At 3:30 after school, students piled excitedly into Room 1111, where the first interest meeting for Chamblee’s K-Social Club was held Wednesday for fans of Korean pop music, or Kpop, and Korean culture enthusiasts alike.
Once everyone arrived and the animated chatter subsided, sophomore Ayana Presley, the club’s president, began her opening remarks.
“I decided to start [the club] because we noticed there were a lot of Kpop fans at this school,” said Presley. “We’re hoping to start a community for us where we can talk about different things going on in the K-society.”
The K-Social Club, along with many others, is celebrating its introduction as a new club within the Chamblee community.
“This is our first year doing the club, so we’re still trying to work out some things,” said Presley. “What we’re trying to do is hopefully practice some of the dances and perform some of them during meetings.”
Presley noted that the club will educate its members through the exploring of different cultures. She wants to give club members a chance to experience Korea firsthand through a summer trip.
“Another thing we’re talking about doing is saving up, so that over the summer we can go to Korea,” she said.
Along with learning, Presley also stressed the importance of creating a fun and wholesome community within the club.
“There will be no fan wars or fights,” she said during the meeting. “I just really want this club to be chill and comfortable for all of its members.”
Presley also introduced some of the scheduled events the club will be hosting, such as poster giveaways and parties at the end of the semester. She also plans to start each meeting with the playing of a Kpop song to spark discussion among members.
Once Presley’s opening remarks were done, introductions began, where club members could share their own origins as Kpop fans.
“[My friends] were all into Kpop,” said Presley. “I just got addicted…I started with Big Bang, another Kpop group, but later I got into BTS.”
BTS, or Bangtan, is one of the more popular Kpop boy groups. Others include EXO and Monsta X. Popular girl groups include BLACKPINK, Red Velvet, and Loona, which sophomore Carson Ankeny is a fan of.
“I was introduced to them through a music video on YouTube,” he said. “I thought it was interesting, so I decided to listen to more of their music.”
Many other members had similar experiences. They too were introduced to Kpop through YouTube videos and friends. Some even had experiences with taking Korean martial arts classes in the past and even living in Los Angeles’s Koreatown.
Once introductions ended, Ankeny expressed appreciation for a club that could give him the opportunity to discuss one of his favorite music genres.
“Being the only guy there made me think it would be uncomfortable,” he said. “But I really enjoyed it. People were really welcoming, and I’m glad to be part of the community.”
Ankeny also noted that what initially drew him to Kpop was not the allure of a different culture, but the way Kpop idols engaged with their audience.
“There’s a lot more interaction between the artists and the fans,” he said.
The club meeting ended on a sweet note with the playing of Kpop music on the Promethean board, accompanied by the warm ambiance of friendly conversation, as members gathered together to enjoy a box of cookies.
Members look forward to returning the Wednesday of next week, where they will be rehearsing a Kpop dance and continuing the discussion about the K-society.