With K-Pop Dance, Nigeria, Korea deepen relationship
The grand finale of K-Pop Dance Competition has held in Abuja. In its seventh edition, the dance contest, which is organised yearly by Korean Cultural Centre of Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Nigeria, aim to promote understanding and strengthen bilateral relationship between Nigeria and Korea through cultural exchange programmes and activities.
This year’s event brought together six teams for the secondary school category and seven others for the professional category. The groups had emerged from the initial 10 secondary school teams and 30 crews in the professional category.The finalists in the secondary school category were, Julimore, K-Popians Boys, K-Popians Girls, Government Secondary School, Lugbe, Junior Secondary School, Zuba and K-Stormers.
For the professional category, the following teams made the final: Classic Royals, I am Fly, as well as Octopus, all from Port Harcourt; Dance X International was fom Calabar, while Northsidekinz came from Kano and J. Race, Jos.
The two best groups automatically qualified for the preliminary stage of KBS World K-Pop festival in Korea.In his congratulatory message, Korean Ambassador to Nigeria, In-tea Lee, stated that he had learnt of Nigeria’s strong passion for K-pop dance prior to his coming to Nigeria.
“Since arriving in this country a couple of months back, l have seen firsthand, the resilience and ingenuity of Nigerians everywhere. I have seen particularly, young Nigerians on whose hands lie the future of this country.“From all corners of Nigeria, young people who have fallen in love with the energy and creativity, passion and commitment that K-pop demands have participated in this competition for seven years now. Once, a team from Nigeria conquered the K-pop world and became the first team from African continent to win the KBS world K-pop competition.”
He added that with an estimated population of over 198 million people blessed with abundant talents, Nigeria’s creative and entertainment industry would experience boom if given required commitment from all stakeholders.“It surely can generate tremendous employment opportunities and create wealth for Nigeria’s teeming populace. I am happy that the K-pop competition in Nigeria is providing such platform to promote creativity and entertainment, thereby, enabling Nigerian youth to showcase their talents, improve their skills and prepare further challenges and successes,” he said.
For the competition, two K-pop instructors were invited from Korea, and have been moving around different dance studios in Abuja, sharing their knowledge of music and dance as well as learning from Nigerian dancers and instructors.
Also, at the Korean Cultural Centre, the K-Pop Dance Academy has been ongoing since the beginning of July and will run till August.“These are all the opportunities that our young people have been exploring to channel their energies towards more positive and creative outcomes,” the ambassador stated.At the end of the dance that lasted almost three hours, Julimore Dance Team won the Star prize of N300,000 while the adult/ professional category prize went to Northsidekingz with a N500,000 cash award.
For the leader of Northsidekingz Dance Crew, Mr. Michael Neon, it took a lot of time, work and sacrifices.Also speaking, Julimore dance instructor, Mr. Julius Ogundiran described the competition as interesting, and K-Pop dance, highly entertaining.As the most popular Korean music and dance, Ogundiran stated that the popularity of the dance culture motivated his interest.
“I have been participating in the dance for over three years, and I must confessed that I have learnt a lot, including Korea language and culture.“The dancers are all students within the age bracket of 18 and below, and they have benefitted immensely from the dance. They have been able to develop their talents in dance and may eventually build a career in dance.”
Victor Moses was one of the dancers and observed some differences in the dance from the conventional dance steps.“The moves and steps are different and every step has a meaning. The use of dance stage is elaborate and people sing and dance, unlike in most Nigeria dances where the dancer listens to a musical tune”, he said.