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2024 K-Pop dance

The Korea Center-King Sejong Institute (KC-KSI) in the Office of International Programs hosted their annual K-Pop Party on April 6. More than 200 faculty, staff, students and community members attended the event.

The K-Pop Party is first and foremost a competition highlighting Korean pop music. Contestants showcase their talents through singing and dancing routines that include elaborate costumes and choreography. Students and members of the local community participate, as well as groups from the University of Alabama, University of South Alabama and Enterprise, Alabama.

This year’s event showcased 16 performances, some of which included five or more members in a group. The level of participation in the K-Pop Party each year is evident of the increasing popularity of Korean pop music in the U.S. According to a Forbes article, nine of the top 10 selling CD’s in the U.S. in 2023 were K-pop albums.

“The K-Pop Party is highly valued on Auburn’s campus, showcasing the significant influence of Korean culture in the Southeastern region,” said Daniel Kim, KC-KSI intern. “It offers exposure to music and dance not commonly seen in the United States.”

2024 K-Pop grand prize winners

2024 K-Pop Party grand prize winners with Assistant Provost for International Programs Andrew Gillespie (right)

One of the main event highlights is the random play dance at the end of the program. All the contestants join on stage for a final K-Pop dance where they come together to show unity amongst their diverse group backgrounds.

A $300 grand prize is awarded to the winner along with a 1st runner-up ($200) and a 2nd runner-up ($100) prize. The winner of the 2024 K-Pop Party was NVKrew from Auburn. The group danced to a medley consisting of “Spring Day”, “Fake Love” and “ON” by BTS. In the singing category, the 1st runner-up was Night6 and the 2nd runner-up was Ho lee. In the dancing category, the 1st runner-up was N’ovellus and the 2nd runner-up was HallyUA. Congratulations to all the winners!

In addition to the annual K-Pop Party, KC-KSI offers other events throughout the year that allow the community to learn about and engage with Korean culture. These events include culture experience classes, the Korean Buddy Program, Korea Fest at Auburn City Fest and Korean language classes of all levels.

To stay connected, follow KC-KSI on Instagram, @auburnkingsejong.