Teacher’s View (Caroline)

It’s been quite hard to believe how much time has flown by; LoKo has already been open for 6 months yet I remember the nervousness I felt when we held our first workshop on September 5th, 2011. As the months have gone by we have really managed to swell, from having 8 students being the average amount of attendees to now having nearly 30 students a class. The LoKos want to thank you for your everlasting support; if it wasn’t for you guys we may not have been able to make it this far and hope we can continue to grow bigger and stronger, and bring more K-pop events your way! To view my review and also a student’s review, check it out after the jump!

Our previous workshop was no exception. We had 26 students learning dance routines from Se7en, BoA, Rain and Lee Hyori, also known as the “Sunbae Edition”. A lot of work goes into just the preparation, such as finding the time to learn and practice the dances, the bits we’re actually going to teach and of course studio hunting to see what’s actually available and what we can afford, because studios aren’t cheap to rent, especially if you’re trying to accomodate for around 30 people. But we make sure we do our absolute best to find one that’s suitable and don’t think we’ve failed yet! Aside from that, there’s also keeping up to date with the events page, sending out messages, replying to queries, googlemapping directions and giving our students updates on the tube. Aside from planning, we also have our student’s best interests at heart too so we always do our best to take care of each individual. Running dance classes isn’t just about doing a dance for a certain amount of hours, it’s so much more than that. I could go on, but I won’t bore you any longer!

It was probably one of the best classes so far. Everyone listened well and really worked hard! What I really like the most about our events is that it’s not just a social K-pop meet up – yes you get to meet other fans and make friends, but there’s also a lot of participation and everyone’s got together to be active and have some energetic fun! There’s also so much support, I’m really proud to say that our events consist of such a friendly environment where no-one picks on another person for not being able to do certain moves etc, we all help each other. So if you’re shy about joining, there’s absolutely no need to be. You’re all in the same boat and we’re not expecting everyone to suddenly possess amazing K-pop idol quality dance skills by the very end – so long as you have fun (and get to basic grips with the routine, of course!) that’s all that matters!

So is being a teacher hard? It can be a bit complicated trying to explain a dance move at times, but aside from that I really enjoy teaching our students. Aside from our students making friends during the breaks, when it comes to crunch time everyone listens really intently and they all do their best to learn what’s being taught, which makes teaching so much easier! It’s very difficult to teach a class that keeps talking so having everyone’s attention is definitely a bonus. In fact, sometimes our classes can be too quiet! When we ask if there’s anything that needs going over they just tend to stare at you without saying a word…it’s okay to speak, guys! I’m looking for feedback!

Teaching Rainism went well, mostly! It’s actually quite a simple routine, apart from the bridge after the first chorus which is super fast! But mostly everyone did well. I think people managed to pick up Se7en’s “Digital Bounce” (taught by Mama LoKo, Tammy) and Rain’s “Rainism” the most, because their routine’s aren’t that fast or complicated, whereas BoA’s “Copy and Paste” is more intricate and Lee Hyori’s “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” is fast and bouncy. Kudos to our teacher Isabelle who taught both of the girl routines and stayed up all night to learn and go over Lee Hyori’s song, as our other teacher Deanna was unable to make it.

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6 hours is a long time to dance but we keep it fresh by teaching a variety of dances and having some breaks in between, so I hope people’s brains aren’t too frazzled by the end of it! I know my body is though, like most people’s! We do a very thorough warm up and stretch at the beginning and a cool down at the end, but each dance uses different muscles depending on the style so having an achy body the next few days just can’t be avoided sometimes! But I’m pleased when I know people are aching; it means they’ve worked hard and done a lot of exercise! Those that join or leave halfway through due to prior commitments (such as Nyasha, whose review is below) don’t always feel the burn the next day, but those that stay the whole day usually do. But it’s a good thing! No pain, no gain and all that!

If you are interested in joining a dance class run by the LoKos, you can find our facebook page right here. In addition to that, you can also follow us on Twitter or subscribe to us on YouTube. If you are interested in attending our next workshop which features a dancer coming all the way from Paris, click here to read the details!

I would also like to thank the wonderful ladies at Korean Class Massive for coming to our lessons and taking pictures for us. You can view some of them below, but if you want to see more just go to their Facebook page, and if you want to read their review on this workshop then just click here!

 

 

Student’s View (Nyasha):

London K-pop fans have been creating various sites, blogs and even groups in the past few years but the idea of a dance workshop made by K-pop fans to teach other fans K-pop dances is something I never thought would start here in London. Hearing about LoKo on Facebook, I was intrigued about dance workshop and attending after hearing positive responses from friends about the classes. I only do dance covers in my free time but I had been planning to go and experience a LoKo dance workshop for a while.

The choice of routines taught was one of the reasons I went. Even though I knew some of the dances, I had been waiting for a list of routines that I would have loved to see how they were being taught by other people. What I enjoyed learning the most was Rainism. I was interested in learning the dance ever since it’s release and focused on learning that dance.

I didn’t expect anything much. Only to have a good time learning new dances with the other students and I got that. I already knew a few people there when I arrived but you can tell that everyone else felt like they were on the same page, we were all learning the dances and having a good time as well so I felt that no-one was left out.

You’ve got to hand it to LoKo. They aren’t choreographers but they do have several dance training and to me, they explained each move clearly and went over several times to anyone who wasn’t sure about the dance movements. And if we were stuck on a particular move, students weren’t afraid to say so because the LoKo teachers didn’t mind going through any moves several times. Although there were some people who I noticed were fast learners, LoKo teachers didn’t mind teaching anyone who needed to keep up in a reasonable pace.

After class, I was pleased with the dance workshop. I would definitely recommend it to people who want to learn K-pop dances to go and attend a LoKo class. I wasn’t tired or aching the next day like my friends but what I really liked is how serious and contributing they are to making LoKo. It’s not a group of friends messing around, they are serious about LoKo and work well to make it happen.

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About Author

Former UnitedKpop writer, you can now find me doing K-pop dance workshops in London with Team LoKo.