If you’re obsessed with BTS, Blackpink, or even brand new to the K-pop scene, you need to check out K.Aire, the University of Oregon’s K-pop dance cover band since 2013. After nine generations, The 10-member group continues to deliver intricate choreography and upbeat energy to Eugene through performances, dance covers on Youtube and workshops.
K-pop, or Korean pop, has been booming on the American music scene since around 2012 with South Korean rapper and producer PSY’s pop hit. “Gangnam Style.” Known for its catchy songs, iconic dance moves, head-turning haircuts, and loyal fans, K-pop’s global popularity will only continue to blossom in 2022.
K-pop burst into South Korea in 1992 with the group Seo Taji and Boys, who released the song “Nan Arayo (I Know)”, which ended up at the top of the singles charts for 17 weeks. In 1996, South Korea’s first official boy idol group, HOT (Highfive of Teenagers) gained popularity, which helped shape the “pattern” of today’s idol groups.
Senior Vi Nguyen, a major in human physiology and vice president of K.Aire, is an international student from Vietnam and first got into K-pop in 2012 after hearing her friends listening to various K-pop groups. pop.
“One thing that allows me to get over homesickness, or just culture shock, is being able to listen to K-pop and dance with them. It’s kind of my side hobby,” Nguyen said.
The choreography covered by K.Aire spans a wide spectrum – highlighting not only the flexibility of the dancers within the group, but also the vastness of possibilities within K-pop itself.
“K-pop is very diverse, and it’s not just a few songs that are trending on social media. That’s part of what K.Aire wants to do; we perform different genres of K-pop,” said said Nguyen. “So with the hope that people see that there are many forms, shapes and colors of K-pop, and hopefully if they are really interested, they can find specific groups that fit to their tastes.”
The focus of K.Aire is mainly centered on covering choreographies of idol groups, which are teams of “idolswho can sing and dance. At the UO Drag Show in February, K.Aire performed a sequence of choreographies based on songs by various K-pop idols and idol groups – Deja Vu by Ateez, Money by LISA and Cold Blooded by Jessi.
Nguyen said the drag show is known to rank No. 1 every year as K.Aire’s favorite event, and it draws a huge crowd full of energy.
“It’s a strong reminder of why we’re here, why we work hard to look good on stage. The audience and everyone really create a wonderful experience,” Nguyen said. “Every year after the drag show, you can really observe that [new members] gain much more confidence. They become much more comfortable with other members or with themselves in the club.
Senior Alea Brooks, Asian Studies major and President of K.Aire, said K.Aire has brought many opportunities to connect with different areas of the community that she otherwise wouldn’t have if she wasn’t involved. .
“It’s a very good environment. That’s what makes it super fun: playing with your friends. It’s just a good time, and hearing the crowd cheering is so much fun,” Brooks said.
K.Aire’s reach isn’t just limited to K-pop stans – the group performs at a wide range of events around the Eugene area. Brooks said K. Aire will perform at events for any organization or community member who reaches out, from crowd entertaining at the Drag Show to a feature film at the Association of Arts Culture Night. Vietnamese students in May.
K.Aire also held dance workshops at the UO Rec Center this year for students of all dance levels to come and learn K-pop choreography. During the most recent workshop this spring, participants learned the routine for LOVE DIVE by new girl group IVE.
“I want people to know that they don’t have to be a professional [and] they don’t need to match the image of the trending K-pop group[s]. They can be any gender, any age, any dance level, but can still be part of us,” Nguyen said. “I’m glad to see that we have a lot of people joining our workshops. They’re all having fun and having fun, and we’re cheering everyone on.
For the first time on May 15, K.Aire is hosting their own event to showcase their work. K.Aire’s first annual showcase will take place at 6:30 p.m. in the Great Hall at GSH, featuring performances from K.Aire, UO’s Duck Street Dance Club and breakdance club Flock Rock.
“I want to promote K.Aire as a very open space. I don’t think many people can be very open about their interest in K-pop,” Nguyen said. “We want to provide them with a friendly environment for that. I hope people know that they are always welcome, even as members or as friends and supporters.
For more information on K.Aire and upcoming events, check out their Instagram @k.aire.