December 2011 Edition
How many times have you found yourself in your room, with your laptop open to a YouTube video of your favourite Kpop dance routine, trying to follow the steps? No, just me? Come on, we’ve all done it. But how much better would it be if you were dancing to your favourite Kpop routine, not in your room, but in a proper dance studio, with proper teachers who can give you step by step instructions of what to do. Luckily for us, this is where the LoKo Crew, who run London Kpop Dance Workshops, come in. This lovely bunch will make you feel welcome the second you meet them, and will instruct you with patience and fun throughout the day.
The Korean Class MASSIVE bunch had a fun day out when they went to visit a LoKo workshop, so read on and find out what it’s all about!
It’s not often that you’ll find any of us Korean Class MASSIVE girls getting up on a Sunday before noon, but sometimes being lazy is trumped by more important things. Like Kpop. And so, last Sunday, we found ourselves stumbling, bleary eyed onto the tube and heading towards Finsbury Park. Upon arriving, we were greeted by Caroline, one of the LoKo teachers, who was looking slightly more awake than we were. Slowly, people started turning up for the lesson, and Caroline ticked them off one by one. Once everyone had arrived, we were led to the dance studio, which was great as we would have got completely lost by ourselves.
Arriving at the studio, everyone got ready to begin the day. The LoKo team had planned that the day would be from 10am – 5pm, at the cost of £10. We think seven hours of dancing and instruction for just £10 is a massively good deal – it’s about £1.43 for each hour, bargain! So while everyone got ready to dance, the Korean Class MASSIVE got ready to take pictures. That’s right, we didn’t actually take part in the dancing due to extreme uncoordination. However, next time (we’ll definitely go again) we will make an effort!
The dances for the day would be a mix up of some of 2011’s best dances. So the students (about 20 in total) could get an idea of what they would be doing, the teachers (Caroline, Tammy aka Mama Loko, and Isabelle) demonstrated what they would learn by the end of the day. The songs learnt were, in order, Mr. Simple by Super Junior, Dr. Feel Good by Rania, I’m the Best by 2NE1, Fiction by Beast, Neverland by U-Kiss, Hot Summer by f(x), Cry Cry by T-ara, Boys by SNSD, and Paradise by Infinite. Check out the video to see the teachers’ demo.
So with everyone knowing what they would be dancing, and how things should look by the end of the day, the teaching started. Caroline started off with a thorough warm up, then began teaching Mr. Simple. For us Korean Class MASSIVE onlookers, this routine looked ridiculously hard. We could barely work out how their bodies were moving, let alone do it ourselves, so props to all the students who actually managed to pick it up! The teaching worked by demonstrating the moves a beat at a time, then putting the whole thing together. All the students had a chance to see the moves up close, as the class lines were rotated, so those at the back would then come to the front. The pace was matched to the students progress, so no one was left behind.
Next up was Isabelle teaching the Rania steps. The choreography of this made a good contrast to Mr. Simple as it had a slower pace so students could get their breath back a bit. Everyone picked this up really quickly, very impressive students!! Again, the pace was adjusted to students’ progress, and everyone was able to see what was going on.
The students managed to remember the Mr. Simple steps after learning Dr. Feel Good, which is more than we could do!
Tammy’s turn teaching came next, with 2NE1’s I’m The Best. There was lots of laughing involved with this one, as there was a move involving rolling on the floor – always a fun option!
Testing the students, can they remember all the moves learnt so far?! It seems like they can!
Beast’s Fiction was the next song to learn. Though the foot moves for this dance look easy, it’s actually deceptively difficult. Luckily, Isabelle who was teaching this went through the motions step by step. We can see how detailed she was teaching these movements – she said that she had found them hard to master too, which made the students feel better if they were having difficulties as well.
See how to do the Fiction foot movements, one beat at a time….
And now the class’ turn……
The class students managed to remember all the moves, which is more than Korean Class MASSIVE would be able to do!
After lunch, the class learns the next song, U-Kiss’ Neverland, from Isabelle. This funky dance looked really fun to learn, and was taught really well, with clear instructions all the way through.
Isabelle went through the steps first……
…..then the class followed…..
The class join the Fiction and Neverland moves…..
Unfortunately, Korean Class MASSIVE weren’t able to stay the whole day, must to our disappointment as we were having a great time watching. Before we left, we did manage to have a talk with some of the people who’d come along for the day.
We spoke to Tamanna (a fellow class mate of ours at the Sejong Institute and who also has her own blog here), who’d come along to meet up with fellow Kpop enthusiasts and get some professional tuition. She said she was having a great time in the class, and said that being able to have someone in front of you teaching you the moves is so much easier to learn from than just watching a video. It also gave her a chance to socialise with other people and to generally have a fun day. She found the pace of the class and the song choice really good, and would come again.
We also had a chance to speak to Joanna, who some of you might have seen on YouTube, as she does Kpop song covers. You can see her channel here. She made it into the top 5 of the YG Lonely contest, and even got a free trip to Korea when she entered MBC’s Birth of a Star contest, so definitely check her out if you gave a spare minute. She’d come along to practice her dancing, so in the future she could do dance covers for her YouTube channel as well as singing. She really enjoyed the friendly atmosphere in the studio, and thought the teaching was great. Like Tamanna, she’d come again in the future.
Korean Class MASSIVE had a fantastic day at the LoKo workshop. To anyone who’s ever wanted to dance to Kpop, but had no idea where to start, this is the answer for you.
The LoKo teachers are so nice and friendly, and the classes so tailored to everyone’s needs and paces, that you’ll feel at ease all day long. Don’t feel wary about coming if you don’t have anyone to come with either, you’ll find like minded people come and no doubt you’ll make some friends there.
Having already had a master class workshop with none other than one of SM ENT’s choreographers, Baek Koo Young, they’re recognised by the Korean entertainment business as one of the leading (we think the best) Kpop dance workshops in the UK. Keep watching for their future classes, as 2012 is sure to bring lots more surprises from them!!
Albums of the day’s photos can be seen here
We at Korean Class MASSIVE think that the LoKo team all deserve a massive….