1Million Dance Studio: How to Take Dance Classes in Gangnam, Korea and What to Expect. (원밀리언댄스스튜디오)
What is 1Million Dance Studio?
1Million Dance Studio is a powerhouse dance studio located in the Gangnam district of Seoul, South Korea. Visitors from all around the globe including countries such as a Japan, China, the Phillipines, Russia, and the United States travel to Korea in order to take dance classes from some of the country's top choreographers. Jason Derullo even paid a recent visit to the studio last month after the release of his new single, Let's Shut Up and Dance ft. LAY and NCT 127. Collectively, choreographers from 1Million dance studio have produced dances for SM Entertainment, YG Entertainment, JYP Entertainment and more including KPOP artists like Jay Park, and Twice. Even clothing brands and tourism organizations are aware of the choreographers' talents. Collaborations include: FILA, Nike, and Galaxy among others. As of this year, 1Million Dance Studio surpassed an impressive 15 million subscribers on YouTube. For years, I've been inspired watching their videos. Needless to say, dancing at this studio was a bucket-list item for me, and still remains for dancers everywhere! It's definitely worth paying a visit for those who have time during their visit to Seoul.
Check Me Out On YouTube Dancing in Ara Cho's Choreography to "Strip" by Little Mix!
Ara Cho recently said that this was one of her favorite dances that she choreographed. This was my first time attending a class that was being filmed for YouTube. To say that it was nerve-wracking is an understatement. However, it was such a fun piece to dance to. This choreography was taught over the course of two separate classes.
Directions to 1 Million Dance Studio
Depending on which area you'd be coming from, there are a few different ways to get to the studio.
-Brown Line to Seonjeongneung Station, Exit 1 (9 minute walk to the studio)
-Green Line 7 to Gangnam-Gu Office, Exit 2 (13 minute walk to the studio)
By Taxi Address to Input into Kakao Maps
서울특별시 논현2동 논현동 273-4번지 3층 강남구 서울특별시 KR If you happen to have Kakao Maps you can also enter in "원밀리언댄스스튜디오"
You know you've arrived to 1Million Dance Studio when you see the building shown below.
How to Register For Classes At 1 Million Dance Studio
Until recently, new members could register on the day of the class at the studio by speaking with front desk staff. There's been a slight change in that now you are asked to go to their website and create an account first. Luckily this is a really fast process!
Once your account is created, you will get a confirmation email to verify your account. After that, log back into your new 1 Million account and show the front desk staff a QR code associated with your account. There are 2 different floors and registration can be down at either one. The front desk staff are very friendly and speak some English. Just go up and tell them which class you're interested in taking (the schedule will be displayed too for reference).
Next, after showing them your QR code, you will be given a small card with a number. This number is your spot in the class so don't lose it! After you're registered you can head to the 2nd floor where the locker room and bathrooms are located. TIP: If you arrive super early to class, there is a terrace you can hang out in on the 2nd floor behind the locker room!
How Much Does A Drop-In Class Cost?
While pricing isn't exactly cheap, it is still in line with single class pricing at some of the more popular dance studios back home in the U.S. Plus, for those who are just passing through South Korea, this experience is well worth it! Here is the most recent prices for class at 1Million Dance Studio.
Payment via both cash (korean currency) or major credit cards are accepted.
Single Class - ₩35,000 won about $29.00 USD
4 Class Pass - ₩ 120,000 won about $100.00 USD
8 Class Pass - ₩220,000 won about $184.00 USD
16 Class Pass - ₩350,000 won about $293.00 USD
Unlimited Class Pass (monthly) - ₩450,00o won about $377.00 USD
And if you're really looking to go all out, they even offer private classes!
Tip: Try to have an accurate idea of how many classes you'll be able to attend if you plan on doing multiple classes. Class passes must be used by the end of the month in which they were purchased. Unfortunately, class passes are currently, non transferable to another dancer.
Where Can I Find The Class Schedule?
Class schedules for the day are posted on each of the front desks at the studio. You can also look at the schedule for the entire month by visiting their website here. Hover over the choreographer's name to see the class's start time. Typically, there are around 5 classes per day Monday-Sunday. The earliest classes begin at 5:30pm , while the last class of the day on weekdays begins at 8:30pm. On weekends, the earliest begins at 4:00pm and the latest class begins at 7:00pm. Tip: Keep an eye out for special collaboration or master classes that may be added to the schedule. Special classes are indicated by red circles with the letter "P" for pop-up!
Are There Beginner Classes?
Yes! Beginner classes are available to everyone. You'll notice on the schedule posted online that beginner classes are marked by a yellow circle with the letter B. So just look for a choreographer's name and the symbol next to it. Tip: If you're unsure as to whether a beginner class is right for you or not, just click on a choreographer's name on the schedule; a YouTube window will pop up with a video that gives you a sense of the choreographer's dance style!
