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A desire for diversity led to the creation of Unicorn, a K-pop dance group

UNC Unicorn Dance Team
UNC Unicorn K-Pop Dance Cover Team members Sharon Ge, Serena Gao, Haoyu Zhang, Zoey Zhou, Becca Liu, Cicie Li, Ann Cui, Vivi Wang, Xi Jin, Xinyu Xu, Cyan Bai, Kelly Wan, Zhizhi Li and Alexandra Wang pose for a photograph following their first public performance at KoreaNite 2019 on Feb. 17, 2019 at the Great Hall in the Carolina Union in Chapel Hill, N.C. The UNC Unicorn K-Pop Dance Cover Team, a new dance group on UNC's campus, will be hosting their first workshop on March 1, 2019 at 7:00pm at the Student Recreation Center in Studio A. Photo courtesy of Christine Chen.

Thousands of miles from its origins in South Korea, Korean pop — better known as K-pop — has arrived in Chapel Hill. 

UNC’s K-pop dance cover team, Unicorn, is hosting its first public workshop March 1 at 6:45 p.m. in Student Recreation Center Studio A. At the two-hour workshop, attendees will have the opportunity to learn two dance routines to popular K-pop songs. 

The group meets to learn dance routines to popular K-pop songs and then records the choreography and uploads it to social media. Unicorn also performs around Chapel Hill at events and exhibitions to promote the style of dance.

In addition to private classes for members, Unicorn hosts public workshops where any students who are interested in dance can come learn a routine from two leaders. Serena Gao, vice president of Unicorn, said the group is a good opportunity to meet other students who are passionate about K-pop and want to have fun. 

Unicorn President Sharon Ge started the group when she realized there was an interest in K-pop on campus, but no club for people to come together to express their passion. She said she wanted the club to be accessible for people who had an interest in dance but not much experience, unlike many of the other dance groups on campus.

“We realized there are a lot of students on campus, like there are K-pop fans that are interested in K-pop culture, but because there’s that absence of a group or club to gather them all together, they kind of just separated and enjoyed it themselves,” Kelly Wan, human resources and fundraising chair, said. “But right now, since we have this chance to create this club, we can call everyone together and enjoy K-pop culture.” 

Unicorn not only focuses on dancing to songs from this genre, but also establishing a larger culture of K-pop on campus. Ge said the organization will meet outside of the dance studio to have viewing parties of K-pop performances and other activities that promote camaraderie centered around an interest in K-pop.

Ge said the group’s name Unicorn was selected because it creates a cute image for the group while also including the letters “u,” “n” and “c” to promote a good image of the school for prospective students who are interested in K-pop. 

“Since we’re a club at UNC, and we want this club to be part of the UNC community and want to give back to the community, so we thought it would be a good idea to include UNC, the three characters,” Gao said. 

The group wanted to create an emphasis on K-pop at UNC because of the genre’s rapidly growing popularity in a large part of the world. Unicorn said they want to promote Korean trends to students who may not be familiar to them since there is little focus on Asian culture on campus. 

“The music genre is getting more and more known by American people and also people all over the world,” Gao said. “So we think it might be a good opportunity to add this diversity aspect to the UNC community.”

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