Creative Spotlight: Let’s Dance with LALARY

By: Ka Yan Tam
Thumbnail courtesy of LALARY (@lalary.official) on Instagram.

You know the stage will be dominated when you see the familiar faces of LALARY members who have been conquering the K-pop cover dance scene on Youtube. On September 22, at the final round for the U.S. chapter of the global K-POP Cover Dance Festival, LALARY made their appearance with four of its core members—Eddie, Hope, Lex, and Youa—to compete for the ultimate prize of a fully-funded trip to Seoul. 

As the group performed “Pink Venom” by BLACKPINK, the judging panel—consisting of K-pop group Kingdom—was stunned by the artistry and expertise that LALARY members showcased. After their performance, LALARY members spoke to EnVi about their performance, recent activities, and some tips for aspiring K-pop cover artists.

Let’s Play!

LALARY is a nine-member co-ed project K-pop group formed in 2019 with passionate K-pop dance cover artists: Eddie, Youa, Hope, Lex, Canaco, Sabrina, Jinny, Stephny, and Susie. LALARY, which was inspired by the Korean word 날라리, meaning “let’s play,” is also the main motto of the group. Before pursuing the creation of their own music, most LALARY members were in the K-pop cover group, The First Bite, while other members Susie, Jinny, and Lex were independent cover artists on Youtube. Through their passion for K-pop, the members gathered from around the world to form the multi-talented supergroup LALARY. However, its creation would not have been possible without the help of their fans through Kickstarter in 2019 and from hosting K-pop dance workshops around the United States.

We are no strangers to leader Eddie’s oozing charisma when he performs, especially with his appearance on MBC’s Under Nineteen in 2018, an idol survival show that debuted the boy band, 1THE9 (원더나인). Eddie surprised both the trainees and the judging panel of senior K-pop idols such as Dynamic Duo’s Gaeko and Choiza, Crush, Eun Hyuk (Super Junior), and Solji (EXID), in his first showcase where performed a mashup of SUNMI’s “Gashina,” HyunA’s “Red,” and judge Solji’s group song, “UP&DOWN.” His performance has gone viral ever since, racking up an incredible 6.2 million views on Youtube.

So far, LALARY has released two songs: their debut single, “LALARY” (2019) and “FIREBALL” (2021). The latter is performed by their sub-unit, BABY LALARY, consisting of members Hope, Canaco, and Eddie. Since these three members, along with Youa and Lex, were initially from the five-member cover dance group, The First Bite, they have previous experience with stage performances and frequent public dance challenges. They even went on to represent the US after winning the US K-POP Cover Dance Festival in 2017. What started off with a passion for K-pop six years ago has blossomed into a career for all, allowing them to travel around the world to inspire and connect with fellow K-pop fans through events like KCON.

All about the PYO-JEONGS (표정s)

“We really just wanted to make sure that we had a great time today—and the energy here at USC was so great, and we wanted to give that back. And I feel like we did that today!” Eddie exclaimed proudly with a bright smile on his face as he looked back at his members. The performance shot the crowd into a wild fever as BLINKS activated their cheering powers, dancing and singing along to ”Pink Venom.” Kingdom members Ivan and Mujin also struggled to keep their stern judge expressions, often exclaiming “Wow”’ in wonder while LALARY performed. In the end, LALARY secured second place overall in the competition.

As the queens of expressions and charisma, we could not let LALARY go by without giving us tips on improving our practices. To dance is to entertain, express, and captivate! So, when it comes to perfecting your dances, LALARY recommends not ignoring the power of facials (expressions), as they are what spices up the performance. Eddie shared with EnVi that the best way to do so is to study your favorite K-pop idols. Eddie asks fellow cover artists, “Who are your favorite K-pop idols, and why are they your favorite?” It is helpful to understand what makes them attractive to you and how you can “steal” their skills to incorporate it into your own practice.

“For me, when I was first learning K-pop dances, I was always watching HyunA. Eventually, you start developing your own style, and you don’t even have to watch videos anymore! You just feel it out with what you know,” shared Eddie while Hope nodded enthusiastically on the side. 

Future Play Dates with LALARY

LALARY have been extremely busy with recent activities such as opening for the K-POP MINICON event attended by BOA, CIX, and WINNER in New York on September 21 and performing at KCON LA earlier in August. Now, the group is hoping to hop back to making more video content to connect with their international fans as they have been doing a lot of performances during the summer.

If you want to see LALARY perform live, here are some places they will be performing at: “We do have a performance in Pasadena as well coming up in November! So it’s been really fun! It’s been a long time since COVID; we were able to do live performances, and I think that’s where we shine because we do a lot of facials and outfits,” Hope shared with EnVi. LALARY also hosts “BAMSAE” nights, with the upcoming one in Westminster, California on October 21.

As fellow K-pop fans and cover dance artists, LALARY continue to inspire aspiring K-pop idols and fans with their passion. “We’re really grateful for all the opportunities that we get as LALARY; we’re able to do K-pop nights, perform, and even create our own music, and we wouldn’t be able to do that without the support from our LALABYs!” Hope expresses, with Eddie adding on, “We’ll definitely make more music for sure!” 

EnVi will be cheering LALARY on with their future performances and their globalization as a multicultural K-pop band – thank you, LALARY, for dancing with EnVi!

You can find LALARY on Instagram, Youtube, and TikTok.

Want more interviews with K-pop creatives? Check out EnVi’s talk with the production team VENDORS here

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