“A-POP” moves, grooves to promote culture

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The Asian Pop Society practices dancing to Korean pop singer Psy’s “Napal Baji," led by Federico Gonzalez-Vidal, art sophomore and president of the Asian Pop Society, in the craft room of Loftin Feb. 19. The dance club dances to Asian pop culture music with performances at this campus and local anime conventions. No experience is required to join, and people of all skill levels are welcome. The club meets 2-5 p.m. every Friday in the craft room.  Photo by Alison Graef

The Asian Pop Society practices dancing to Korean pop singer Psy’s “Napal Baji,” led by Federico Gonzalez-Vidal, art sophomore and president of the Asian Pop Society, in the craft room of Loftin Feb. 19. The dance club dances to Asian pop culture music with performances at this campus and local anime conventions. No experience is required to join, and people of all skill levels are welcome. The club meets 2-5 p.m. every Friday in the craft room. Photo by Alison Graef

Asian Pop Society promotes and shares Asian culture through dance.

By Jerico Magallanes

sac-ranger@alamo.edu

Founded spring 2013, Asian Pop Society, or A-POP, is a dance group that performs Asian dances of the pop variety.

“We dance, that is our main thing. We dance to Asian pop, most notably Japanese and Korean pop,” President Federico Gonzalez-Vidal said. “We take in anyone of any dance experience. They don’t even have to have any dance experience. It’s all for fun.”

The founding president Kathleen Alonzo wanted to start a dance group that tapped into a niche group of Japanese and Korean pop music lovers.

“San Antonio College does have a dance club and there’s already multiple ways to tap into western music,” Gonzalez-Vidal said. “She wanted to make a niche group of people who were into J-Pop because there wasn’t something for people here in San Antonio to join in.”

“We are not a professional dance group, we’re just a club here at school,” Gonzalez-Vidal said. “We have practiced a lot outside of school, so we’re a very active club.”

Since their founding the group has performed at San Japan, San Antonio’s largest anime convention; Sci-Fest and Monster-Con, two summer conventions held at Wonderland of the Americas mall; and this college’s annual fashion show in the fall.

Gonzalez-Vidal didn’t have any dance experience when he first joined in September 2014.

“I didn’t even know how to dance,” Gonzalez-Vidal said. “I was like ‘OK, this is interesting, I guess I’ll just watch.’ But then I tried dancing and I stayed in for two years, was a committed member, and now I’m president.”

Gonzalez-Vidal became president of the club in the fall.

“My first semester at SAC, I walked by and I heard Korean pop,” public relations officer Rosalva Gonzalez said. “Korean music is one of my first interests so I walked toward it and I saw these people dancing and thought ‘Oh, a dance club!’”

Some of the members convinced Gonzalez to join, not initially for the dance but for the fun and light atmosphere.

“Look at us, we’re dorks! No judge zone,” Gonzalez said. “You don’t have to dance, you can just listen, you can just watch.”

Gonzalez initially felt uncomfortable dancing to J-Pop prompting her to start taking pictures, becoming the group’s historian.

The group votes on songs to perform at performances and have leaned more towards K-Pop.

Gonzalez-Vidal shared the difference between K-Pop and J-Pop, saying J-Pop is more “cute and feminine” and upbeat.

“K-Pop is more westernized,” Gonzalez-Vidal said. “It’s more hip-hopish, so I think that makes it easier for Americans to listen to.”

A-POP also holds a butler and maid café, a costume play (cosplay) themed café where Japanese inspired entrees and drinks are served along with entertainment from the group.

Their next café is 9-11 a.m. April 6 in the Fiesta Room of Loftin Student Center.

“It’s all about the fun,” Gonzalez-Vidal said. “We accept anyone who’s interested, who wants to dance or just be a part of the group and watch the dance.”

A-POP meets 2-5 p.m. Fridays in the game room of Loftin Student Center.

For more information, call 210-486-0976.

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