Seoul, South Korea (CNN)The teens fall on their stomachs, slap the flooring with their hands and increase with a thoughtful twirl. They then continue to flap their arms like a flock of birds to the beat of a K-pop tune.
There are at least 50 of them, crowded into a low-ceilinged space with mirrors on 3 walls. It is hot, it is sweaty and it is 9.30 p.m. on a Wednesday night.
The group, who have actually been practicing the very same relocation consistently for almost 2 hours directly, are all trainees of Def Dance, an elite dancing and singing school in Seoul’s high end Gangnam area.
“I invest about 3 hours here every day after school,” states Lee Jae-Gi, a slim 16-year-old using a gray sweatshirt. I began taking classes when I was 11.”
He studies K-pop, hip-hop and singing. “Practicing the exact same relocation over and over once again can be tiring however I am advancing which is all I appreciate,” he includes.
The teens registered in Def Dance are all single-mindedly pursuing the very same goal: to end up being a K-pop idol . Turning into one of the picked couple of warranties popularity, success and a bank balance that sets them up for life.
But the school, which charges $200 monthly and has 1,400 trainees, some as young as 8, is just the very first called on the ladder to popularity.
To end up being a real idol, teens like Lee need to initially make it through ultra-competitive auditions held by the record labels. Those who are selected ended up being “students.” They will be anticipated to quit their flexibility to train and live for a number of years at one of Korea’s elite K-pop academies. Just then will they get a shot at fame.
There are lots of schools assisting to prep kids for these auditions throughout Seoul, each charging anything approximately $1,000 per term.
Life as a student
Three record labels control the K-pop market, which created $4.7 billion dollars in 2016, SM Entertainment, JYP Entertainment and YG Entertainment. All were formed in the late 1990s, when K-pop initially began to remove.
Their student choice procedure is exceptionally competitive. “We hold 500,000 auditions a year,” describes Choi Jinyoung, who is establishing a brand-new academy for SM Entertainment. “Less than 10 individuals get picked every year to end up being students.”
Personality and a “excellent character,” which suggests being disciplined and hard-working, are the crucial elements employers try to find.