K-Drama Review: “Just Dance” Swings An Encouraging Youth Story On Finding Happiness & Chasing Dreams
Seasoned with chasing dreams, family relationship, life lessons and first love bliss, KBS2’s youth drama Just Dance jives to complement year-end me-time with its engaging narrative.
Rooting for the story of Dance Sports girls in Just Dance each week has been a breath of fresh air. The individual stories of the girls neatly fit in to its entire picture – even when the focus of the story is set to Lee Shi Eun.
Title: Just Dance
Theme: Youth, Drama, Romance
Length: 16 episodes
Broadcast Date: 3 Dec 2018 – 25 Dec 2018
Main Leads: Park Se Wan, Jang Dong Yoon
Highlights: Engaging Youth Story, Engaging blend of character connections to its narrative
Related Dramas: The Liar and His Lover
Just Dance spins the story of Lee Shi Eun (Park Se Wan), a small town girl from Goeje, who dreams of pursuing university education as a writer. In order to pursue her dream, she joins the dance sports club to improve her specs. Despite her mother’s unrelenting decision for her future plans, she perseveres until she learns the reality biting battle that her mother has been doing throughout the years related to the death of her father.
Along the way, Shi Eun builds solid friendships with the members of the dance sports club and also engages in a relationship with her childhood friend Seung Chan (Jang Dong Yoon). However, the truth about the involvement of Seung Chan’s father to the death of Shi Eun’s father makes the latter decide to painfully break their young love.
Encouraging Youth Story
From finding their purpose, the girls of Just Dance came in with inspiring stories albeit their disheartening fictional family life backgrounds. Through dancing, they had forged a friendship circle initially unlikely to happen based on their personalities. Guiding them every step of the way was a teacher who never gave up on their shortcomings and insecurities. By letting them work a dance club as members, he had helped nurtured the confidence of her students to trust that – no matter how hard life is, there is always a silver lining to discover.
Balanced Blend of character portrayals and storytelling
With a relatively rookie cast, the remarkable veteran actors added layer of emotional depth in the story. Nevertheless, the young actors were not at par in terms of their immersion to their characters. In fact, those harrowing confrontation scenes of Shi Eun with her mother left a contemplative imprint on how the harsh life realities limit almost anyone in finding happiness.
Instead of picturing a taxing school life, the main cast talked about how they have worked on their real lives aside from studying. Family relationships that were depicted, although mostly disheartening, left comforting nudge, because the girls spinning the story were given sad and shining moments.
Just Dance relishes the idea of a point in one’s life when chasing dreams is scary, because you are uncertain about it. With relatable friendship side stories and romance hints, the swift movement of Just Dance has made the series an easy watch. You can even finish it in one sitting.
My weekly doses of this youth drama has had me cry and smile subconsciously, because it easily evokes those fond memories when I was once a young woman, full of passion, yet unsure of what my life purpose would be like.
Indeed, what makes you happy does not always translate to what you want to do in life – this is the biggest takeaway I got from Dance Sports girls.
ABOUT THE WRITER
abbyinhallyuland reads and sleeps a lot when she is not traveling. Her calendar reminders are mostly K-Drama broadcast schedules and birthdays of her favorite Korean actors. Promoting K-Drama watching as stress therapy is her life advocacy. She is fond of Spencer Reid, Gregory House, Kenshin Himura, Starwars saga, Haruki Murakami and Hunter x Hunter.
Recommended Korean Dramas: Reply 1988, Nine, Misaeng, Gaksital, Discovery of Love, Because This is My First Life, Descendants of the Sun, My Love from the Star, Healer, Punch, You’re Beautiful, Coffee Prince, Princess Hours, The Greatest Love, Sungkyunkwan Scandal, City Hunter, and The Smile Has Left Your Eyes.