“K-Pop or Korean Pop is not just a genre of music anymore. It’s not something that’s a fad. It’s a way of life. It’s real and it’s here to stay. And if you’re someone who hasn’t gotten up to speed with it, then it’s about time you do,” says a member of the Elixir Crew—a Mumbai-based K-Pop dance crew.
It is early 2018. A group of young girls, who for the most part, don’t even know each other, get together to compete in India’s biggest K-Pop dance competition. They’re just a group of students from across the city, that don’t have a lot in common. But there’s one common thread that ties them together and that is their love for K-Pop. This love led to the inception of one of India’s top K-Pop Crews—the Elixir Crew. Unbeknownst to them, this first time would change their lives forever. Although they didn’t win the competition, this sisterhood of dancers managed to place second and there has been no looking back for them ever since.
Just the Beginning
“We thought that the competition was the end of it. Little did we know that it was just the beginning. We started representing K-Pop in India at different festivals, concerts and award functions. This helped us cherish and do what we love,” says the crew member about what’s changed for the lot since the competition. She added, “Most importantly, it changed our relation, we went from being strangers to a family.”
Dhwani, Isha, Mahika, Pamela, Sejal, and Siddhi (aka the Elixir Crew), are one of the few teenagers in the country that can don the badge of having performed at one of India’s most coveted film events—the Dadasaheb Phalke Awards. They are amongst the handful of people on the globe who can say that they’ve performed with the K-Pop icon AleXa (who opened for the In2it band). And the only ones who can say that they were ‘the first ever’ to represent India at a K-Pop Concert. To add to that, they were even featured on Rolling Stone India’s YouTube Channel. They also managed to garner attention from mainstream Bollywood, when they performed for the opening of Dragonfly, which is a club owned by the famous rapper Badshah.
Love of Elixir
“K-Pop is an industry with different genres. It offers more than what normal music does. K-Pop artists not only sing, produce but also do choreography for their own songs. We have always loved dance and music which is why we were so attracted to K-Pop. It’s gone a step further, and now we are strongly attached to it. Not only is the music beautiful, but K-Pop artists have helped us stay stronger, learn more about life and have inspired us to achieve our dreams,” explains the crew member.
The collective believes that there’s a stigma attached to K-Pop. “In India, we have grown up watching and listening to Bollywood music. And English songs, even though the later was a rarity for most. Because of which American music was the basis of being 'cool'. Now, things are changing,” stated the crew member.
There are certainly reservations that people have when listening to something they do not understand or can’t interpret. But that shouldn’t lead to discrediting the art form or the artist altogether and that’s a cause that the crew champions.
“Korean Culture is different and more progressive in some ways than other entertainment industries. The male idols put on makeup and jewellery to fight the gender norms which is not entertained by some societies,” said the member, furthering why they all love K-Pop so much.
Elixir Crew’s Favourites
BTS, Blackpink, AleXa, Ateez, Stray Kids, Seventeen,
Twice, Everglow, G-idle
It wasn’t just roses and butterflies for the girls. Initially, there was some hesitancy from the parents because they didn’t really understand what this genre was.
“When we started, some of us barely earned or had any money, practicing in studios was difficult and we had to even save up for our costumes. So a lot of times, we ended up practising on someone's terrace or someone's house,” said the crew member about their early days. She continued, “Before the performance, we would save up money and practice in a studio to polish our positioning and timings.”
Bear in mind that this was just a tiny glimpse of their tribulation. There is so much more to it. For example, being students, they had to manage practice with internships and college. And no two of them go to the same university, which makes getting together a bigger task than practicing itself. “We ended up practising at 8 or 9 at night and going home later after a whole day of college and work, it was a different kind of challenge. But we worked on it, grew stronger and we intend to get even better with time,” narrated the hopeful crew member.
Advice for Aspiring K-Pop Crews
Even though we perform at places competitively, we chose to do K-Pop since we love it. If you love K-Pop, then nothing can stop you from victory, even if it's not materialistic, the happiness and joy that comes from within for doing what you love matters the most. Do it because you love it and with a lot of patience, don't give up! Work hard, spread love, fighting!
More to Come
These girls are at the pinnacle of K-Pop in India and are all set to take over the world. Speaking about their goals for the future, the crew said, “We all still dream of going to Korea and performing in front of our favourite idols. We are rigorously practising to perform and win the next K-Pop contest. Representing India in Korea is the dream.”
To Follow Elixir Crews Journey, CLICK HERE
About the 21 series:
On the 24th of March 2020, the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi announced a nation-wide lock-down for 21 days to fight the pandemic that is the Coronavirus. Citizens mustn’t leave their homes unless absolutely essential. This series aims to bring to the readers 21 positive stories through this lock-down. Something to inspire them to keep at it and come back out of this horrific tragedy stronger.
If you have an inspiring story or know someone whose story the world must know, get in touch with me at email@example.com