For me, the first thing I look at in a KPOP group is their dances. See, I may not be the best dancer in the world, but KPOP honed my full-potential as a dancer. So naturally for me, the dance of the song is almost as important as the song itself.
Having said that, I find that after the leader and the maknae, the lead dancer or the so-called “Dance Machine” of the group is the one most people look at in a group.As for myself, the dancer is usually the one who becomes my bias. It’s either he be the dancer or the rapper. IDK, it’s my personal preference.
The year of 2012 has shown a lot of potential. But my favorite part about 2012’s rookies are that most of them are excellent at dancing. So it does not come to a surprise for me that I’ve become a fan of a couple of the new rookie groups. In respect to the older ones, I find that the rookies have shown so much more than some of the sunbae idol groups in the few months that they have been active than the years that their sunbaes have been around. In my list, I will be adding a rookie that has caught my eye.
This list is purely my opinion, so there’s no need to be defensive. Oh and yes, I decided that I like a lot of the dancers in the KPOP world for there to be only 5 in my list :)
10. F(x)’s Victoria (Song Qian)
I’m Victoria biased in F(x) for a reason. She studied Chinese Traditional dance in Beijing Dance Academy at a young age. And then majored in Chinese ethnic dance. Naturally because of her love for dance, she honed her talent in dance. Most K-POP fans know her as the queen of flexibility, often showcasing her talents in body bending on variety shows. She was scouted by SM during a Beijing dance competition. In my opinion, F(x)’s dances do little to justify her talents as a dancer. Hopefully, F(x)’s future choreographers will learn to maximize her craft in order to showcase her talents more.
9. B2ST’s Lee GiKwang (AJ: Ace Junior)
I was thinking it was either GiKwang or B2st’s resident “Dance Copying Machine” for the title, but I thought GiKwang had a better style in dancing mostly because of his intensive interest in hip hop culture. He used to be a solo artist under the name “Ace Junior” or “AJ” for short later on becoming B2ST’s lead dancer. I particularly like his “American dance” as he calls it. Haha! But that’s mostly because I’m a pervert fangirl above anything else. But more or less, his dance style is impressive. He is also pretty flexible.
8. EXO-K’s Kai (Kim JongIn)
At 18 (international age), Kai already gained a lot of notice for his dancing skills, particularly because of the thousands of teasers featuring him pre-debut in which he danced in a style that was his own. Not only that, in his early age, he is already in par with his sunbaes Super Junior’s Eunhyuk and SHINee’s Taemin. The best part about Kai is that he displays a lot of charisma on stage (you should look at his face whenever they perform, it’s seriously something else), which is proof as to why SM placed him as not only EXO’s dancing machine, but also EXO’s face of the group. You can say that there are a lot of expectations for Kai. Hopefully, he will able to retain his status and hold up in SM’s long list of skilled dancers.
7. BIG BANG’s TaeYang/ Sol (Dong YongBae)
Taeyang is pretty much all around. He’s a singer, a rapper and their resident lead dancer. In 2008, he was the first in Big Bang to have a solo debut. With R&B as his main genre, he was able to show his skills in singing and dancing (like a boss). My favourite Taeyang song of all time is “Where U At”, and it still continues to be one of my favourite KPOP videos as well (mostly because the dance is awesome). I think it’s impressive that when he’s a solo artist, he can show his own talent, but he blends in well and makes Big Bang look awesome when they’re together. I think that’s what makes Big Bang special in a way.
6. SNSD’s Kim HyoYeon
Being SNSD’s lead dancer entails a lot for HyoYeon. SNSD’s title, being South Korea’s premier girl group, puts a lot of pressure in HyoYeon to showcase not only her talents, but also to show the rest of the world that SNSD is a group with more than pretty faces. During their early stages in their career, SNSD’s main concept was cutesy, bubblegum pop. Now that they’ve started branching out to different, more mature concepts, HyoYeon is able to show what she’s really capable of. Though there is little doubt in her skills, lately I find that she’s started to become more outgoing and recently she joined Dancing With The Stars Korea which further confirmed her status as a “Dancing Machine”. Basically, I see her mostly dancing hip hop and R&B, but she showed that she can be more than your typical dancer by dancing to the classics like ChaCha and Tango. In the show, you can see how much she loves to dance. And it was an excellent move for her to join it. In a group like SNSD where all the members are talented in different fields, the fact that HyoYeon still attains her title as their lead dancer says a lot about her talents.
