K-pop dance club launches on campus


Brooklyn Joyner

Member’s of Loyola’s K-pop dance club dance at a club meeting on Feb. 3.

Brooklyn Joyner, Staff Writer

“Why do you listen to that if you don’t even speak Korean?” This is a common question to hear as a K-Pop fan living in the United States, according to Monica Vega Rosado, president of Loyola’s K-Pop Dance Club.

“I don’t know Korean but I think that’s what makes it better, that I don’t understand it,” Rosado said. “You can disconnect yourself from the meaning. When I’m listening to it I can just vibe without thinking about the lyrics.”

K-Pop, also known as Korean Pop, has existed since the 1950s but the genre first crossed over into the North American mainstream with the 2012 hit “Gangnam Style” by Psy, which has sold over 5 million copies in the United States according to the Recording Industry Association of America. Vox describes the South Korean genre as a “blend of addictive melodies, slick choreography and production values.”

Rosado’s love for the genre began last year. She decided to share that love with the rest of the Loyola community by starting Loyola’s new K-Pop Dance Club. Rosado said she wanted to create a safe space for students to express their love for K-Pop and make friends.

She explained that the average person usually views K-pop fans as “weird” which feels “belittling.”

“I think it’s a stereotype that K-pop fans are seen as crazy and very over protective of their artists,” said Rosado.

The club has been active with 15 members since October of 2021, according to Rosado. They meet up every Thursday evening to learn K-pop dances. Out of the 15 members there are 5 dance leaders who learn dances from K-Pop groups, like Blackpink or BTS, and teach the choreography to the rest of the class. The remainder of the time, members of the club enjoy listening to their favorite songs and perform freely.

Even though this club creates a space for students to have fun, the choreography is a task that club members said they take very seriously.

“The choreography is no joke. It’s really hard. We have people who are just getting into dancing to people who have been dancing their whole lives,” said Sarah Schuler, theater senior.

Schuler found interest in K-pop last year after playing the Just Dance video game with some friends in Buddig Hall. She said really enjoyed a song by Blackpink on the video game and has been listening to the genre ever since.

“I’m still new to the K-pop world. It’s a fun learning experience. I know everyone is really patient. I don’t pick up choreography easily but they go over it with me constantly,” Schuler said.

The aspect of the club that most members said they look forward to is creating content for the club’s instagram, @kpop.loyno. Group members say they plan to use social media to attract more members while taking the opportunity to dress up as their favorite idols. The club also plans to put together digital productions inspired by K-Pop music videos and live performances.

Sean Kelly, computer information systems sophomore, said those performances and music videos make the genre stand out from western music.

“It’s not just singing, it’s an entire show with lights, sparks, smoke, and fire. It is an actual performance,” Kelly said.

Kelly has been a self-described “K-Pop stan’ for 7 years and said the club is something that’s rare to find in New Orleans.

“I’m happy to have a professional space to dance and take the genre seriously,” said Kelly.

Students who are interested in joining are encouraged to visit the university’s club fair on Feb. 22, where the club will be tabling and recruiting.