The K-Pop Club Bonds, Learns, and Performs Together


SJHHS K-pop club members perform the song Oh My God by G-idle. This song, sung almost entirely in Korean was selected by the members and the dance portion, overseen by club leader Mariagne Pablo, was performed at dance fusion 2022. Photo by Lexi Odekirk

Lexi Odekirk, Staff Writer

K-Pop is gaining popularity on and off campus, with the SJHHS K-Pop club going from zero to 26 members just this past year.

Senior Mariagne Pablo immigrated from the Philippines in middle school, joined the SJHHS dance program freshman year, and became the president of the K-pop club last year to promote Korean dance and music. Pablo says she didn’t have much experience as a leader prior to forming the club, however with the encouragement of club adviser and dance coach, Kristine Calder, she decided to go for it.

“I was really nervous and hesitated to create the club, but I was just like ‘just do it,’” said Pablo. 

I was really nervous and hesitated to create the club, but I was just like ‘just do it

— Mariagne Pablo

An avid K-pop dancer since her freshman year, Pablo teaches club members the fundamentals of K-pop and popular dances from Youtube. The club practices daily. 

“The members always encouraged me to become better, they helped me with techniques, they helped me with steps, and they helped me become more confident in myself,” said club secretary, sophomore Cheyanne Lee.

The K-pop club is rooted in inclusivity, as a place where dancers of all levels, ethnicities, and genders join together over a shared interest.

“It’s ok to explore what you like around here,” said Lee.

It offers students a unique opportunity to learn dance and get a taste of what it might be like to be a K-pop star.

“As K-pop stans, we sometimes wonder, we sometimes think, what does it feel like to be a K-pop idol…and in this club, we get to experience all that,” said Pablo.

However, the club has met alleged xenophobia on campus, facing harassment by a group of students.

“Last month our club experienced students that we don’t know go to the dance room during our practice and throw and splash the room with carrots. I don’t know if they had a personal agenda or hatred towards our club or the Asian community in general, but they did it, not only once, but for a week until we took action and told the office,” said Pablo.

Despite setbacks, the club performs at SJHHS dance shows including the Fusion and Choreographers Ball productions and will be performing in the upper quad during the Multicultural Fair.