5. Infinite’s Hoya (Lee HoWon)
Hoya is my main bias and my hubby (though he continues to pretend I don’t exist in order for him to keep his fans. You know how it is). So this is probably one of the reasons why he’s in my top 5. Being member of Infinite, a group known mostly for being 99% accurate in choreography and live performances on stage, would mean a lot for Hoya, Infinite’s lead dancer along with Dongwoo. The fact that their choreography is one of the most difficult in the industry is also an impressive factor to put into play. Because of the difficulty and the pressure of the name “Infinite”, Hoya makes sure to practice extra time and oftentimes gives the group tips on how they can perfect their image whenever they dance. As in Infinite practices for 18 hours a day, Hoya definitely has a lot of dedication. When he dances in solo, he does it in his own dancing style which magnifies his skills as a dancer. But when he is with a group, he not only makes the group look good with his dancing, but he also shows that even if 99% accuracy is concerned, he is not afraid to stand out by adding his own dancing style in the choreography as well. The best part about him is that despite being known as the lead dancer, he is also the rapper and also a vocalist of the group which makes him all around in terms of talents as well.
4. SHINee’s Lee TaeMin
19 (international age) year old TaeMin is without a doubt SHINee’s ultimate dance machine. SHINee is well known for their difficult choreography since their debut with “Noona Neomu Yeoppo (Noona, You’re so Pretty)” or “Replay”. Though he debuted at age 15, he stood out from the rest of his members because of his impressive dancing skills. Known as the next “Eunhyuk” in some fandoms, he is starting to show that he can be beyond “Eunhyuk” be the next “Big thing”. Since he is young and still developing his skills, it is certainly a wonder how much more this young dancer can improve, after all, to some he has already reached his peak in his dancing skills. But I beg to differ. There’s always room to improve. Certainly if he chooses to, he can. The one thing I like about TaeMin the most is that he is incredibly charismatic on stage (especially when he dances), but he’s shy and cute when he’s off stage. Maybe that’s why he has so many “Noona” fans. J
3. After School’s Park KaHi (Park JiYoung)
Though KaHi is already a “graduate” of After School, there’s no denying that she was a huge asset to the group because of her dancing and leadership skills. At the age of 18, she started her career as a backup dancer. In 2000, she was chosen as the main dancer for DJ DOC and soon a temporary dancer for BoA for three years. She also worked as a backup dancer for JinuSean, 1TYM and Eun JiWon and was the dance teacher of Son Dambi. Though known for years as a dancer in the field, she soon debuted with After School in 2009. Despite having joined an idol group which would have put her dancing skills in the backseat, Pledis Entertainment did a good job in making sure that even though After School had a lot of members, she’d still be able to be in the center because of her lead dancer status therefore making her stand out above the rest of the members. I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad thing, but ever since she graduated from the group, it feels like AS lost a lot of shine. Hopefully, they’ll be able to get back on track despite KaHi’s departure. Even if she’s not considered an idol anymore, she is still the Queen of Dance.
2. Super Junior’s EunHyuk (Lee HyukJae)
Eunhyuk is always being teased in Super Junior for being the “ugliest” member, but truthfully, whenever I Super Junior perform live, my eyes almost automatically shifts to Eunhyuk. His charisma is undeniable. He may look like an anchovy, but when he dances, he’s the sexiest mudgerfudger out there. And that’s what makes him a “dance machine”. Since his youth, before he even debuted in Super Junior and even way before he was a trainee in SMEntertainment, EunHyuk was already famous in his school for being part of a dance group. Imagine, way before he shot to fame, he already had fans. And because he started dancing since his childhood, the moment he entered SM, his talents were maximized to the fullest. Super Junior may have 15 members in total (including the SJ-M members), but in a stage filled with people, EunHyuk can definitely be spotted immediately as the lead dancer. EunHyuk choreographed a bunch of SJ’s songs, including “Boom Boom”, “Don’t Don” and recently “From U” which showed how much he learned from years of experience as a dancer.
1. TVXQ’s U-Know Yunho (Jung YunHo)
When a KPOP fan mentions the word “Dance Machine”, most older KPOP fans will say that YunHo is the one. The lead dancer, main rapper and leader of TVXQ is definitely the “King” of dance. At age 13, he joined SM Entertainment after winning a dance competition. He was a backup dancer for CSJH’s Dana and soon after debuted with TVXQ. Since TVXQ founded the start of 2nd generation KPOP they were the first among many KPOP groups to debut in Japan and has the largest fanbase until this day. And it’s no minor feat that YunHo be named the “dance machine” of the Rising Gods of the East, where every single member can be named “dance machines”. YunHo’s particular expertise in dancing style is “Popping”. And even Kang HoDong, Korea’s national MC, praised YunHo for being the “strongest and most passionate dancer he’s ever seen”. TVXQ may not be DB5K anymore, but despite the loss of the 3 members of JYJ, YunHo’s stage charisma and Changmin make up for it. Sometimes whenever I watch them perform live, I am amazed at how 2 people can make the stage seem so full.