Is There An Age Limit? Are Kids Allowed To Take Class?
The great thing is that there is no age limit in order to dance at 1 Million Dance Studio. Kids are also welcome to join in on dance classes!
What to Bring To Dance Class
The only things to bring to 1Million Dance Studio are comfortable dance clothes and shoes, a water bottle, a charged phone, money, and a good attitude! There is a changing room for those coming straight from either class or work, and there is also a storage area for any bags.
What to Expect in Class
About 10 minutes before class begins, bring the number you received at check-in to the lobby where you'll be asked to line up along the tape according to your number. Once the the choreographer is ready to begin class, you'll enter the studio in the order of your number, and hand your number card back to the front desk staff on the way into the room. You're free to take any spot in the studio so don't be shy! Classes usually begin with a light warm-up and stretching. Afterwards, choreographers like to drill certain techniques that may appear in that day's choreography such as isolations or popping. Classes are taught in Korean, but thankfully dance is a universal language! Many choreographers will try to use some English if they notice many foreigners which is also helpful. After warm-ups, the choreographer will begin the choreo. First, they will break down the steps, showcase the piece everyone will learn that day, and once everyone is comfortable, have everyone break out into groups. Since classes are an hour and a half long, the choreographer may get through four 8 counts or more, which can seem like a lot depending on the levels of the group. Don'w worry, there are normally ample opportunities to ask questions, so again don't be shy if you're feeling unsure about a move. Tip: If you feel really nervous or too shy dancing in front of other, you don't need to dance in groups. However, as a fellow dancer I encourage you to continue breaking out of your shell and just have fun with it!
Am I Allowed To Take Photos or Videos of the Choreography?
The short answer is YES! Before heading to the studio be sure have your phone charged and leave enough storage for any photos and videos you take. Keep in mind that you are ONLY allowed to take videos and photos using your phone. If you bring any other type of camera and record with it, you will be asked to delete the footage. I'm not sure why this is, but I felt bad seeing a dancer come all the way from Japan to dance at 1 Million, and leave with virtually no photo memories. You are allowed to take photos throughout the studio such as in the lobby, dance rooms etc. too. Just try to be respectful of the staff and dancers who regularly attend. When it comes to taking photos or videos of the choreography, everyone waits until the end of class to do so. TIP: Offer to take a video for someone else if you would like the favor done for you in return! :)
Will The Dance Class Be Recorded for Youtube?
Though 1Million Dance Studio is a very heavy YouTube-centric studio, not all classes are actually recorded for YouTube. Additionally, dancers are not required to be involved with the YouTube filming if they're not interested. (However, a choreographer may choose dancers based on their skill!) Don't worry though, the good thing is if you are a camera shy dancer, you can opt out of the video, and even if you are chosen by a choreographer you can kindly decline. On filming days, classes proceed as usual with a warm-up and break-down of the choreo. The only difference at the end of class being that instead of just dancing in front of your fellow dancers, you will get the opportunity to channel your inner Lia Kim and dance in front of a camera! Tip: Follow your favorite choreographers on instagram because they'll normally post in their stories, the scheduled days for YouTube filming!
How Is The Overall Vibe of the Studio? Is It Intimidating?
I was happy to learn that taking dance classes at 1Million Dance Studio is not intimidating at all! Walking into the studio feels like you are joining a very supportive dance family. I have met new friends while waiting in the lobby for classes to start, so don't be afraid to strike up a conversation. The choreographers themselves are laid back, approachable, and are always willing to help dancers improve their skill-sets. The class atmosphere is filled with positivity and no matter what country your from, dancers won't hesitate to cheer each other on when dancing in groups. Tip: If dance is something you're really passionate about, and 1 Million Dance Studio is on the top of your bucket list for South Korea, then don't worry if you have little to no dance experience. Surprise yourself by trying a class anyways and just have fun with it!
My Favorite Choreographers at 1Million:
While each choreographer at 1 Million is super talented, I have to say that my current favorites are Ara Cho and Mina Myoung! Ara has a very positive and bubbly personality which always makes for a fun class. Mina is also a favorite of mine because I had been watching her dance videos on YouTube for the last few years before moving to Korea! I was geeking out so hard when I finally got to visit the studio and take class from her. Hopefully you get the chance to take class and choose favorite choreographers of your own!
There you have it! I hope you found this guide for taking classes at 1Million Dance Studio helpful! If you took classes, I would love to hear about your experiences! If you have any other questions send them my way too.
One more thing to note, the studio's rules, regulations, and pricing are subject to change so just be sure to double check their website next time you're in town. :)
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