USC News: South Korean dance star Aiki brings K-pop moves to USC Kaufman

November 16, 2023

South Korean dance sensation Aiki at USC Kaufman | Photo by Valerie Chen (BFA '24)

In a studio at the USC Kaufman School of Dance, K-pop choreographer Aiki paused her instruction to marvel at a student’s performance. Aiki had just taught a complex floor move, and fourth-year student William Okajima executed it while sending one leg skyward.

“I never thought about expressing it that way!” Aiki said through an interpreter.

The moment captured the lively exchange of movement and culture made possible by Aiki’s weeklong residency of dance workshops last month. Her classes offered USC Kaufman students a crash course in K-pop dance, a genre that puts Western dances like jazz, hip-hop and dancehall in a blender with contemporary Korean influences. In turn, the students gave Aiki a window into American dancers’ style and flair.

Read more at USC News.