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Now you can learn to dance like a K-pop star in Coquitlam

Mamakeish opened at Henderson Centre mall in Coquitlam last February.
Keisha Kang
Keisha Kang at her Coquitlam dance academy.

The sights and sounds of K-pop surrounded Keisha Kang as she grew up in her native Korea.

Not only did she follow the popular music and dance stars as they charted there and around the world but she was also a former trainee to become a K-pop singer.

As well, her mother is also a huge adult K-pop singer while her father conducts K-pop orchestras. With the music in her blood — and still wanting to be part of the industry — Kang was eager to spread the genre after she immigrated to Canada 15 years ago.

Privately, she taught the unique style of K-pop dance steps (she’s trained in ballet and traditional Korean dance) for a decade but, last February, Kang branched out to set up her own studio at Coquitlam’s Henderson Centre mall. “I saw so much demand,” she said.

Her dance academy, called Mamakeish, has blossomed over the past year with some 300 students in sessional classes for kids and adults, and for everyone from beginners to advanced dancers.

“I think I have something special to offer,” the Coquitlam mother-of-two said last week. “I come from a K-pop family and I know many people.”

Among her supporters is Lia Kim, one of K-pop’s most famous choreographers, whom Kang featured on her Instagram page during a visit to Korea last month.

She also said she has connections with the big K-pop agencies such as YG Entertainment, CJ E&M and Big Hit Entertainment — the latter being the company behind the group BTS.

Although most of her students are girls of Asian descent, Kang said she would like to see students from other ethnic backgrounds try out.