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Iconic K-pop dance moves to learn from your favourite idols

Whether you are hitting the dance floor at a discotheque that plays some of the best K-pop music or having a house party with your group of friends who are fans of everything Korean, performing some of the iconic K-pop dance moves popularised by renowned artists can uplift the mood of the evening.

From Psy and Park Ji Yoon to the all-girl group KARA, some of the iconic dance moves have also been performed by many newer stars both on and off stage.

Some impressive dance moves to know as a K-pop fan

The arrogant dance

Time Stamp: 0:48 – 0:58

When South Korean girl group Brown Eyed Girls released their song “Abracadabra” in 2009, it became an instant hit, and it was not only because of the music. Featuring one of the iconic dance moves, the video is all about attitude and style.

To perform the ‘arrogant dance’, you need to fold your arms and sway your hips from side to side. Other peppy numbers you can dance to using this move include Sunny Hill’s “Grasshopper Song” and “Midnight Circus”.

So, the next time the spotlight is on you, give this dance move a try.

The finger-pointing and knee-raising step

Time Stamp: 1:10 – 1:30

Another K-pop fan favourite is “Tell Me” by the all-girl band Wonder Girls. This iconic song, which is a sampling from Stacey Q’s “Two of Hearts”, is an instant mood lifter.

Interestingly, the song went viral after its release, with fans in South Korea catching the “Tell Me” fever. The synchronised hands and feet movements depicted in the music video by the girl band have been replicated by many fans and stage performers.

Its signature move requires you to point your fingers and lift your knees and arms, while your hip pushes outwards in the opposite direction.

Mirror the sequences as shown in the video above, and you are ready to make your next Instagram Reel.

The horse dance

Time Stamp: 3.20 – 3:37

This iconic step is credited to South Korean singer and rapper Psy’s music video of the same name released in 2012. Not just in the country, but the song and the unique energetic choreography of “Gangnam Style” caught global attention.

To perform this fun dance move, first hold on to the reins of an imaginary horse, bob your arms and tap your toes, as he does in the video. For the second step, imagine yourself to be a cowboy/cowgirl, holding one end of a rope in the right hand and the other over your head and keep swirling your left hand. Continue bobbing your right arm and tapping your feet. You can also trot forwards while doing this step.

Start slow and practise your way to the fast beats of the song.

The butt dance

Time Stamp: 1:13 – 1:17

Although KARA’s ‘butt dance’ became popular through its live performances in 2014, the craze around the song “Mister” made the girl group put out a single music video and even release a special Japanese version for their fans.

Played at parties to date, “Mister” gathers groups to wiggle to the la-la-la-ing of the song. It is a classic dance move that can also be replicated when dancing to a similar tempo.

Don’t forget to groove to this hit song the next time you are partying with your friends.

The straight-five engine step

Time Stamp: 0:50 – 0: 56

Crayon Pop’s 2013 hit song “Bar Bar Bar” was unique in many ways. While the helmet-fronted athleisure aesthetics were appreciated by viewers, the song’s chorus dance moves were replicated on dance floors by many of the group’s loyal fans.

So how do you do this step? All you need is to make fists and move your hands up and down as if you’re pumping something. Do this while hopping. Some say that the act resembles an engine cylinder.

Coming of Age Ceremony

Time Stamp: 1:37 – 1:39

For K-pop fans, the song “Coming of Age Ceremony” might remind them of its singer Park Ji Yoon and the racy music video that hit the TV screens. It had such an impact on K-pop culture that several more recent Korean bands, such as BTS and Girls’ Day, too, have made covers of this 2000 release, and performed them on stage.

One of the dance steps includes sliding your hands down to your knees as you get into a sitting posture and instantly get up to return to the first position.

One of the iconic K-pop dance moves, you must try this the next time you are out with your girl gang.

The shoulder dance

Time Stamp: 0:19 – 0:25

This one’s a rather simple dance move that many of us can try. Ryujin’s signature ‘shoulder dance’ move in “Wannabe” has been attempted by the likes of TWICE’s members Sana, Momo and Mina, and NCT’s Jaehyun since its release in 2020.

The dance move from ITZY’s music video requires you to simply shimmy your shoulders as done by the K-pop artists, especially if you are not experienced dancers.

For professional dancers, give this iconic move your own touch when you hit the dance floors the next time.

The bang step

Time Stamp: 1:05 – 1:11

“Bang Bang Bang” is one of the recent trends to hit K-pop culture.

To see the talented BIG BANG performing on stage is a memory worth cherishing forever. So when they performed the iconic step, which includes swirling the fist in the air over your head, it stayed with the audience.

To perform the step, you need to make a fist with your right hand and swirl the fist in the air, just like the boys do in the video.

Once you ace the signature step, take to the dance floor when you hear the song being played next.

Hero and Featured Image: Courtesy Eva Rinaldi from Sydney, Australia/ CC BY-SA 2.0 / Wikimedia Commons

Iconic K-pop dance moves to learn from your favourite idols

Moyena loves exploring personal development and spirituality. She believes in the power of words. She is also passionate about food, dancing, finance, and her family.

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