Hongdae is my favorite spot in Seoul, South Korea—it’s just like any other shopping street during the day. But it transforms into a bustling hub of buskers where you can watch street concerts at nighttime. Talented young and old performers alike sway you with music, and a bunch of groups dance to the most infectious beats in the world: K-pop tracks.
I don’t think we have a similar spot in the Philippines, and even pre-COVID, I didn’t really see K-pop street performances. So imagine my delight when I chanced upon random play dance videos while sleuthing on YouTube!
What is a random play dance?
It’s like a live challenge for a crowd—the host will play different songs and if you know the choreography, you can go to the center of the makeshift dance floor and show off your skills. Think flash mobs but they’re spontaneous and competitive instead of planned. Add the element of ~*amazing*~ K-pop choreography to the mix and it becomes even more entertaining!
Before we go any further, we just want to make it clear: We’re not, in any way, encouraging crowds or gatherings at this time. The pandemic is very real and dangerous, and staying inside our homes is one of the best ways to help stop the problem. And the K-pop random play dances? Don’t go out and do them right now. Just binge-watch all the videos until it’s safe to have get-togethers again.
Where can you watch K-pop random play dances?
Little did I know, K-pop random play dances have been done in schools in the Philippines. Imagine ordinary Pinoys (not pro dancers) pulling off the iconic choreographies of BTS, BLACKPINK, TWICE, and more.
The first video I saw blew me away. It was uploaded last year and has more than 2.6 million views as of writing! The uploader even had to take it down after getting around 800,000 views the first time he posted the clip because of copyright issues with JYP Entertainment. It was taken during a foundation day—a school event a lot of us love and loathe, depending on whether we like performing or we’re forced to do so. When I saw the videos uploaded by vlogger Sean Gervacio below, I feel like I missed out because K-pop wasn’t that big yet when I was in school.
Sean actually has a five-part playlist of K-pop random play dance videos on his channel. Some were done in a classroom, while others are in bigger venues in their school grounds. Check it out right here and enjoy!
Here’s another video—this time in Cagayan De Oro (CDO). According to X-UNIFIED, the dance group that uploaded the clip, it took place in the Misamis Oriental Provincial Capitol Grounds and features members of the CDO K-pop community. Watch and be amazed by their impressive moves!
There was a sequel, too, and this time, the participants were divided into two big groups: One wearing pink shirts and the other blue. Like what one of the comments pointed out, these challenges reveal who are the new K-pop fans and those who have been into the genre since the first-gen groups. Some know the choreographies of young K-pop idols like TXT, NCT, and Stray Kids, while others are versed when it comes to OG or more senior artists like EXID, Sistar, Super Junior, and Girls' Generation.
Some K-pop fans in Manila also did a similar and smaller-scale random play dance in Luneta Park. Who do you think won—Team Blue or Team Yellow?
Here’s another video—this time in Davao. Again, it looks like a gathering of K-pop fans in the city. It seems like they practiced the blocking and formations aside from the choreography because it's so, so good!
The Zamboanga K-pop fan community also joined in on the trend:
And here’s one featuring Cotabato City fans. Looks like the dress code was purple, green, and confidence!
Aside from unofficial fan gatherings, random play dances also happen during K-pop conventions. Check out a clip from Bohol's K-pop event. A young kid was busting out his BTS moves like it’s no big deal!
This one was a segment in the K-Street Festival of the Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines. It took place in Bonifacio High Street, Taguig CIty.
This one actually happened a month before the lockdowns in 2020. You’ll see a few dancers wearing masks already. Uploaded by KAMP92, it’s a K-pop fan gathering in Iligan City.
There’s a lot of random play dances around the world, too. The larger the crowds, the more impressive it is! Or, turn it into a competition with a points system. Let the Land of Morning Calm show you how it’s done:
Want a quarantine-friendly version? Try this out with your friends, family, and office mates that are fellow K-pop fans!
Sure, doing the TikTok challenge is fun if you’re into that, but if you like group games, gather together and do an online random play dance over a video conference! As long as you pick your favorite tunes, it’s bound to be daebak!