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Sunday, July 21, 2024

Korean-American sisters’ dance studio in Koreatown jives into fame thanks to K-pop popularity

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Sisters Diny, center, and Eileen Kim, right, are being interviewed by an NBC4 reporter. [NBC4]
Korean-American sisters running a K-pop dance studio in Los Angeles Koreatown are the talk of the town.

In honor of AAPI Heritage Month, NBC News highlighted Rūts Dance Studio in Koreatown as part of a series covering the surging popularity of K-pop dance.

Run by sisters Diny and Eileen Kim, the dance studio has only been open for a year and a half, but they say they are already feeling the power of K-pop thanks to the growing number of students.

“We have been open for only a few years now, but the growth we’ve been seeing is super crazy,” Eileen said. In fact, all the classes on May 15 were full, and the K-pop dance class on May 16 was already full as well.

Rūts Dance Studio initially started as a hip-hop based dance studio, but they have been trying to keep up with the high demand for K-pop dance classes.

“K-pop is such a phenomenon and craze right now,” Diny said. “It’s choreographed by the best of the best choreographers in the world. It’s a celebration of not just AAPI but Korean culture in general.”

The Kim sisters are experienced professional dancers and choreographers with years of experience.

Diny started as a hip-hop dancer in San Diego in 2010 and is now a member of the world-renowned dance crew GRV, where she has choreographed commercials for Lotte, including “Like the First Time,” “Chilsung Cider,” and “Milkies.”

Eileen, who is the co-director of GRV’s exhibition team GRooVe, is also an accomplished dancer who has performed on stage with K-pop groups BTS and Blackpink, and recently performed as a stand-in for Blackpink’s member Jisoo during the Coachella performances.

Notably, Rūts Dance Studio offers affordable classes with over 30 talented instructors, including the Kim sisters.

They offer three classes a day, Monday through Saturday, and each class costs $15. A month of unlimited class visits costs around $180. The idea is to make it affordable for anyone to learn K-pop dances as well as other genres.

“We grew up in Koreatown, and our goal was to build a community from scratch,” Eileen said.

“It really comes back full circle,” said Diny. “Growing up here, we lacked a community, so we wanted to provide that for people here now.”

For more information about Rūts Dance Studio, visit therutsstudio.com or follow them on Instagram at @rutsdancestudio.

BY SUAH JANG [support@koreadaily.com]