Provo dance group, Golden Hour, builds community through K-pop

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Golden Hour is a Provo-based dance group that covers K-pop dances through videos and live performances. The dancers share the ins and outs of the group and explain the impact of K-pop in their lives. (Hannah McKinlay)

Most Americans know K-pop through the international boy band BTS. But some, like the members of dance group Golden Hour, have journeyed deeper into the genre to appreciate other artists.

What started in 2020 as a few K-pop fans in search of an escape from the isolation of quarantine has become a community of more than 40 friends who make their own dance videos and perform at local events.

“The first performance for me was the BYU ‘Brigham’s Best’ talent show, or something, they did that one time,” Golden Hour president Cambria Eastman said.

Every month or so, Golden Hour members vote on five or six dances released by K-pop groups with their songs. Leaders then organize the dancers into different groups, and the rehearsing begins.

“So we learn the entire dance as a group, we assign people, we try to learn the lip-syncing and stuff, and then find a location, film it,” Eastman said.

Learning that much choreography means the group rehearses for two hours twice a week, all on their own time, without getting paid. After about a month of practice and a dress rehearsal, they are ready to film.

“So it’s kind of like a whole production,” Eastman said.

The time and energy these dancers put into their work begs the question: what attracts people to K-pop?

Some Golden Hour members point to the talent in the industry and how high K-pop idols set the bar.

“The music videos are on just like a whole other level compared to, like, American music videos,” Golden Hour member Clara Ohran said.

Others point to the community the music can create, even with complete strangers.

“No matter which K-pop group you like, no matter what K-pop songs you like, anyone who knows anything about K-pop will immediately connect with you,” Golden Hour member Tessakiree Garber said. “And I think that brings us, as a community, together.”

Golden Hour members can attest to that bond, especially after more than two years dancing together, and hopefully many more to come.

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