Dancing beyond boundaries

By Li Xinran | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2023-12-06 08:12
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Lin Mengqi (second from left) poses for the cover photo of her dance cover video. [Photo provided to China Daily]

And for Lin Mengqi, a K-pop and C-pop enthusiast, the charm of random play dance lies in the fact that "almost every participant knows about the same memes, spontaneously forming formations and singing along".

Lin, 24, became a K-pop fan in 2010. Her favorite K-pop groups are mostly "second generation" idols (referring to idols who debuted from 2003 to 2011) such as 2PM and T-Ara, and C-pop groups like ONER and BOY STORY.

"I attended my first random play dance in 2018," Lin said. "Soon after, I started filming dance covers with other K-pop fans and met half of my current friend circle."

She actively participates in random play dances, filming dance covers and posting them on social media. "It does cost money to purchase clothing and pay my photographer, but like going to concerts, the emotional value that I gain from dancing cannot be measured by money," she said.

Lin has observed a shift in recent years: it has become harder to find songs by "second generation" idols in the playlists of today's random play dance events. "Now, it's mostly songs by K-pop groups that debuted after 2015," she said. "This is the primary reason why I'm leaning toward filming dance covers rather than participating in them myself."

Lin has her own sanctuary online. "When I posted dance covers like Jeon Won Diary by T-ara N4 (the unit team of T-ara), they received fewer views than my covers of newer K-pop groups," she explained. "However, I received numerous supportive and encouraging comments from fellow fans and those who still remember the song, giving me a profound sense of belonging."

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