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Video: K-Pop Dance Routines Are A Workout For Body And Brain

Korean pop, or K-pop — a genre that embraces a range of Western and Korean influences — was once known only in East Asia and among the Korean diaspora. But these days, K-pop's techno beats and its signature synchronized, tightly choreographed dance moves are familiar the world over. You might know K-pop best from "Gangnam Style," the 2012 monster hit by Psy.

Dancing in the K-pop style is not limited to video trainees and stars, however. In Korean-dominated cities, specialized studios have cropped up to teach all of us how to dance according to K-pop video concepts, be they coquettish, sporty — or in our test case, "manly."

Joined by NPR Code Switch reporter Kat Chow in the Korean capital of Seoul, I gamely gave this a try while 6 1/2 months pregnant. We thought we were going to a beginners' class. You'll see for yourselves how things went down.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Elise Hu is a host-at-large based at NPR West in Culver City, Calif. Previously, she explored the future with her video series, Future You with Elise Hu, and served as the founding bureau chief and International Correspondent for NPR's Seoul office. She was based in Seoul for nearly four years, responsible for the network's coverage of both Koreas and Japan, and filed from a dozen countries across Asia.