I am not a dancer, but I do enjoy some great K-pop choreography. Point dances and exciting formations can really vault a strong song into legendary status, so I think it’s important to take a look at idol dances each year. As usual, this is not a countdown of the most technically impressive or complex routines. This is a chance for me to spotlight a few dances that really stuck with me in 2020.
Golden Child – Pump It Up
ENHYPEN – Given-Taken
Seventeen – Home;Run
Golden Child – One (Lucid Dream)
BoA – Better
Weeekly – Tag Me
Everglow – La Di Da
Stray Kids – God’s Menu
VERIVERY – Lay Back
Oh My Girl – Nonstop
Sometimes the choreography that catches my eyes isn’t the most difficult. But, it adds something vital to the song. For lack of a better description, the twirling and ‘walking into formation’ moments during the chorus of Voice are just so satisfying. They add a quirky chicness that perfectly compliments the track.
For me, Twice’s I Can’t Stop Me boasts some of the most memorable girl group choreo of the year. I love how the moves have a sort of domino effect that echoes the repetitive phrasing of the chorus. And the post-chorus breakdown, coupled with swaying camera work, makes for a memorable centerpiece.
After initially disliking the song, the choreo to Ice Age became one of its biggest selling points. It’s so fun to watch the members interact with each other during the verses and pre-chorus, flitting in and out of the spotlight with perfect synchronization. The second verse has some particularly rhythmic moments.
Blue Hour‘s performance feels like an old-school movie musical, and so much of that is due to its ebullient choreo. It’s smooth and fun and doesn’t take itself too seriously. And then, of course, there’s that show-stopping breakdown where Yeonjun in particular gets to show off his MJ-esque moves.
I love how DRIPPIN’s Nostalgia includes moves that would more traditionally be classified as “feminine,” interspersed with the kind of hard-hitting choreo we’re used to seeing from boy groups. The “black hole” stunt that finishes the breakdown is also one of 2020’s most memorable dance moments.
ITZY’s choreo always does a great job highlighting their unique energy, and Wannabe is no different. It’s fast-moving and in-your-face, harnessing the group’s explosive confidence. And, it climaxes in their best dance breakdown yet.
I’d argue that NCT 127’s Kick It has the year’s most iconic point move. It’s certainly one that’s been replicated on many variety shows! The rest of the routine isn’t quite as memorable, but once we hit that chorus, your eyes will definitely be glued to the stage.
Inspired by the song’s cheesy charm, When We Disco‘s retro choreography is insanely fun to watch. Sometimes simple is best, and the moves here are broad and memorable rather than complex and inscrutable. The expressiveness of Sunmi and Park Jinyoung’s performance just adds to the appeal.
Criminal is a feast for the eyes and the ears, with every element coming together to create a knockout performance. While the choreo starts off restrained (literally!), it soon grows into a swirling centerpiece, embracing the track’s groove while adding even more rhythm. The final choruses are incredibly funky and perfectly dramatic.
The Boyz were THE choreo kings in 2020, and The Stealer draws upon that strength for a standout performance. Like the song itself, the moves and formations switch between various styles and energy levels. The verses have a freewheeling appeal, as the members dart around the stage like acrobats, focusing on brief interactions before coming together for highly synchronized group choreography. By the time they’re on their knees, sliding across the floor, it’s impossible not to be utterly entranced.