One of the things I love about k-pop in general is the group choreography. For every new release, we get to see a different dance that’s been meticulously planned and practiced to perfection. It continues to amaze me that with each comeback, there is a unique, often complicated, routine that has to be learned. Those who love k-pop can attest to the power that good choreography can have on someone’s enjoyment of a performance or just the song itself.
As much as I love normal k-pop music videos, I look forward to dance practice videos even more. It’s the best way to see both the entire choreography and how difficult it is for our idols to pull off. It also allows us to see idols in a somewhat normal state, dancing in just sweats and tennis shoes. There’s no flashing lights or caked-on makeup to distract from their performance, and they get to show a bit of what they’re like when not on stage. I love to see them make small mistakes or goof off and just have fun. Here’s my list of some of the most amusing, entertaining, and impressive k-pop dance practice videos:
1. “Voodoo Doll” by VIXX
All of the dances by VIXX have been impressive, but the way that the choreography for “Voodoo Doll” tied in with the lyrics and concept was amazing. It’s great to see the prop used fully the way it was supposed to, since it was banned during live performances. There are so many good points, such as the members lifting Ken over Ravi at the start and then holding him as he struggled, and the way they moved their arms like a pendulum during the “tick tock” parts. One of my favorite aspects was simply the way that all of the members moved during the song, as if they were being pulled by someone. Overall, it was cool choreography done with very fluid movements by the members. Also, Ken is adorable in the beginning.
2. “Lucifer” by SHINee
SHINee had to be on this list, as one of the groups that continually performs some of the most complex, difficult choreography in the k-pop world. In “Luficer,” the tutting moves are some of the hardest to master, as many who’ve tried will tell you. Taemin, the main dancer, is blinding in his striped shirt, but his dancing is just as mesmerizing (it’s also adorable when he makes small mistakes and grins mischievously at the camera). However, it’s important to note how masterful the other members are, too, even though they’re not main dancers. “Lucifer” is well known for having one of the most complicated dances, but the members in this dance practice video pull it off with ease.
3. “No More Dream” by BTS
I don’t know much about BTS, but I do know that this is one hell of a song with some kick-ass choreography. The entire dance is very masculine, powerful, and energized. My favorite part has to be when they all stand in a line and move up and down in a circle, and each time they reach the top a different member stays standing (at 2:02). It is a really cool look, and they do it perfectly. This choreography is also very memorable for the running on the member’s back move near the end. I’m sure no one is complaining about the ab-showing aspect of this dance either. This version was for a special stage that used a large cast at the beginning. I’ve never seen back-up dancers (and so many at that) used so well. It’s hard to wrap my mind around the fact that they only debuted a year ago, since they have such a strong and commanding presence while performing.
4. “BTD” by Infinite
While Infinite tends to be hit-or-miss for me musically, I have a lot of respect for their dancing and always-on-point choreography. There’s a reason they’re called the 99.9% synchronization idols. Infinite is worth the praise, especially since they work so incredibly hard to get to this level by practicing constantly and going over moves again and again until they’re perfect. “BTD” is one of my favorite releases from them, and is famous for its scorpion dance. It never fails to astound me that they can do such a difficult (and painful) move in sync every time.
5. “Don’t Tease Me” by SPEED
The sound and style of this group reminds me a lot of Block B (which makes sense since the leader is Zico’s older brother). The choreography has a lot of fun and memorable points, and I love the pure amount of sass they put into their performance. The acrobatic pieces are jaw-dropping, and must have taken a lot of practice to perfect. The dance practice video for this song lets you see the full scope and breadth of this incredible choreography.
6. “Catallena” by Orange Caramel
On the sillier side, we have the dance practice video for Orange Caramel’s hit song “Catallena.” The video starts with the girls adding in ridiculous screams that have themselves and those in the background dying of laughter. The dance is cute and goes along with their song perfectly. But what I love most about this video is just them having fun and goofing off.
7. “LA Song” by Rain
This video is so much fun. It showcases how great of a dancer Rain is, and it feels like he’s in his element here. The backup dancers add a lot, too. They’re always on point and it looks like they’re having a great time. I especially love when they all start yelling the “lalalala” part together.
8. “Lovey Dovey” by T-ara
I have to admit that T-ara produces some of the most insanely catchy tunes in k-pop. For this dance, they capitalized on the shuffle craze. I find the hair-tussling move oddly fascinating in this video; I can’t explain it. I like the “random” dancing part near the end, too, and it seems lively and enjoyable for the members. I love the almost constant movement in the choreography, and seeing it in all of its shuffling glory.
9. “Wow” by BTOB
Now these guys prove that a dance practice video can be equally funny and serious. We get to see the fun choreography in full, but also a lot of goofing around and being silly. There’s butt-touching, hanging off the walls, and random ping pong rackets.
10. “Bad Boy” by 100%
It is almost scary how in sync these guys are, seriously. While the choreography itself isn’t the most eye-catching or unique, this group makes it memorable through their incredibly strong performance. Not to mention they’re also singing live, and doing it very well, while executing this dance to perfection. This is one talented group.
For More: “Purple Line” by DB5K, “Mr. Mr.” by SNSD, “I Don’t Need A Man” by Miss A, “History” and “Growl” by EXO, “Flashback” by After School, “Like This” by Wonder Girls, “Soom” by BEAST, “I Like You” by GOT7
Watch in playlist mode here.
Honorable Mention: “Dream Girl” by the SM Managers