#You_can_dance_too (#Bottles_ can_dance_too) is an Ewha student- based group of dancers that teaches fellow Ewha students how to dance along with rhythmic K-pop songs.
In 2018, a report by the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that Korean women’s health is at great risk with a staggering 41 percent of women falling short of WHO’s recommended at least 150 minutes of physical activity per day. As this raises major concerns in Korean society, Ewha Voice interviewed Cho Eun-su, Lee Min-kyeong, and Kim A-yeon to hear their stories of being female dance teachers.
“I went to a ballet and dance academy as a kid,” Lee said. “Ever since elementary school, I had limited opportunities to work out due to excessive academic pressure. Dancing was the only time I could actually sweat and exercise.”
“I have been dancing for nine years now,” Cho said. “I think the charm of dancing is that there are no limits to expressing yourself and the possibilities of movements are infinite. It is also attractive in that you can exchange thoughts and emotions without saying a single word.”
Lee said when she first started teaching, she witnessed many of her students suffer severe muscle pain after class. Since then, she has always asked her students whether they work out regularly or not before the class starts. Depending on their answers, she adjusts the level of intensity for the class. However, most of the time, the answer is no.
When asked the reason for the lack of exercise among Korean women, Cho and Kim replied the problem might have begun much earlier in their lives.
“To recall even our earliest memories from elementary school until high school, boys were always out on the field playing soccer during P.E. classes while girls were always in the grandstand studying or chatting. It is a huge issue that women are not working out enough.”
However, Cho added that she can sense that the interest in sports among Korean women has increased more than ever through social media.
To prove that, the groups of students who enroll in their dance classes are becoming more diverse than ever. At first, their main participants were undergraduates. However, alumni who are currently working or who are married with children come to take their lessons now. Recently, the word has spread, and even students outside of Ewha often visit to take classes.
One question Cho receives often from students is how to improve one’s dance skills quickly.
“Dancing is the same as anything else,” Cho said. “To improve, you need to keep practicing. I usually focus on dancing at a much slower speed than the original after learning the choreography. It also helps to see yourself on the screen through a video. If you repeat this method continuously, you will see what you need to improve and fix it more easily.”
Lastly, Cho mentioned that there are numerous entertaining exercises to do other than dancing as well.
“I think university is the only time you can delve into new things without suffering too many consequences. If there is a sport you have always wanted to try but have put off until now, give it a go. There are so many sports out there. You will find one that suits you.”
#Bottles_can_dance_too is reachable through Ewha Everytime, a social media service for Korean university students.