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Richmond dancers celebrate K-pop group Seventeen with dance challenge

Fans will gather outside Rogers Arena prior to Seventeen's concert to perform K-pop dance routines.

You might have heard of flash mobs, but have you ever seen “random play dance (RPD)” flash mobs?

Fans of the Korean boy band, Seventeen, will gather outside of Rogers Arena to participate in an RPD event just prior to the 13-member group’s concert on August 10.

RPD is a popular challenge for both K-pop stars and fans alike, where excerpts of hit tracks are shuffled and those playing the game must perform the choreography for whichever song that comes up.  

Vancouver is Seventeen’s first North American stop on their Be the Sun world tour. VIP tickets for the concert are sold out. However, regular tickets are still available. And if you happen to have $3,296 and wish for a better seat, you could pick up a resold ticket (albeit the most expensive one) online, fees and taxes included.

Richmond-based BGM Dance Studio is the lead organizer of the RPD event, and its main goal is to dance in a large group setting, explained director Dylan Gao.

“We’ve been planning this for awhile – before COVID… I remember we had so much fun when we (performed at) the Richmond Night Market. We had around 30 people, so at that moment we (thought) we should do something after the COVID restriction was lifted,” he said.

The dance contest will also help fans get into the mood and warmed up for the concert, Gao added.

Participants just need to watch out for BGM's social media posts and show up on the day of the concert. No rehearsal is required. Since the element of surprise is key for the challenge, participants won’t be told the order of the songs prior to the challenge.

“We will compile the song list beforehand and book the videographer and prepare other performances… There’s a lot to prepare behind the scenes and we also have to contact the venue,” said Gao.

Gao has also been coordinating with local Seventeen fans, also known as Carats (a name inspired by one of their songs – Shining Diamond), to spread the word.

RPD is not about being good at dancing

But what is so special about these dance challenges?

“I think (it’s) maybe just to gather people up? … And also just to meet new people, meet the ‘cult,’ you know?” explained Hong Ma, a Steveston-London secondary student and a dancer planning to join BGM’s event.

Ma first took K-pop dance classes for the exercise but fell in love with the music genre and culture, which lead to her to filming K-pop dance covers. While she recalled being nervous attending her first RPD event with two friends, Ma learned that “being good” was not the goal of the dance challenge.

“It’s not a way to show off how many songs I know or how good I am at dancing. It’s more that we want to meet new people who have the same passion as us,” she said.

Ma told the Richmond News that BGM’s planned RPD is special to her, as she is a Carat.

“I don’t really have a bias (favourite member). I just really like their teamwork. And I think they have this team bonding I wanted in my group. So, I admire how they manage the group, and they always keep improving,” she said.

Ma fell in love with the group around three years ago and has since bonded with other Carats over dance.

“We were doing a Seventeen ‘Hot’ dance cover recently, and all of them really like Seventeen. I felt good talking to them, and everyone has a lot of passion,” she said.

Although Ma can’t attend the concert, she’s excited to participate in the RPD.

“I hope we’ll get to do Fallin’ Flower,” she said. “I really love it!”

Details of the event will be posted on BGM’s Instagram, and platinum and standard admission tickets to Seventeen World Tour [Be The Sun] are available on Ticketmaster.