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KPOP Dance Enthusiasts Battle It Out At Ipoh Parade!

Missed It? No Need To Fret, There’s More In Store

By Lam Yat Yee

|| Stick around to the end for the day’s videos and pictures! ;D ||

Before we get into this one, allow me to make things clear; I may be a fan of K-pop, but, unfortunately, never have I ever attended a full K-pop dance competition before. 

That is, until this Sunday. And for four consecutive hours, I was absolutely. Blown. Away. (As, I’m sure, were the other 5000 spectators of the competition. Yes. Five thousand.)

Coming from a person with limited first-hand knowledge on the dance industry and dance itself as a competitive art, what shone brightest to me throughout those four hours were the years upon years of hard work evidently put into perfecting their art by almost all of the 92 contestants. (Contestants whose ages ranged from 7 to 26!)

So before anything else, I wholeheartedly congratulate and am humbled by the efforts of the dancers, judges, studio instructors, and event organisers alike. 

(Each of the judges even gave a performance of their own! Click here to watch each of their performances; Ming Yang, Tiffany, and Ereene.)

However, there was another more awe-inspiring element to the competition, which, personally, I loved. It was the way the judges, Tiffany, Ming Yang, and Ereene – all experienced and reputable individuals in the national (and international) dance scene – never failed to encourage and commend the dancers’ performance whilst providing constructive feedback after every performance – even to the champion team. 

The constructive comments ranged from advice on performance consistency, step accuracy, song cover choices, to advice on stage presence and covering the space. Comments that – always – were followed by words of motivation.

To me, this proved that no matter one’s skill level, there is always space for improvement.

Another detail I particularly appreciated was the overall representation and the supportive atmosphere of the event. (Not to mention the EMCEE, Yoro’s, impartial sass towards all contestants! Truly, his entertaining commentary throughout the four-hour-long event was admirable.) 

Meet the EMCEE, Yoro Ng!

Before we move on, here’s a shout out to the 18 contesting teams from various states across Malaysia!

Valkyrie Dance Crew, Infinix, Charmixes, PANDORA, The Girls, 3 Musketeers, E&K, M.Mix, Super Girls, Valerinx, Fabulous Girls Team, Young Boys n Girls, DREAMLAB, SN19, The Sparkles, Baby Girls, QUEEN, and finally, ROYAL PANDA.

Right, on to some of the factual stuff.

Before we get to the judges’ commentary, let us first understand the five judging criterias – a.k.a the important parts that dancers have to watch.

Dancers, take note!

하나 [Pronounced ‘ha na’ – meaning ‘one’]; K-POP Identity, which makes up 25% of the criteria. This includes lip syncing, facial expressions, and such idol-persona-oriented aspects of the performance. 

둘 [Pronounced ‘dul’ – meaning ‘two’]; Dance Cover, which contributes up to 30% to the final score. The ‘Dance Cover’ criteria focuses on the accuracy of the choreography executed as compared to the original choreography.

삼 [Pronounced ‘sam’ – meaning ‘three’]; Dance Technique, adding up to 25% to the results, focuses on the – you guessed it! – techniques applied in adding expression and impact to the performance. 

네 [Pronounced ‘ne’ – meaning ‘four’]; Costume! Fashion is undeniably a key feature to all things K-pop, from luxury brands to creative D.I.Y pieces, with numerous K-pop idols leading the fashion trendsetting industry. Hence, of course, the creativity and suitability of costumes contributed a total of 10% to each team’s final score.

다섯 [Pronounced ‘da sot’ – meaning ‘five’]; Overall Performance, contributing another 10%. This criteria put emphasis on the way the dances were put together and flowed as one seamless performance. 

Moving on to the details most commonly mentioned by the judges, the main areas of focus seemed to revolve around synchronisation, formation, step accuracy, song choice, and stage presence.

But nonetheless, I’m sure we’re all curious as to who, exactly, were the finalists of the intense dance-off – in other words, the dancers who aced all the aforementioned criterias!

Drumroll, please!

The three teams who went home with RM300 worth of prizes are;

Dreamlab, with their masterful cover of First by Everglow.
M.Mix, who presented a polished cover of We Fresh by Kepler.
Valkyrie Dance Crew, who had us all vibing along with their cover of the popular Love Dive by IVE.

Cue the applause!

And frankly, I couldn’t even begin to guess who’d make the top six!

Now, on to the finalists; who, in the order of Champion to 2nd Runner-up, brought home wins of RM1500, RM1000 and RM500’s worth in cash and prizes.

And I kid you not, these teams, all breathless by the end of their performances, each deserve a standing ovation.

The award of 2nd Runner-up went to the charming Charmixes (pun 100% intended), with their entrancing rendition of Run2u by STAYC.

Click here to watch Charmixes’s performance! 

1st Runner-ups SN19 had the audience enraptured from the start, with their powerful cover of Let Me Know by Pixy.

And click HERE to watch SN19’s performance!

But it was the champions, none other than Valerinx, who straight up. Stole. The. Show. Coming all the way from KL with their suitably 11-member mix-gender team covering Undercover by Craxy, a song known for it’s challenging choreography, Valerinx not only executed every move and transition perfectly, but even added a number of their own stunts to the dance’s already-complicated composition! 

Finally, click HERE to witness the champion team’s performance!

I could barely begin to grasp how many times all these skilled dancers had to get back up after making a mistake, to start over again and again to reach such a level of artistry. The practice, strength, control, confidence, and so much more it takes to make it to where they are!

Young B n G, performing T-ara’s ‘Roly Poly’, whose ages range from seven to nine!

I, for one, am eager to see how far they go in the future.

And I’m willing to bet that you are too.

Hence, here comes the good news! 

The Ipoh Parade KPOP Dance Battle 2023 is far from over, for this was just the beginning! Here’s your chance to catch the finalists live on the 25th of June 2023 as they once more battle it out against 12 other dance crews at the Grand Finals at CITTA Mall, Ara Damansara.

And in case you’re wondering if you’ll need to purchase a ticket – more good news; the finals, too, are free to spectate!

Towards the end of the event, everyone had a taste of the spotlight as the floor opened to spectators for none other than the random dance challenge!

Lastly, this event was sponsored by Sasa, Secret Nail Color, Voir Gallery, Swaganz, Energized, MOG, Mollyfantasy, llaollao, and DRUM.

For more information, feel free to refer to Ipoh Parade’s official Facebook page.

And to the final competitors, if you’re reading this; Hwaiting!

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