“You Make Me Dance” First Impressions (2021)

“I couldn’t have dreamed you into existence because I didn’t even know I needed you. You must have been sent to me”- Kamand Kojouri

Fate works in mysterious ways. The person you are destined to be, could be sitting right next to you and it’s quite possible that you failed to notice them. Love finds you wherever you go and there is no escape. W-STORY’s recent Korean BL”You Make Me Dance”, tries to bank on this premise. Aspiring contemporary dancer Chu Young Woo meets strict moneylender Won Hyung Hoon and love blossoms between these two complete strangers. This mini-series surely has an interesting star cast. Won Hyung Hoon became popular for his lead role in the web drama “Mute” in 2020. Chu Young Woo on the other hand is a rookie actor, debuting in this mini-series. Bigflo’s Lex also plays a supporting role in this web drama.

While W-Story’s previous works “Where Your Eyes Linger” and “Mr.Heart” were high school romances, You Make Me Dance is designed to cater to more mature audiences. With an intriguing storyline, the drama is an interesting mix of contemporary dance and soulful music. The first two episodes premiered to high expectations on popular streaming portals WeTV as well as Viki and it was definitely worth the wait. I was left enchanted, enamored and also a little bewildered. Let’s review this show and I will let you know why “You Make Me Dance” is on its way to becoming my favorite Korean BL of all times!

Song Shi On is a university student majoring in contemporary dance. He owes a major debt to Chachacha Capital and has been unable to pay the same. He is banking on the opportunity to land the main role in the upcoming auditions to clear the debt. Jin Hong Seok is a firm headed yet attentive man working as a debt collector for Chachacha Capital. Tired of his gruesome job, Hong Seok wants to resign. Chachacha Capital’s CEO Cha Soo Ryeon however has different plans and as such forces him to collect debt from Song Shi On as his last assignment for the firm. The tables are however turned, when the cold-hearted Hong Seok meets the innocent Song Si Oh. Song Si Oh’s passion for his dance tugs at Hong Seok’s heartstrings and their unlikely friendship slowly grows into something more!

Song Shi On and his love for Dance

The show strikes a chord with the audiences starting with the introduction scenes. Song Shi On embodies his dance form and as such it is reflected in his daily life. I remember when I was a kid, I used to dance whenever I felt happy or sad. The steps weren’t choreographed and obviously I’m not a dancer. It was just my way of expressing the base emotions, that I experienced in that moment. As such, for this very reason I was able to connect with Chu Young Woo’s Song Shi Oh. you can actually feel his passion as Shi Oh practices his dances moves while standing at the bus stop. He embraces his art effortlessly and his simple gestures are really heartwarming. So while practicing his dance moves with Senior Jung Hoon, Shi Oh gets carried away. It’s obvious that Jung Hoon is clearly set in his own ways while Shi On has different mindset.

“Because your Dance…doesn’t tell a story”

A harsh reality or is it Jung Hoon’s failure to accept something new? However, this comment does hurt Song Shi Oh who is left resolute. The second episode shares more insights on Shi Oh’s personal life and you get to understand his underlying passion for contemporary dance. Song Shi Oh shares a deep connection with his Mother, who is a ballet dancer. She is his Muse and he holds her in high regard. Her style and elegance are reflected in Song Shi Oh’s dance moves and these minute details really pulled at my heartstrings. She got remarried and it seems that she is no longer a part of Shi Oh’s life. The backstory for their separation isn’t explained and I’m looking forward to understanding this character more. Losing their inspiration is an artist’s worst nightmare, more so, when the said “Muse” is your own mother.

In an interview released by W-STORY, Chu Young Woo had mentioned that Song Shi Oh was originally never meant to be a dancer. But the writer changed the character to a university student majoring in contemporary arts, after watching Young Woo dance during the auditions. I can totally understand the scriptwriter’s perspective because watching Song Shi Oh dance is surely a divine experience!

