Beyond the music and the flashy costumes, one of the defining traits of K-pop is the dancing. Not only do K-pop and dancing go together like white on rice, the choreography is almost always difficult and complex.
Incredibly difficult and complex.
So brace yourselves because here are the 12 of the most intense and difficult dances (in no particular order) in K-pop. We're probably missing a few, so let us know about all those difficult dances we've missed in the comments!
12. T-ara - "Lovey Dovey"
"Lovey Dovey" is a perfect example of "looks easy, but isn't". There aren't too many moves in the funky choreography and there's a lot of "shuffling" involved, however, the shuffling is an incredibly difficult thing to do properly and precisely. T-ara somehow manage to pull it off, so much so that even Michael Jackson's moonwalk appears almost sub-par compared to "Lovey Dovey".
11. Teen Top - "Rocking"
The term "knife choreography" is used for those K-pop groups with some seriously awesome moves, and arguably no group encompasses that term more than Teen Top and their song "Rocking". Not only does it feature non-stop jumping and leg-sweeps, it somehow also looks incredible when witnessed live!
10. Wonder Girls - "Like This"
If we were to describe the choreography to Wonder Girls' "Like This" in two words, it would be "fun" and "hard". While there aren't many particularly big sweeping moves, the choreography features a LOT of body shaking and rapid movements that will test anyone's stamina.
9. VIXX - "Voodoo Doll"
With its concept centered on horror films and violence, it probably goes without saying that "Voodoo Doll" is an intense song. Needless to say, the song's graphic concept is matched by some equally-intense choreography from VIXX, and watching the boys perform the track live is a sight to behold.
8. G-Friend - "Navillera"
G-Friend only debuted in 2015, but they've rapidly risen through the ranks on the strength of their strong dancing. As cute as the group's songs are, the choreography is anything but cute and while we could pick any G-Friend song based on the dance moves, "Navillera" is perhaps their most impressive dance so far. With sweeping arm movements and enough intricate footwork to baffle Lionel Messi, we can't wait to see what G-Friend does next!
7. Infinite - "The Chaser"
Infinite have made a name for themselves as one of K-pop's premier dance groups and for good reason - they've got some seriously good moves! We could name any Infinite dance and it would be have complex choreography, but "The Chaser" particularly stands out because it somehow manages to look smooth and silky whilst incredibly difficult - all at the same time!
6. Girls' Generation - "Into The New World (Remix)"
Girls' Generation have had their share of dances over the years, but the "Into The New World (Remix)" dance is perhaps their most difficult yet. Combining non-stop arm sweeps with constant movement and footwork, it's a wonder how the group are able to perform the song live (and perform it well)!
5. EXO - "Growl"
There's a reason why many deem "Growl" to be among EXO's finest achievements - the dance is incredibly difficult! Getting one person to dance the song's rapid steps (that work out every part of your body) correctly is a challenge; getting 12 is damn near impossible, but some how EXO pull it off absolutely perfectly.
4. Miss A - "Breathe"
Miss A's "Breathe" is another perfect example of "looks easy, but it really isn't". The dance moves may appear to be simplistic, the non-stop movement and big sweeping steps make performing this song a challenge - especially when you have to sing at the same time!
3. SHINee - "Lucifer"
High speed synchronization with multiple formation changes and physically demanding moves? It can only be SHINee, and the best demonstration of why they're among the best dancers in K-pop can be distilled into three and a half minutes via their hit track "Lucifer".
2. After School - "First Love"
There's usually not much dancing going on during ballads. Unless you're After School and you're performing "First Love".
Rather than sit down and just sing, the girls decided to incorporate some dance moves into their performances of "First Love". While the moves are simple (relatively speaking), the inclusion of pole dancing makes the dance incredibly difficult because for those who are unaware, pole dancing is one of the most physically demanding things you can do.
1. BTS - "Fire"
Need we say more? BTS may still only be a young group, but they've rapidly established themselves as a group that pride themselves on some incredibly difficult dance moves that require the stamina of an Olympic athlete. Perhaps there's no better demonstration of their razor-sharp choreography and energy than "Fire", which is as intense of a dance as you're going to get in K-pop!