September 17, 2011
So, we were cleaning up around the house, and found a hard drive that we had thought was permanently lost. That hard drive had tons of footage from it, old footage of when we first came to Korea and started teaching here, to before that, back when we were in Teacher’s College in Canada, to Honeymoon and even Wedding footage! Amazing!
Anyhow, we found this one video on there of Martina dancing with her students in her school festival.
I still remember this day really really clearly because it was before I (Martina) really knew what Kpop was all about. There wasn’t much time to enter the festival because I had no idea it was even happening, let alone what it was all about. I had been in Korea for only a couple months, but I wanted to do something special for my students. I got together a group of my favourite students (who weren’t interested in dancing seriously) and we all secretly studied a couple different kpop videos to learn the dances. We went for a comedy/dance act, merging both the MV concepts with the dancing on stage. We did a crash course on dancing and learned bits and pieces from Wondergirl’s “Nobody”, Hyori’s “You-Go Girl”, Rain’s “Rainism”, Big Bang’s “Sunset Glow”.
I was incredibly nervous because I wasn’t sure how the students would react to me dancing (so crappily) on stage, but it was a huge success and I almost cried when they chanted my name. OOooOoooOoH goosebumps and happy/melancholy watery eyes just thinking about it! After that small performance, my students were so impressed that I taken the time to learn a kpop song and dance that they freely came up to me to try and speak English. So after that event, I dove head first into the world of kpop so that I could learn more about kpop and encourage my students to talk to me comfortably. I became the Martina “The Kpop Expert” Teacher.
It’s 3 years later, and now I’m a genuine kpop fan (who has suckered her husband into liking it as well) and I make videos regularly demonstrating my crappy dancing skillz to the whole world. YAY!
If you do live in Korea or are coming to Korea and teach at a middle school or high school, you MUST MUST MUST join the school festival in some way. It’s the biggest (and only) celebration of the year, think of it like Prom, Homecoming, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, and Halloween all mashed into one day. Sing a song, play the guitar, do a jig, learn a kpop song, read a poem, do ANYTHING. If you can convince some of your co-workers to join you, it will make the event even more EPIC!!! Your students will be SO happy you did, and you’ll be able to form a closer bond with them afterwards.
If you’ve got any footage from your school festival, do share it, either as a response to the video on YouTube or in the comments here. Yeah!