By John Michael, Nana Yahaya and Beatrice Habila
A Kano state based dance crew, Northsidekingz, at the weekend won the 2018 K-POP dance competition being hosted by the Korean Cultural Center Nigeria (KCCN) of the Embassy of Republic of Korea, thereby going home with a cash price of five hundred thousand naira and other gift items.
The crew, which emerged to as winners in the competition, came from the
professional category, while Julimore, clinched the star prize in the school category.
K-POP is annual dance Competition being held annually by the KCCN to promote the Korean dance culture. It is open to dance teams from across the country irrespective of tribe or religion.
Teams who participate choose from any listed K-POP song, make their own video of the K-POP dance music video and submit online for preliminary screening.
Seven professional crews and six secondary school crews qualified for this year’s finals out of the 40 entries recorded at the preliminary stage (30 professional crews and 10 secondary school crews).
Speaking at the event, the Korean Ambassador, Lee In-tae, revealed that although he knew about Nigerians strong passion for K-POP dance before arriving the country, “but since arriving in this country a couple of months back, I have seen firsthand, the resilience and ingenuity of Nigerians everywhere I have been, particularly young Nigerians on whose hands lie the future of this country.
“From all corners of Nigeria, young people who have fallen in love with the energy, creativity, passion and commitment the K-POP demands, have participated in this competition for 7 years now. Once, a team from Nigeria conquered the K-POP world and became the first team from African continent to win the KBS World K-POP Competition.
“With an estimated population of over 198million people blessed with abundant talents, Nigeria’s creative and entertainment industry with the required commitment from all stakeholders is a boom unraveling. It sure can generate tremendous employment opportunity and create wealth for Nigeria’s teeming populace.
“I’m happy that the K-POP competition in Nigeria is providing such platform to promote creativity and entertainment, enabling Nigerian youths to showcase their talents, improve their skills and prepare for further challenges and successes.”
In the professional crew category, Northsidekingz won 1st place, Classic Royals won 2nd place and Elites Dance Crew came third; while in the Secondary school category, Julimore won 1st place, K-POPIAN Boys won 2nd place and K-POPIAN Girls came third.
The spokesperson of the winning team, Michael Neon, disclosed his crew’s readiness to give all it takes to maintain the record set by the immediate past winners of the competition, who took the world by surprise to emerged world champions at the K-Pop world festival in South Korea.
“For us it’s just a starting line for us, we are going to push harder, are going to work harder, indulge in more competitions and appearances, the world needs to see us the more. There are literally no threats, if Nigerians have taken it beforehand, we can take it again,” he said.
According to one of the judges, Dr. Emem Olutoke, the criteria used in selecting winners were choreography, uniformity, technique and stage charisma.
“I was actually shocked at the level of professionalism even from the schools category. I can rate each of them so high, it was difficult to even choose winners. They are all great choreographers, they are all committed and they all did very well in terms of skills and knowledge. With the quality of what I saw, Nigeria still stands a chance in emerging world champions at the K-Pop world festival, he said.
The star prize winner in the professional category went home with a prize money of five hundred thousand naira (N500,000) while second prize winner was awarded three hundred thousand naira (N300,000) and third place winner got a hundred thousand naira (100,000).
In the school category, first place winner received three hundred thousand naira (N300,000), second prize, two hundred thousand naira (N200,000) and third place a hundred thousand naira (100,000).