By Alyson Peabody, Staff Writer
A group of students at USM formed a new dance collective called Krush Dance Krew (KDK) earlier this year. KDK performs in a hip-hop inspired urban dance style to Korean pop songs (KPOP). While being influenced by KPOP, they are also inspired by choreography performed by their “World of Dance” idol, Kinjaz and videos posted by the South Korean Youtube channel, 1Million Dance Studio.
KDK’s mission is to inspire others and make dancing more prominent in Maine.
KDK officially started in January 2018.
“It took us many days to finalize a name that we all liked,” said group member, Cherlline Ouch. “Krush just came to us. When we heard this name we were like, ‘This is it.’”
The group loved the double meaning that the word ‘krush’ had. “You could have a ‘krush’ on us” and “we can ‘krush’ our competition,” Ouch said.
The group was founded by Kristina Heng (24), Moutwei Chap (20), Michelle Ouch (20), Cherlline Ouch (20) and Skylar Lon (19). What had started as a fun group of dancers learning the latest choreography together grew into a professional group, adding two members, Kevin Li (23) and Aira Setimo (21), after KDK was established.
Their first show was at Students Without Borders Association’s (SWBA) Xposure 2018 showcase. SWBA is a multicultural organization at USM that educates about diversity and student cultures, aspiring to share culture within the group and the community.
KDK has also performed at the “Waking Windows” exhibition held at the Portland campus in September and USM’s 2018 Annual Social Justice Summit.
KDK travelled out of state to University of Massachusetts Lowell (UML) to contribute to their Asian Night on March 25, 2018. Michelle Ouch and Cherlline Ouch are twin sisters who are half Cambodian and Chinese. Chap is Cambodian and Chinese. Heng is Cambodian. Setimo is Phillipino. Li is Chinese. Lon is French and Cambodian.
When the group isn’t taking part in live performances they are rehearsing routines, cultivating their online audience by recording and posting their dance covers on their Youtube channel, Krush Dance Krew. They recently uploaded a video of their cover dance to South Korean singer, Taeyeon, hit song “Why” from their performance at UML’s Asian Night.
Their goal for the year is to perform at University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Asian Night. This event is well known among the Asian performing arts community in Massachusetts.
To see their upcoming performances check out their Facebook and Youtube channel @KrushDanceKrew.