K-pop is the loveable Korean pop music that can be heard with iconic boy bands such as Bangtan Sonyeondan (commonly known as BTS), BLACKPINK and TWICE. These popular groups have large fanbases and multiple performances with supporters across the globe, allowing for music videos to draw huge numbers online.
“Listening to K-pop was one of the major things that brought me and my best friends at Muhlenberg really close together,” stated Sam Tempkin ‘25, co-president of K-Pop Club (KPC). “I started talking to my roommate and co-president, Emma Schatzberg [‘25], in the first place because we both liked K-pop and theater, and we have been bonding over our love for K-pop music, dance and the overall art form ever since.”
“Our goal is to create a club that values all members’ opinions.”– Grace Sellinger ’23
The new group has allowed for multiple students to share their love of K-pop on campus and the club has even become a performance ensemble. The group has already started to put on performances at various events across campus, such as Arts Marathon, the annual event held by the Muhlenberg Theatre Association (MTA). Tempkin shared, “It was kind of a last minute decision as it took some of us (including me) a little bit of time to muster up the confidence to commit to performing, but me, Hannah [Watanabe ‘25], Reece [Ferrentino ‘25], Grace [Sellinger ‘23] and Becca [Cohen ’26] learned ‘Love Dive’ by IVE in a week and performed it at Arts Marathon.”
The group is more than just an opportunity for people to dance as it also allows for connection and fun. It’s much more than the traditional dance group. There are opportunities to talk, view and consume everything related to K-pop. “…We have opened up the club to a lot more people and are now offering a variety of ways people can get involved, such as weekly meetings where we watch and talk about K-pop content, as well as dance rehearsals ran by our dance chairs where anyone can come to learn famous K-pop dances,” Tempkin shared.
The choreography is arranged by Sellinger and Watanabe as the co-dance chairs and they work together to create dances for the group to perform, but they also allow for cooperation and involvement from everyone. “We regularly ask for opinions from our club mates. We ask for suggestions, recommendations and requests for dances, and then we put those suggestions into votes for the whole club. Our goal is to create a club that values all members’ opinions,” stated Sellinger. “The overall goal of this club is to nurture a truly fun space where K-pop fans can speak openly and passionately about their interests.”
“We also both have very busy schedules, so when teaching dances, we each teach different dances to club members or we switch off teaching the same dance when the other one cannot make rehearsal,” stated Watanabe in terms of how the work is divided for the co-dance chairs.
The rehearsal process was intense for the first performances with the short time frames and 10-15 hours of practice beforehand, but this should be an area of growth as the club grows and evolves. “We hope to reduce this time-crunch after becoming a more established club (meaning the invitations to perform are presented to us with more time to prepare), but no matter what we work hard to prepare and put on our best show,” commented Sellinger. “We love to perform and we hope people love to watch us perform!”
Hannah Cohen ‘25 mentioned how she found out about KPC from a poster hanging in Seegers Union. This poster was actually hung as the club was beginning to become developed and to gather interest. Schatzberg commented, “The club was only an idea until the second half of last year when Sam, Hannah, one of our co-dance chairs and I put up an interest poster in Seegers to see if the kpop club was something that was wanted on campus.”
“There’s a lot of stigma and assumptions around those who enjoy K-pop and it feels good to have a space where you don’t have to worry about being judged.”– Hannah Cohen ’25
“It wasn’t even close to an official club yet, not really any advisor or anything. When fall came around and I hadn’t heard anything, I wondered if the club had fell through,” stated Cohen. “Getting that email saying it was starting up again, but this time it was becoming more official, I was ecstatic.”
The club started off as friends just joining together to talk about a shared interest of K-Pop and now it has grown to become an inclusive environment for students all around campus.
Cohen continued, “Having a group where we all love the same thing is not only comforting, but also helps us feel less alone in our music tastes. There’s a lot of stigma and assumptions around those who enjoy K-pop and it feels good to have a space where you don’t have to worry about being judged.”
Anyone is more than welcome to join the club at their general meetings and events including a partnership with Muhlenberg Activities Council (MAC) on Nov. 17 with the fun opportunities to decorate I.D./photocards and to participate in a dance party!
Tempkin concluded, “With all of this, I hope we can provide a safe, fun space for Muhlenberg students to bond over this common interest. I also want to stress that this is very much a club that anyone can be a part of, as there is really something for everyone, whether you are a K-pop super fan, you are interested in learning about new music, or you want to learn really fun dances!”