“I have been preparing for this stage for three years. It was a difficult but advantageous stage.” (Sanchai Kanzanawatana, Thailand)
The ‘2022 K-Pop Cover Dance Festival World Final’, which returned to Seoul after three years, ended on a splendid fall night. Although they spoke different languages, participants from all over the world shared a friendship with the common language of K-Pop. They left a page of unforgettable memories in their hearts.
The K-Pop Cover Dance Festival held at Nodeul Island in Seoul on the 15th is the world’s first and largest online and offline K-Pop fan communication program. It was hosted by the Seoul Newspaper and sponsored by the Seoul Metropolitan Government, the Korean Cultural Center, the Korea Entertainment Producers Association, the Korea Music Performers Association, the Seoul Tourism Foundation, New Era, All K-Pop, and Pentacle. Due to COVID-19 was held online and non-face-to-face for the past two years but was born as the main event on the third day of this year’s Seoul Music Festival.
Eighty-seven contestants from Korea, Poland, Mexico, Australia, Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Turkiye, Canada, the United States, and Thailand participated in the final after fierce preliminary rounds. The audience filled audience exclaimed and applauded the choreography of the participants in idol costumes. The judges boasted such excellent skills that they said, “I had a hard time judging because I was so good” (Jaemo Koo), and “There were many times when I was surprised because everyone was so high level” (Volt).
Thailand’s Gun Squad, the US Prism Crew, and the Philippines’ Teenage were the top three final winners. Gun Squad’s leader, San Chai, said, “It feels like we’ve accomplished our goal, and we’re thrilled. He seems to be dreaming.” Katie Brizuela, the leader of the Prism Crew, who achieved the first American team victory, said, “I was not expecting it at all, but it is an honor. I met good friends, and I am so happy.” Lonzo Balmadrid, the leader of Teenage, laughed, saying, “I couldn’t even imagine coming to Korea to perform, but I’m glad I did well even under pressure.”
For them, K-pop was music that gave dreams and peace that embraced everyone. Even after the competition, the participants gathered together and danced to K-Pop, apparently unable to calm the afterglow. To keep special memories in Korea, I did not forget to record it on my phone as a video. The participants, who became one through K-Pop, promised the day they would meet again with the dream of being with K-Pop in the future.