Tammy, 30, founder and Caroline, 27, co-founder discuss the importance of their workshops and Korean culture in London.
Reporter: Chelsea Jobe | Sub-editor: Martina Di Gregorio
Sweat-soaked students spilled out of Abacus Studios to catch their breath. They had been learning a dance routine before I had arrived. Monster by South Korean boy group EXO.
Speaking to Tammy, the founder of London K-Pop Dance Workshop, I asked why she started dance workshops specifically for Korean Pop music.
“I wanted to learn a particular K-Pop dance so I looked on YouTube for videos. There were a lot of covers online and I didn’t realise it was a thing. I thought some of these people are doing it wrong, not that I know it but from watching it over and over again I was sure they were doing it wrong. If it was thing, then there should be classes because there was nothing in London at the time. I met Caz and I knew she was a fan of K-Pop and had a dance background so I said why don’t we try and start a class during the summer holidays. However, after the first workshop, our plan didn’t work. We ended up having a workshop every month for five years.”
The co-founder, Caroline known as Caz, agreed: “It was a fantastic idea. I was listening to J-Pop for a really long time and was introduced to K-Pop by Koda Kumi, a Japanese singer, who sang a duet with TVXQ. I YouTubed them and I was like this isn’t Japanese [laughs] but I’d always seen J-Pop artists have similar dance routines. I really wanted to do it, but I didn’t know anyone who liked J-Pop. So when I met Tammy and she suggested starting dance classes, it felt like I’d found my calling in life. It was really exciting because I finally found someone who I could dance and do covers with.”
Five years later, they have established a name for themselves. Including a dance team called LoKo who were sent to Seoul, Korea to perform at a global competition.
“Initially we weren’t thinking about forming a team.”
Caz said: “It was just for us to demonstrate to people on the outside that we can dance and this is why you should come to our workshops [laughs].”
Whilst speaking about Korean Culture in London, they expressed how they’ve grown as a community. Tammy said: “Our workshops have built a community within K-Pop for people who like to dance. Even though the initial idea was not for it to be sociable, it has become sociable.”
“We share the same interest and we don’t judge because we like something that’s foreign.”
Read the full interview in Savage magazine (Issue 1)