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 exact 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 assurances popularity, success and a bank balance that sets them up for life.
But the school, which charges $200 each month and has 1,400 trainees, some as young as 8, is just the very first sounded 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 liberty to train and live for numerous 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 as much as $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 extremely 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.