Foreigners dance to 'Gangnam Style'
By Yun Suh-young
“Oppan Gangnam Style!” shouted foreigners who danced to the song “Gangnam Style” in the middle of Gwanghwamun Plaza in central Seoul, Friday.
About 70 foreigners danced to rapper-singer Psy’s hit song which has gone viral online and hit the billboard charts in the United States, during a dance session held Friday from 11:30 a.m. till noon.
The winners of the local auditions of the “2012 K-pop cover dance festival” organized by the Visit Korea Committee gathered at the plaza wearing colored t-shirts and starting dancing to Korean music.
They started off with “Gangnam Style” but also danced to other K-pop tunes such as “Ma Boy” by Sistar, “Sorry Sorry” by Super Junior and others by Big Bang, 2NE1 and 4Minute.
The foreign dancers came from 11 countries — Nigeria, Russia, Hungary, Indonesia, the Philippines, Brazil, India, Australia, Japan, Thailand, and the United States.
“We won the semi-finals in Moscow and so we came for the final round to be held in Korea. We’re so excited to be here because it’s our first time in Korea. We haven’t slept for two days but it doesn’t matter,” said Alina Lifshits, a 20-year-old participant from Russia in an interview with her team mate Irina Beliakova.
A group from Thailand was also in high spirits. Members of Lollipop CZ, five boys aged from 16 through 24, said they were aiming for first place.
“We won at the local competition in our country. Now we’re aiming for number one in the K-pop cover dance festival in Korea. We want to be a winner so that we can promote K-pop around the world,” said one.
“We practiced for two months. It’s great to finally visit the country we always wanted to come to and meet friends from all over the world.”
They first encountered K-pop four years ago through listening to music by Big Bang, he said.
The 13 teams from 11 nations were selected from 1,840 teams who applied for the audition online by submitting their dance videos to the K-pop cover dance festival’s official website (www.coverdance.org) since April.
After passing the online audition, they went up against rival dance groups in their respective countries through a live audition. The semi-finalists were invited to Korea to participate in the final which will be held in Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province, starting this Saturday.
The winners of the final will be given an opportunity to perform on stage for the “Hallyu Dream Concert” which will be held Sunday. The participants, who came Thursday, will stay for six days and tour major tourist sites around Korea and experience Korean culture and food.