BYU K-pop club brings South Korean culture to BYU

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Clara Ohran teaches the K-Pop Club a new dance on Jan. 30. (Julia Benjamin)

The BYUSA K-pop Club gives students of different backgrounds opportunities to enjoy the culture and movement of K-pop music.

Around 30 to 40 students from all over Utah County come to K-pop club every Thursday to share their love for dance and K-pop music. This love has created an uplifting environment that has allowed students to exercise without even realizing it.

K-pop is a genre of music that originated in South Korea. Over the past few years, it has begun breaking into American mainstream music, with several K-pop groups making Billboard’s top 200.

BYU student Alex Bollinger founded the club to create a space for K-pop lovers around campus to get together, dance and enjoy the music.

Students can come any time and are welcomed by current members. Bollinger said she makes it a priority to go up to all new members and make sure they know they have a place in the club.

“I want to create a place where everyone feels welcome,” Bollinger said. “The class is definitely open to all levels of dance. Beginners come in and say ‘Oh I can’t come to this class.’ Of course you can. We’re just here to have fun and not to have any judgment.”

BYU student and K-pop Club Vice President Ana Contreras joined the club initially because of her love of the music but has grown to enjoy dancing as well.

“It got me out of my comfort zone and got me moving,” Contreras said. “It’s something I never thought I would do before.”

Members are able to volunteer to teach others dances they have learned every Thursday night. During BYU student Isaac McDougal’s first time at K-pop club, he taught a TWICE dance called “Cheer Up.”

“Seriously anyone can do it,” McDougal said. “I think the dances are a perfect level of difficulty. I see people in there who have zero dancing skills and can still get the basic moves. It’s more for fun and it’s way less pressure.”

Membership has grown more than the founders imagined.

“Although we had been promoting (the club) a lot, we didn’t expect it to be that big,” Contreras said. “We didn’t know there were that many closeted K-pop fans.”

Those interested in learning more about the club can visit the club’s social media @byukpopclub.

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