Self-taught dancer: Meet Yen Binh Tran K-pop dances take a few days to learn completely

Passionate about dancing, sophomore Yen Binh Tran started K-pop Club as a way to meet other students who are interested in K-pop choreography. Since then, her dedication to the art has grown. Photo Credit: Shareen Basyari

Listening carefully for the underlying beats of a ‘Windy Day‘ by Oh My Girl, sophomore Yen Binh Tran takes a deep breath and prepares for her performance. She steps forward and moves her body to the music, synchronizing with the rest of her dance crew.

After accidentally finding a dance rehearsal video for the song ‘Boys in Luv‘ by BTS, Tran began exploring for more K-pop dances on YouTube. The start of her new hobby began towards the end of her freshman year. 

“My inspiration is not the dancer but the choreography,” Tran said. “I watch a lot of different dances, and when I find one that connects to me, I use that as motivation to get better. Most dances I like are not within my capability, so I dedicate myself to improve and do the choreography justice.”

Hoping to meet new people with similar interests, Tran started K-pop Club with the intent of teaching students the different dances she has learned herself while also sharing their appreciation for music.

“I’ve always liked to dance, but since high school started, my workload got intense and I forgot how much I liked it,” sophomore Remy Leung said. “Binh reminded me of the beauty of dancing.”

Because she hasn’t been in charge of a club before, K-pop Club had a rough beginning from performance cancellations to uncoordinated meetings. However, Tran has learned from her mistakes and has made improvements to her leadership.

“As a leader, Binh is really dedicated and passionate about keeping the club together and organizing meetings,” K-pop Club adviser Cathy Sabol said. “She’s been receptive to the advice given to her on how to run a club, and she’s willing to take any necessary steps to improve.”

After spending months practicing with K-pop Club, Tran’s dedication to dancing grew. While in search of a dance group to join, she was invited by a friend to join Apostle, which is the junior dance team of the hip-hop based Genesis Dance Collective.

“After checking the [dance] crew out, I really liked the family-like atmosphere there and how they genuinely cared about each other,” Tran said. “[So far,] I have gotten the opportunity to learn from dancers like Tony Tran and Brandon Dumlao.”

Although dance tends to clash with schoolwork and other priorities, Tran prefers a busier schedule because dancing provides her with a passion and goal to work towards.

“When I dance, my mind is blank and I feel free,” Tran said. “It’s a nice feeling when you can move to the music. It’s a happy place and you can feel how the music feels. Emotionally, dance has made me really happy because I dance whenever I’m stress or sad. It has also made me a more confident person.”

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