While I typically use this space to write about Korean songs and artists that I think everyone should be listening to, today’s column will center Tufts' very own K-pop dance association cover group, while recognizing the community it has built.
The Korean Dance Association, or KoDA, is a student-run group that covers popular dances from K-pop groups in showcases, weekly meetings and music videos. This newerTufts group brings together lovers of K-pop and dance from the Tufts community to offer a space for expression and celebration of the arts.
In researching for this article, I sat down with the club's co-captain and co-founder, Alyssa Eakman, and its underclassman representative, Mary Wilson. The two members explained how KoDA began as a way for Tufts students who fancy both dance and K-pop to mix the two. The club also has its origins in the Korean Student Association's dance performances.
While the team was virtual during the 2020–21 academic year, KoDA still participated in meetings and cultural shows. However, being in person has allowed the group to come together on a whole other level this semester.
“It’s been very positive,” Wilson said when asked how the group has shaped her college experience. “There are other people that are really interested in [K-pop]. I can definitely make a lot of friends.”
Like any group with a highly passionate member base, KoDA has been able to build a strong community among its members.
From filming music videos to making costumes, to journeying to sets together, KoDA is a family with a clear love for connecting with others through music and dance. The group's members often enjoy K-pop music videos together and talk about different K-pop artists. And they work tirelessly to prepare for their performances.
“I’ve made a lot of friends through [KoDA]. We love dancing, we love K-pop, we love K-pop dancing,” Eakman said.
KoDA unites students who might not have otherwise met each other. Wilson, for example, mentioned that she enjoys interacting with upperclassmen, while Eakman, on the other hand, likes to work with the incoming classes.
Beyond Tufts, the group has collaborated with other university dance cover groups for showcases and virtual events. In the future, its members hope to leave an even larger impact on the Tufts and wider K-pop communities.
“I think that would be a great thing to develop on and have a huge collaborative effort on,” Eakman said.
These connections not only offer a larger community among the groups but also for those of us who love to watch and enjoy the art. As the group continues to grow in popularity and recognition, it is clear that they will leave lasting connections and impressions on our Jumbo family.
With all the blood, sweat and tears they put into their practice, the community that KoDA is building can't be stopped, so let’s treasure their passion and love.
You can follow and support KoDAhere.