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ROCK OF ASIAN: Groove Nation’s Viral K-Pop Homage

February 2nd, 2011 | 1 comment | Posted by Diana

A Vancouver (Not Whistler Mountain Vancouver, but the Vancouver, WA near PDX airport) dance company from Groove Nation studio entered a competition last month–with a routine that choreographer Julio Fuentes set to 8 minutes of K-Pop music.

Not a common choice for an American high schoolers’ dance troupe! Fuentes even posted a video of the performance on YouTube. And as you can see, it’s sassy and adorable.:

What Fuentes didn’t expect is that the little video of his teens dancing their hearts out in a gym would suddenly take off globally. It quickly went viral in South Korea, and currently has 515,143 views.

What’s more, YouTube’s trendwatchers report that Groove Nation’s second performance, posted two days ago, was among the Most Shared Videos in South Korea, as well as one of the most watched videos among South Korean girls ages 13-17. It already has nearly 22,000 views.

Ya gotta hand it to South Koreans–they know how to give ‘net love. Which has me thinking… JEN, GRAB YOUR LEOTARD. WE’RE MAKING A K-POP DANCE VIDEO!

[YouTube Trends: K-Pop Across The Pacific]
[Oregonian: K-Pop Tribute By Vancouver's Groove Nation Dance Academy hits YouTube, goes viral]


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April 15th, 2010 | 3 comments | Posted by Jen

Happy birthday to Mirai Nagasu, who turns 17 tomorrow!

There really isn’t anything we don’t love about the figure skater, who placed fourth at the Winter Games. We love that she’s from our neck of the woods (SGV, Holla!). We love her face, her crazy-high cheekbones and the way her eyes crinkle when she smiles, which she does a lot. We love how devoted Mirai is to her mama, who’s been battling thyroid cancer. (Of her mother’s prognosis, she’s said, “They say there’s an 80 percent chance of her being cured. But that 20 percent is still something to think about. It’s like getting a B on a test. It’s good but not the best.” We love that, too, OBVS.) And we love that she’s accomplished so much at such a tender age.

Waitaminute. No we don’t.

Because going to your first Olympics, and–despite the naysayers (ahem, Sasha “Bitter Much” Cohen) and the nonstop Queen Yu-Na hype–performing quite beautifully while presenting yourself as the future of figure skating at SIXTEEN when you should be, like, getting wasted on Captain Morgan’s Rum outside a suburban 7-11 or having your thumbs fall off because you’re texting your stupid friends all day long…well, that just makes the rest of us who are much older, much less Olympic, and much more dependent on alcohol look really really baaaaaaaaad.

So maybe there’s one thing we don’t love about Mirai Nagasu. If she were just a little less perfect, she’d be um what’s the word oh right…perfect.

Would you consider working on that in your 17th year, Mirai?

In the meantime, happy birthday, you adorable little showoff!


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RIP John Hughes

August 7th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

Sure, he gave us Long Duk Dong and “What’s happening, hot stuff?”–which has taken about a generation to live down–but John Hughes also gave us “Bueller…Bueller…” and “demented and sad, but social” and, more broadly, a primer on how to be an American teenager, which was pretty useful stuff when you were growing up the child of immigrant parents who couldn’t understand why you cried your eyes out when all your friends forgot your birthday and why you, say, always needed a new dress for every school dance. In his movies, Hughes laid out the quintessential teen rites of passage: first love, sweet sixteen, prom, losing your virginity, being a misfit. While most of his films centered around losers, they were filled with a healthy dose of feel-good fantasy, too–where the geek would get the girl (or boy, as it were), or the criminal would get pinned by the princess, where the girls you were supposed to fall in love with were more awkward than pretty–plotlines too implausible for real life but ones you’d cling to nevertheless, because weathering those years of rejection, growth spurts, acne, and stuffing your bra was hard enough as it was.

John Hughes stopped making teen movies right around the time I became a teenager, and I remember it being so sudden. Who was going to continue to guide me through that awful, confusing stage of life, and the next one, and then the next one? His death at age 59, from a heart attack he suffered while taking a morning walk in New York Thursday, feels just as abrupt and unfair.


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