I Trained Under a K-Pop Idol For Three Days

Dance lessons with a K-Pop idol isn’t a common occurrence, so I grabbed the chance to learn a few moves from OFFROAD’s Habin

When ShowBT first announced their special dance workshop with OFFROAD’s Habin (real name Choi Youngwook), I have to admit that I was a bit hesitant on enrolling. I knew OFFROAD from the promotions they did back in Manila last 2016 including their fan meeting and ShowBT Night. My friends know that Habin is my favorite member, so they initially thought that I would join without any hesitation. My non-existent dance background and skills, along with a conflict with my work schedule, gave me every excuse to pass up the opportunity.

What made me decide to enroll? A week after the announcement, ShowBT added a weekend schedule to accommodate more “trainees” (as they preferred to call us) for the workshop. After much convincing from friends who enrolled in the first batch, I contacted ShowBT a few hours before the class to inform them that I wanted to join.

As soon as I finished signing up, I told the organizers that I was nervous because I don’t dance. They advised me just to enjoy and do whatever I can. Teaching several other beginners and me in the class is a challenge, and they want to take part in our learning process.

Before the workshop started, we learned that Habin was a JYP trainee for three years before he became the lead dancer of OFFROAD. Then, the staff showed us a table of the schedule, as well as a video of what dance he will be teaching us. For the class I joined, it was TWICE’s “TT.” The other class learned the steps to Produce 101 Season 2’s theme “Pick Me.”

The workshop started with a 15-minute warm-up to make sure our bodies were ready for all the moves as well as to prevent injuries. Then in comes Habin, who did a roll call first, greeting the students one-by-one. Before he started teaching us the moves, he showed us the dance.

When the actual class began, I realized that he wasn’t going to be treating us gently. His pacing was fast but clear, and he would ask us to run through the steps several times without him. Despite that, when he saw someone having trouble with the steps, he stood beside that person and danced so that the student could follow. He was very meticulous especially with our hand movements to the point that he made us repeat the same step again and again until we perfected it. He reminded us to channel our inner Twice members by making cute and bubbly expressions while dancing. He also instructed us to give our movements a sexier feel.

Each day, the class was divided into smaller groups. Each group would then be asked to show what we have learned so far. Habin would point out what he felt lacking or which part he thought we were having trouble with. Despite that, he was also quick to encourage us that we were all doing great and was our biggest cheerleader.

Even with a limited time each day, he made each minute count. We even went beyond the allotted schedule so that he can check if we were able to absorb everything that he taught us.

To be honest, I was one of those who had a hard time following, especially on the first day. I knew the steps, but somehow, my speed wasn’t enough. I was a bit frustrated because I felt like I was dragging the class down, but Habin made sure that not one of us felt that way. He patiently taught everyone and made sure that no one was left behind. My fellow trainees also helped me out when I got lost or when I had a hard time recalling the steps.

We were told beforehand that on the last day of the workshop, they would take a video of us showcasing what we have learned. That day was spent on polishing the steps that we’re still having a hard time executing, as well as preparing for the video. The blocking was changed, and we were divided into two groups. Some changes were made to the opening steps as well as some other parts of the choreography. After several run-throughs, it was time to shoot the video.

Habin took the center spot, and reminded everyone to smile, be cute, and enjoy the dance. I did everything I could to make sure I didn’t mess up any of the steps (or at least tried to follow to the best of my ability) in the final dance. The final dance was where we all showed our cute sides and our biggest smiles.

Finally, after what seemed to be the longest two minutes of my life, we struck our final pose and it was all over. After our performance, Habin gathered all the students and told us that it was the best performance he’s seen us do since the first day. He also commented that it was our best dance because he could see the cute and happy expressions on our faces as we performed.

At the end of the workshop, we were given a certificate of participation for completing all the sessions. They also selected the best dancers from the group who will be invited to ShowBT’s year-end concert, ShowBT Night.

Will I do it again? Yes, I will. Maybe next time I’ll have more friends join me. The workshop is something I never thought I would do but I managed to. It was a fun learning experience that I wish more people who like dancing and K-Pop, in general, would try out for themselves.

What I experienced wasn’t even a fifth of what actual Korean trainees go through. Behind the perfectly synchronized dance routines is a lot of hard work and discipline. My level of dancing is far from a K-Pop star, but now, I can show a move or two. I would like to thank Habin for his patience and to ShowBT Philippines for the opportunity!

Written by Trisha Yalung / Photos from ShowBT Philippines

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