Jin Hong Seok and his Struggles with Morbid Realities

Jin Hong Seok is very intriguing role with variant shades that gets you invested in this character’s journey. Hong Seok is tired of his gruesome job as debt creditor and wants to resign from his firm, Chachacha Capital. The firm’s CEO Cha Soo Ryeon obviously has set her mind on seducing Hong Seok and as such assigns him to extract debt from the troublesome college student (Song Shi Oh). She clearly expects him to fail, so that he would give up on his resolve to resign from Chachacha. Workplace harassment is quite common and Soo Ryeon is a classic case of higher-ups forcing their desires on their unwilling employees. While Hong Seok seems sceptical to her orchestrated ministrations, the fact remains that he is dedicated to his job.

But what happens when the job (Song Shi Oh) becomes more than that? Hong Seok is clearly surprised with Song Shi Oh’s innocent demeanor and his desperate pleas seems to soften Hong Seok’s resolves. While we are left wondering if he handles all his debtors similarly, Hong Seok’s clear fascination with Song Shi Oh’s dance moves will leave surprised. The way he watches Song Shi Oh with a sparkle in his eyes, shows how much he is affected by Song Shi Oh’s dance. Although the chemistry is still low-key, Song Shi Oh’s naive attitude is surely going to win Jin Hong Seok’s heart in the future. I’m intrigued about the possible changes in his personality, as Hong Seok loosens up and his morose outlook towards life undergoes a drastic change.

The Sweet, Subtle Yet Slow-Burn Romance

The one thing I love about Song Shi Oh is his sunny disposition. I have fallen in love with his dazzling smiles, that slowly burrow their way into your heart and leave behind a deep impression. I was actually quite surprised when this mini-series referenced the “Red Thread Connection”. Yes, it reminded me of the popular Thai BL “Until We Meet Again”. I’m not sure if the show’s producers used this concept in general or they have watched the hugely successful reincarnation saga, but the similarities are striking and I enjoyed watching our main character’s strange yet unique first meeting where their connection is born.

Two strangers traveling together on the bus, are listening to the same podcast and hoping to find their better halves!

The second episode delves deeper into this romance and gets you invested. Jin Hong Seok goes searching for Shi Oh to collect debt from our adorable yet erratic dancer who keeps running around the entire campus to evade him. The entire scene would seem ridiculous, if Hong Seok doesn’t notice the burns on Song Shi Oh’s feet and ties his legs to stop him from running around. Song Shi Oh is planning to attend the auditions for a big project and he literally begs for a month’s time. Despite their haggling, Hong Seok is ready to give him a second chance, if Song Shi Oh can guarantee the surety. The surety is obviously Song Shi Oh’s dance. And so begins the romance! It is slow-burn and the tension between them is indescribable. I can’t explain it in words. Song Shi Oh’s dance moves are inspired by his Mother. It was refreshing to watch Song Shi Oh refer to his Mother with a reverence that borders on devotion and adoration. The soulful cacophony playing in the background adds to the beauty of this entire scene.

As Hong Seok watches Song Shi Oh, you can actually hear his heartbeats. The fact that he ends up crying and doesn’t want to acknowledge it later, would suffix to prove how much Song Shi Oh’s dance affects him emotionally. We hear Song Shi Oh’s inner monologue about losing his muse and the camera slowly pans towards Hong Seok. Is this an indirect way of mentioning that Hong Seok might be his new muse? Song Shi Oh is quite naive, innocent and impressionable. His entire demeanor changes when he smiles and clearly Hong Seok isn’t unaffected. This romance will be an emotional journey for both of our main characters, as they become a part and parcel of each other’s lives while filling the voids in their hearts.

This mini-series has got me totally hooked and I’m practically invested in watching these two get closer as they become each other’s anchor. Looking forward to the next episodes because I’m sure this couple will surely leave us mesmerized with their amazing onscreen chemistry!

Rating- 4 out of 5

Right now, I’m leaving you guys with these adorable pictures of our sweet couple!

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