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Organization Spotlight: Mercer K-pop Team

The+K+Pop+Club+rehearses.+
The K Pop Club rehearses.

The K Pop Club rehearses.

Blossom Onunekwu.

Blossom Onunekwu.

The K Pop Club rehearses.

Blossom Onunekwu, Staff Writer

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Want to know what inclusion and open-mindedness look like? Check out the Mercer K-pop Team: a talented group of Bears that hear Korean, dance Korean and sometimes speak Korean too.

The Mercer K-pop dance team, MKT, was founded two years ago by sophomore Jessica Lee, who is of Vietnamese descent.

In October, MKT performed with the Mercer Bearitones for a Halloween concert.

“I thought this would be a great opportunity for us to be exposed as a team,” Lee said. “I really want us to expand and grow.”

To Lee’s fortune, growth is an understatement. Not only is there a growth in members, but a growth in diversity. There are a variety of races and ethnicities on the team.The members come together twice a week with one goal: to bring popular Korean songs and dance moves to life.

“It doesn’t matter if you can’t understand what they’re saying,” sophomore Elizabeth Daniels  said. “Music is about the feeling that it gives you. You can dance to it… cry to it. If you like music, no matter who you are, you should be able to enjoy K-pop.”  

Chloe Phillips’ fervor for K-pop also drove her to the team.

“I’ve always been a pretty big fan of K-pop, but I never had the opportunity to go out and do the choreography,” she said. “I would just learn it by myself and do it in my room because all my friends were too scared to do it with me. So the team allowed me to meet new people who had similar interests, and it’s a lot of fun.”

Lee explained that the group mainly performs at cultural events, such as the Taste the World cultural expo last spring.

“For now, it just makes sense to perform for mainly cultural events,” she said. “But I do think K-pop is growing. It’s becoming more [a part] of American culture. There are K-pop songs on Spotify’s popular playlists. BTS [a popular Korean boy band] actually won an American award!”

When asked about the highlights of dancing for MKT, Lee described a typical agenda for the team.

“Every week, there would be one K-pop song to be learned. But up until the week before the concert, MKT had never practiced as a whole team,” Lee said. “Having everyone together and seeing each other perform is phenomenal.”

“Most people think K-pop is very girly,” Lee said. “But it’s not. We do intense songs.”

This school year, MKT plans to perform at African Student Association’s Art Explosion in November and other cultural expos.

If you’re interested in K-pop, love to dance or both, “we might open up auditions for second semester,” Lee said. For more questions, you can email the team at mercerkpopteam@gmail.com

“Sometimes people take K-pop as a joke,” she said. “We are a big group of people that are really passionate for it.”

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Organization Spotlight: Mercer K-pop Team