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The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

SipSam Brings K-Pop to Colgate Through Dance

Instagram / @sipsam_colgate

SipSam, the Korean word for 13, is Colgate University’s first all-inclusive Korean popular music (K-pop) dance group. The group practices and performs choreography to a multitude of songs from the K-pop genre. 

SipSam provides a space for students interested in K-pop to come together and build a community over a shared love of music and dance. The group’s social chair, senior Alice Hurst, touched on the mission of the dance group. 

“We do dances primarily from Korean artists, and it’s just a space for people who are really interested in K-pop, or really like to dance to K-pop, to come and join new dances with other people who also really like it,” Hurst said. 

The group performs both large and small group dances, providing various opportunities for dancers. Senior member Mariama Lemon explained the different options offered within the group.

“[The] large group is for anyone and everyone to do lots of different performances, and they offer many different styles [and] songs,” Lemon said. “SipSam also does small groups, which provides an opportunity for dancers that really want to challenge themselves in a way that still feels safe and accommodating.”

Last semester, the large group performed Super by SEVENTEEN and Hype Boy by NewJeans, while the small group performed Black Swan by BTS and ANTIFRAGILE by LE SSERAFIM. This semester, the large group’s songs will include “Blue Hour” by TOMORROW X TOGETHER and “Talk that Talk” by TWICE, while the small group’s numbers will showcase “Impurities” by LE SSERAFIM and “DALLA DALLA” by ITZY.

Senior Elannah De La O, a co-president of SipSam, spoke on how the group has allowed her to find other students who share her interests. 

“In high school, I started listening to K-pop more and began learning the dances on my own,” De La O said. “I went to a relatively small school, so there wasn’t a large group of people interested in K-pop or who wanted to learn their dances; it was often just me and a few other friends who would learn the choreography, but I didn’t have a sense of community. So when I found SipSam, I knew immediately that [it] was one club I knew I wanted to join right away.”

Lemon explained that she felt drawn to join the group last year because of its friendly atmosphere and the opportunity to return to dancing, which she had taken a break from. 

“I joined because a lot of my friends are in SipSam, and whenever I saw them perform, I really liked their outfits, their energy and the general vibes,” Lemon said. 

After many members graduated last spring, the group is smaller this year. Still, Hurst hopes that the power of music and dance can unite the current and new members.

“As some of the older seniors have left, we’ve lost some members, so it’s definitely a smaller community now, and we’re getting some new people that aren’t necessarily familiar with each other,” Hurst said. “We’re hoping to bond all of these people together through K-pop.” 

Lemon shared that, for her, the best part of the group is interacting and connecting with more students.

“I would say my favorite aspect is just getting to know different people on campus. There’s a mixed variety of all class years,” Lemon said. “With SipSam, everyone is so friendly that you can start just saying ‘hi’ to people, and it’s almost like you always knew each other. I like the strong community it provides.”

SipSam hopes to introduce more people at Colgate to the music and dance of K-pop through performances and also by recruiting new members.

“We also, every now and then, get some people who we’ve sort of convinced at the [Student Involvement Fair] to join, so it’s kind of a fun opportunity to get new people into K-pop as well,” Hurst said. “Some of them stay, some of them don’t, but it’s just — at least for us — a safe space for people who like K-pop to come together and enjoy it with each other and learn some dances.”

Members urged dancers of all levels to come to a practice and learn more about K-pop and its dances.

“It’s always something new, and it’s never boring. I just love being a part of that,” Lemon said.

SipSam stands out as the first of its kind, as it allows Colgate students to express themselves using their shared interests in K-pop music and dancing.

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