HallyUA: an on-campus homage to K-Pop 

Augustus Barnette, Staff Reporter

In the past few years, two things have become evident: K-pop is here to stay, and fans are not backing down.  

Though the Hallyu, or Korean wave, can be traced back to the end of the Korean War, it was not until the 2000s that Korean culture became the global mainstay it is today. Groups like BTS are often found in the top 10 most streamed artists on Spotify, edging out artists such as Billie Eilish and Kanye West, and coming in as the No. 1 most streamed group 

With millions of fans, it is no surprise that some of them happen to be among the student body here at The University of Alabama, and following suit, a club would need to be established.  

HallyUA is a K-pop social and dance club going into its second full year on campus. Consisting of three tiers of involvement, HallyUA provides a number of involvement opportunities to the K-Pop fans on campus.  

Their social tier, which anyone can join through the link in their Instagram bio, known as HallyUA Hype, allows members to attend social events and join committees, which help with costuming, social media, videography and more.  

The next two tiers, Heat and Hana, are where dancing and auditioning come into play. Members of the Heat tier are expected to choreograph dance covers for social media content. The final tier, Hana, is the most time intensive branch, in which members perform covers and attend live events and competitions.  

HallyUA currently has around 130 social members and 26 dance team members. While this may not make it the largest club on campus, for someone like Delaney Lentz, a senior majoring in marketing, its existence alone is important.  

“I’ve always liked K-pop, and for a long time, I thought there would not be a community of people at the University of Alabama who did too. So, it was nice to find that community, and since K-Pop is a niche thing that you either hate it or you do not, I feel like it is a very easy way to form friendships. It provides a lot of instant connections which is really nice,” Lentz said.  

Lentz, who performs with the Heat and Hana teams, is also the head of HallyUA’s video editing committee. 

“I facilitate who is going to edit what and mentor other people if they are interested in video editing,” Lentz said. “That is another cool thing about HallyUA, you’re allowed to delve into social media photography, and you do not need any experience, you can just receive insight from other people who are into it.” 

Cierra Love, a junior majoring in public relations and textile design, is a cofounder of HallyUA and said the community of HallyUA is “very near and dear” to her heart.  

“I grew up dancing, and when I got into college, I knew that I would not be able to continue dancing professionally or dancing as a major, so being able to create a club where people want to dance and have a good time doing it, especially to songs that like really enjoy,” Love said. “It created a lot of community for me, and it also gave me something to look forward to for hobbies that I really enjoy.”  

Growing larger than just Love, HallyUA has provided a community full of events for the extent of the University’s K-pop fans.          

“Basically, we’re just a K-pop cover dance group that holds a lot of social events for people to come and express their love for Korean culture, for K-pop, and to socialize with people who have the same interests as them,” Love said. “We release covers on YouTube about two to three times a week. We do live performances for charity events and galas and as well as anybody who wants to invite us to perform at their event as well.” 

For those wishing to see all HallyUA has to offer, they will be performing on Dec. 1 at Greater Giving, a philanthropic concert put on annually by theatre fraternity Alpha Psi Omega to benefit Five Horizons, which provides local health services and education relating to HIV or AIDS.  

“Greater Giving is also a night where the founders of Five Horizons, and those personally impacted by the services of Five Horizons, come and speak to the audience and share their story,” said Annalese Starzec, Greater Giving artistic director. to benefit Five Horizons.  

For those interested in joining HallyUA, information is available in the link attached to their Instagram description