Looking to join a K-pop community? A good place to start is at your school! There are plenty of student organizations that are communities for fellow K-pop fans to connect and interact over shared interests. Student organizations play an important role in the K-pop community, and a student organization we would like to feature this month is KOTX.

     KOTX is an all-inclusive kpop and dance community at UC San Diego (UCSD), where people can meet other K-pop fans, learn how to dance, and overall make friends. Aewen Radio recently had the opportunity to speak with some of the staff and club members, and hear about their experiences in KOTX.

Aewen Radio: What excites you most about being in KOTX?
KOTX Member, Ann Tran: Learning new dances and performing them with everyone.

KOTX Member: The dance events along with opportunities and meeting more people with similar interests.

KOTX Member: Being a part of an inclusive Kpop community.

Aewen Radio: What motivates you as a KOTX Staff?
KOTX Dance Coordinator, Kelvin Duong: One thing that motivates me as KOTX staff is interacting with the general members. I find a lot of joy just talking and sharing memes with the gen members which motivates me to help KOTX expand and reach more people around UCSD.

KOTX Director of Communications, Melissa Meza: Anytime someone wants to know more about our club and is happy with all the nice welcoming people, I am always motivated to do more to spread the agenda of our club and show how welcoming and open we are.

KOTX Dance Director & Council of Presidents, April Hsu: Seeing our members having a good time is the biggest reward I can ask for. At the end of a performance when the entire dance team chants and cheers together on stage, that feeling of unity and accomplishment is unlike anything I’ve ever felt before.

Aewen Radio: KOTX often hosts dance workshops and events, and it seems a lot of you have an interest/passion for dancing. So as a fun question, do you have a favorite dance part from a kpop song?
KOTX: Shine - Pentagon; shooting / Mic Drop - BTS “Did you see my bag” / Blooming Days - EXO CBX; Second Chorus breakdown / Drunk-Dazed - Enhypen; floorwork / The Stealer - The Boyz; floor pull / GBTB - VeriVery; end sequence

Aewen Radio: What are some highlights and accomplishments of KOTX?
KOTX Dance Coordinator, Kelvin Duong: I think one of the highlights of the club is our group performances. With 50-100 dancers in any performance, the energy is amazing and a sight to see.

KOTX Director of Communications, Melissa Meza: We have been to various events on campus to perform as well as events off-campus that people have invited us to show our dancing and show our love for the music. We also have gotten a decent following on Youtube even though we have barely started, but we hope others can still appreciate the work we put in. 

KOTX Dance Director & Council of Presidents, April Hsu: I would say my biggest accomplishment in KOTX would be when my cover of “Crown” by TXT released (see below). Our group worked really hard on it for over half a year, and my very good friend worked super hard on the editing. The final product turned out to be everything we hoped for, and it was REALLY rewarding. I just really want other members to be able to experience this feeling as well.

Aewen Radio: How has KOTX changed and grown from the start of the school year? 
KOTX Dance Coordinator, Kelvin Duong: KOTX may have adapted to life during the pandemic by entering new online platforms, but I think at its core, KOTX hasn’t changed at all. It is still an all-inclusive community for people to have fun and interact. 

KOTX Director of Communications, Melissa Meza: There have been more incoming people that decided to join our club and even some people who don’t go to UCSD, but still join for the community and the dancing.

KOTX Dance Director & Council of Presidents, April Hsu: I would say our staff has gone through many changes. Almost all of our previous staff members from last year resigned and I completely understand why. COVID really changed all our plans and made it virtually impossible or feel rewarded considering the amount of work we were putting in. While it was difficult for me to accept that, I began to realize and really appreciate how much sacrifices the staff members who stayed are making. We really toughed it out over this past year, and we definitely deserve a pat on the back!!

Aewen Radio: What does KOTX mean to you?
KOTX Member: KOTX became my new family when I was far away from home.

KOTX Member: New Connections.

KOTX Member, Ann Tran: A safe space to have fun!

KOTX Dance Coordinator, Kelvin Duong: To me, KOTX is a big community of people who share a love for kpop (also stan Loona 😉)

KOTX Director of Communications, Melissa Meza: KOTX is the place where I have met some of my closest friends, so it is a sort of home away from home. A place where there is no judgment for liking what I do.

KOTX Dance Director & Council of Presidents, April Hsu: KOTX means the world to me. I’ve met lifelong friends here, and I can truly say I’ve found my community here. I am so grateful for what this org has given me these past four years, and I want to pay it forward to future KOTX members.

A big thank you to KOTX for taking the time to share their experiences with Aewen Radio. Be sure to check out their social media below to connect and learn more about them!