I don't know if this has been standard in K-pop for a while now, but one phenomenon of the past year or so has been dance crazes. They happen when a K-pop star comes out with a hot song, a hotter music video, and a super-hot yet simple accompanying dance. And then it spreads like wildfire across the internet, and before you know it, grandmothers are busting out the moves at Chuseok.
The Wondergirls are responsible for the first dance craze I noticed. While their talent is, in my opinion, questionable, their popularity is huge, due to addictive songs like their breakthrough single, "Tell Me."
Tell Me performance:
"Tell Me" was released last year and quickly became a sensation. And I mean a SENSATION (think Britney's "One More Time" times about 50). Kids performed the song ad nauseum at school festivals and everybody knew the basic dance steps, including yours truly. There are only so many times you can watch the same performance with with your host siblings before you start being able to imitate it.
And the people who produce the Wondergirls clearly know what they're doing, because they followed up "Tell Me" with this year's "So Hot" and the even more dance craze-able "Nobody."
"Tell Me" remains not only the Wondergirls' biggest hit, but also definitely the biggest dance sensation I've ever seen, and the Wondergirls are definitely the supreme purveyors of sugary, addictive K-pop. Nevertheless, I'll mention a couple other recent popular dance moves.
Not to lose to some fresh-faced teenagers, everybody's favorite boy band Dong Bang Shin Ki stumbled upon such a craze with their Korean comeback single "Spell (MIROTIC)." The addictive part of the choreography is brief and comes about 3/4 of the way through the song, during the rap solo. They recently were featured on a Fuse.TV music/travel program, where the move was ingeniously dubbed "Da Sexy Chin."
Lest you think such crazes are limited to dance pop, Korean music legend Seo Taiji recently released a song called "Human Dream." It's a great song about robots wanting to become human (as far as I can tell, anyway). It's by far my favorite dance craze so far, because 1.) I love the song, 2.) Seo Taiji generally seems like the kind of person I'd love to have a beer with, and 3.) The dancing robots in pink spandex are pure happiness.
Human Dream performance, complete with pink spandex robots and an energetic audience:
Don't you just want to start flapping your hands along too? Or, if that's not your flavor, striking a sexy pose partly inspired by Rodin's "The Thinker"? Or perhaps go pseudo-retro so you can charmingly clap your hands and point forward?
No? Might just be me then.