By Darlene Casten
A dance group that started out as a joke has some serious commitment from its members, who are inspired by the notoriously hard-working K-pop bands.
Over the past three years Never Dance group’s name has changed and a few members have left and new members have joined.
“It kind of started as a joke,” says Never member Jacky Kieu. “We got everyone together and then we were like this is actually happening. And it just got going from there.”
Their first performance was a high school talent show at St. Mary’s. They performed Blood, Sweat and Tears by now-international superstars BTS.
“We didn’t have any dance skills,” laughs another member, Justin Serrano.
The guy who got the band started was also their choreographer and has since moved on so now the group relies on the plentiful choreography videos posted by K-pop bands to learn the routines.
Jacky has learned some Korean, but the rest say they just memorize when to move by watching the videos alone.
They then practice together weekly at Mount Royal University for between three to six hours.
They admit to being slack at practice, taking lots of breaks to deal with the demanding dance routines. After running through one song they are out of breath. But for the group members, it’s a welcome workout after a long week of university life.
“I look forward to dancing to get away from school work,” says Never original member Francine Villareal. “We are always stuck in our rooms. It gets us out.”
The Never Dance Crew members become one of the K-pop band members, learning their personal style.
“Our motto is ‘We are BTS,’” laughs Ian Chua, who mainly does Suga’s choreography for BTS songs, but is V when they perform Blood Sweat and Tears.
“We actually watch a mirror version of the actual bands, so we get it as close to the actual band as possible,” adds Villareal.
They also perform K-pop choreography from bands like iCON, VIXX and 17.
The crew has performed at events, like the Filipino Student Association’s annual Exposed gala and Sunfest in Inglewood and hope to get more chances to dance in public.
“We want to try to get out there,” says Villareal.
They also post videos of their choreography on YouTube under the name NEVER Dance Crew.
“We’ve been doing performances, putting stuff out on YouTube,” says Kieu. “Anything we can do to dance.”
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