate Professor at San Diego State University, delves into the global phenomenon from a perspective of a dance theorist and historian. She argues that by imitating K-pop dance moves and sharing videos on social media, these amateur dancers are creating something of their own.

“K-pop cover dance is clearly a practice of imitation. Dancers try to look like K-pop idols by imitating…

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