Can’t Mess Up Their Tempo — KADENCE Dances The Night Away at MOA

Samantha Li, Staff Writer

Catchy and unforgettable melodies, synchronized dancing and attractive performers with trendy, flashy outfits are the perfect ingredients for K-Pop, one of the most popular genres in the music industry. K-Pop is one of South Korea’s most influential culture exports and is a global success in today’s pop culture. It is dominating the music industry, especially in the US. 

In Minnetonka’s K-Pop Dance Club (MKDC), members learn K-Pop dances every week. On January 22, KADENCE, a team of five dance members consisting of Elizabeth Wang, ‘22, Aleen Jude, Sophia Claeys, Elise Pudwill, and Q Hoppe, all ‘23, along with their group manager and videographer, Anna Nodsle, ‘23, entered ALAND’s K-Pop Dance Contest, the Twin Cities K-Pop Dance Cover team. ALAND is a new South Korean-based retail store that celebrated its grand opening at Mall of America (MOA) with this event. It is the first competition that MKDC participated in, placing in the top nine with eight other K-Pop cover groups from multiple states. Some of those groups were from Minnesota, Illinois and even Maryland. 

The group practiced from mid-October all the way up to the day they performed. During the week leading up to the competition, the crew met three times in one week for two to four hours each time. The group already wanted to cover ITZY’s “LOCO” since it came out in September 2021. According to Wang, the founding member of MKDC, most of the choreography and the dance was based off of “LOCO”’s original dance. 

“The crew learned the existing choreography for ‘LOCO’, which is considered a blend of K-Pop girl-group choreography and hip-hop dance styles,” said Wang. 

As individuals, every member chose their outfits from their existing closets, inspired by “LOCO”’s original outfits. 

“I think the only real significance behind the outfits was that each person in our dance crew chose one person from the original idol group to copy the dance moves and the style of the clothing,” said Nodsle. 

During their rehearsals and practices, the crew ran into obstacles such as scheduling issues, coordination, and, most importantly, learning formations and being synchronized as a team. Formations included moving around the stage while not being able to see where the other members were. Therefore, each member had to be aware of each other’s locations at all times to ensure that there were no collisions. Synchronization was also difficult for the crew since they learned the moves by themselves and had to put them together afterwards. In the end, the group overcame these challenges with a lot of practice and rehearsals. 

“This choreography definitely involved a lot of moving around, and even during the times we stayed in place for a bit, there was even more physical exertion,” said Hoppe. “Running through the choreography at the beginning was tiring, but stamina was built over our months of practice.” 

During the competition, many friends, club members from MKDC and teachers came to MOA to support the crew. Although the group did not receive first place, the crew considered this dance competition at MOA to be one of the most influential and overwhelming experiences they have had. Working as a team applied pressure that was not only fun but also helped them grow in the dance they learned, regardless of how much experience they had. 

“This competition has been such a turning point for our club,” said Wang. “After watching and being part of this performance, all of the members of MKDC have developed a passion to not only learn K-Pop choreography but to perform it as well.” 

The club members at MKDC are planning a large concert on April 12 with Service Club Imagine, Chamber Music Club and Coffeehouse as a fundraiser for Hope House.