Monthly Archives: January 2017

In-Depth: #2

                The 2nd semester is gearing up, and in-depth is already starting to feel like it’s in full swing! Katrina, Franny, and I are ramping up our practice times and are beginning to schedule regular times to practice biweekly (weekly if we can manage it).

                These past two weeks, we have finalized our song choice. We have decided to stick with, “Adore U”, the light-hearted, energetic dance song by the boy group “Seventeen”, using their mirrored dance tutorial (where the video is flipped, so we can copy the moves exactly), a dance tutorial by YouTuber @Charissahoo, and with the help of Sunny Ko, our mentor whom we met with this weekend.

                As of now, Katrina and I have met with our mentor once, and are scheduled to meet with her again sometime this week. She has very generously agreed to give us tips about blocking, dance techniques, and how to fill the spaces in the dance with different moves (since we are only a group of 3), as well as provide us with a venue to practice in. We were able to learn the first minute of the dance, using different tutorials and the help of Sunny, relying on each other to learn the dances. Where one of us had troubles with the dance, the other would learn it in order to help out.

                Right now, I have no problems with my mentor or my group members, other than the fact that schedule is quite an issue right now. However, since this project can also be completed individually, I don’t have too many worries, since I know that I have to rely on my other group members to learn their own parts. Although this is a group project, we need to be to be independent and find our own opportunities to learn on our own (not everything has to be in a group, just occasional meetings). I agree with my mentor in that I like her approach to helping us. She does teach us and help us in the way of learning and teaching us the moves, but also helping us make up parts of the dance where we have an insufficient number of people.

           All in all, we’ve had a bit of a slow start. But the next few weeks are looking to be very productive, with lots of learning and posting going on.

In-Depth: And So it Begins… (#1)

After we jump over one obstacle another one immediately takes its place, and the same goes for In-Depth (the very name of which sends chills down my spine). Speaking honestly, I have to say that last year’s In-Depth experience was about a 4/10 on the success scale (partially because of procrastination, and partially because of the topic I chose), but I’m hoping to greatly improve that this year. How, you ask? Well this year, I’m going to follow the TALONS In-Depth model better. Which is, to say, I’m really going to try and learn everything about something.

This year, my In-Depth project is already looking to be more enjoyable and have a larger prospect for success. Rather than focus on something that requires intense recording, academics, and a high-stress environment that calls for lots of individual research and studying along with the process, I have decided to pursue something fun, and something that I’ll really enjoy doing. (In other words, something that won’t stress me out like my project last year.) Something that I would have considered doing outside of school anyway. Something that requires dedication but nothing to academically stressful. Something fun, and something that I can enjoy doing, and not spend every waking moment worrying about. KPop dance!

(Stop laughing.)

The idea originally came when Katrina and I were joking around, talking about doing KPop covers for In-Depth, about a year ago. We were both pretty invested in the idea, but I abandoned it to do something different. I was considering many different options, ranging from noodle-making to graphic design, but after Katrina and Franny joined together to do KPop for their project, I decided to ditch all of my other ideas and come back to my original one and join the two of them. Other than the fact that this project will be enjoyable to partake in, I also feel that, as a Korean who isn’t as in touch with Korean culture as one could be, this project is a great opportunity for me to learn more about my family’s country, and how much it has developed from one of the poorest nations at the bottom after war and poverty, to a flourishing, increasingly cosmopolitan society booming with culture, art, music, and some of the trendiest brands on the market. This project will definitely give me the chance to research some of the more modern elements of Korean culture, and how it has changed over the years, and how it’s helped Korea rise to international fame.

Throughout the course of this project, there are many goals and plans I have, some of them already in action. The main goal that I have is to be able to independently learn dances using dance tutorials and music videos to aid me in my learning, and to be able to practice and perfect these dances on my own before coming together with a group. For our first project, which we have already started to learn, we will learning a dance called “Adore U” by the popular KPop boy group, Seventeen. This will be quite a challenge, as I have learned dances in the past, but usually not very quickly, and with the help of other people to learn.

For the times when we do need help and guidance, the three of us have secured a mentor already! Sunny Ko (sister of fellow TALON student Sydney Ko), Grade 12 student, has agreed to help us with our project. Since we will mostly need her help in learning dances, blocking, positioning, etc., we will not need to meet with her as often as a typical project might call for, as some of our time will be spent choosing dances, and editing and posting videos. Nonetheless, I am very excited to be able to work with her for this project, and I’m extremely grateful to her for offering to help us out for the duration of this project.

Additionally, we will be seeking help from Kaleigh, who although is inexperienced in the hip hop genre, can help us with dance foundations and things such as stretching that can help develop our general dance skills. We will also be looking to find some drop-in hip hop, popping, and KPop dance classes at various dance studios to help us be able to achieve mastery (or as close as we can get to it) for this project, which will be especially vital for our final performance on in-depth night.

Another important component of the project is one that is personal, will help develop my general fitness, and will not be talked about on in-depth night. Rather than just learn KPop dances, I have decided to further immerse myself into the intense world of KPop and Korean pop culture. Throughout the next 5 months, I will be changing my diet, drinking more water, and increasing my fitness regime. Partially driven by the fact that my fitness and general health isn’t as good as it used to be, I have decided that, following the intense KPop trainee model, I will increase not only my fitness through dancing, but through more vigorous cardio and muscular strength activities, and changing the way I eat. The fitness component is important to me, mostly because I am used to having a high base fitness level (and it has dropped since I’ve had to take PE Online), but also because I can use the hours put in to dancing as hours that can count towards my PE Online course. For the diet portion, I’m not going/able to follow the strict diets that KPop trainees and idols are forced to follow, simply because of the nature of their schedules vs. the nature of mine. By this, I mean I am simply going to make the switch from processed, less healthy foods to whole foods with more nutrients, and decreasing my caloric intake (not by much, but by a few hundred as I tend to overeat on a regular basis). I will be tracking my food and water intake using a food journal throughout this project, and working on better meal planning and frugal grocery shopping for better foods. Hopefully by doing this, I can add another dimension to my project by not only learning and performing dances, but by changing my lifestyle as well.

I’m very excited to see where In-Depth takes me this year. I can already see more possibilities for success and enjoyment compared to last year, and the collaborative element with Katrina and Franny will make the process more enjoyable since I’m sharing it with them. As a 10, I’m also excited to see where everyone takes their project and how they choose to use it as a vessel towards further mastery in a subject. Good luck everyone, and try not to suffer too much!