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“Footloose”: Discovering a New Passion for K-Pop Dancing

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

Music has always been a comfort for me, allowing me to express myself through other people’s words and melodies. I was first introduced to K-Pop in high school and enjoyed the music of some of my favorite groups including Dreamcatcher, TOMORROW X TOGETHER, LE SSERAFIM, and NewJeans. When I listened to K-Pop, it was always more about the music than anything else and I never really took the time to watch their music videos or performances. But this semester, I joined the K-Pop Dance Club on the UMass campus and found myself with the opportunity to evolve my love for the genre further.

Every fall semester for three years running, the K-Pop Dance Club have hosted an event called Produce 2×2 where groups with people of all dance levels performed dances covering songs of their choice that fit the theme. It’s open to anyone who’s interested in joining and wanting to get more involved in the club. I took this chance and decided to step out of my comfort zone and dedicate myself to a new passion. I already loved K-Pop, how hard could dancing to it be? The answer: very hard.

At first, I struggled quite a lot. I had no dancing experience, other than some ballet lessons from when I was around six, and my moves were sloppy compared to the rest of my group. But even though I was underperforming, I was still having fun interacting with my group members. Our time spent together encouraged me to continue and I felt a sense of determination in wanting to get better for the sake of my group. We were fast friends and bonded over our love for dancing and K-Pop; I cherish them and can’t wait to see what our futures together hold.

Learning and drilling new moves were so entertaining as I was always discovering new ways to move my body. I filmed myself to watch where my moves needed work and marveled at the progress I had made since the beginning of the semester. Dance practice was the time I felt my happiest. Grace imbued itself into my movements and a smile plastered my face most days when thinking about dancing. Watching myself in the mirror or through the many videos I took, I found a new appreciation for a beauty within myself I had never seen before.

The exercise I got from practice was also an unexpected benefit. At the end of many practices, I would check my watch to see the calories I burned and was always surprised by the number. It made me feel healthy and fit even when I wasn’t going to the gym regularly. I used dance as a way to break up my workout routine and let the new experience guide me into different strengths. My group members also motivated me to try my hardest and pushed me in ways that working out alone, as I usually did, could never do.

We placed second at the performance and I couldn’t be more proud of myself and my group. Passion seethes through me as I continue with this hobby and I can’t wait to see where it takes me. This has opened up new valves for me to express my creativity with music. I hope that with this piece I can instill a fire in everyone about the wonders of new discoveries and finding interests that help you grow as a person.

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Isabella Tisdale

U Mass Amherst '23

I love to read, dance, and have great conversations with great people.