Meet the Insiders

Meet Bailey Sok, The 18-year-old Choreographer Who’s Making Waves In The K‑Pop Scene

From Red Velvet’s Psycho to Aespa’s Savage, choreographer Bailey Sok inspires with her smooth, hip-hop-inspired dance moves.

She’s only 18 years old, yet she’s already choreographed for the likes of Red Velvet and Aespa, and will even be appearing in Spotify Island’s K-Park on Roblox. Who is she? She’s Bailey Sok, the Korean-American choreographer from California who’s making waves in the K-Pop scene with her smooth, hip-hop-inspired dance routines.

We had the chance to meet Bailey at the launch of K-Park in LA, where Spotify hosted a K-Pop dance class in celebration of the new K-Pop world on Roblox. With Bailey’s star on the up and up, it was only apt to have the dance prodigy teach a high-energy K-Pop dance routine to SUNMI’s Gashina at the event. SUNMI also happens to be the first K-Pop idol to appear in K-Park, and very soon, you’ll also get to meet Bailey and learn some of her dance moves to impress your moots.

But long before K-Pop came calling, Bailey started dancing at the tender age of two. The youngest of three girls, she was always surrounded by music and dance thanks to her older sisters who also love dancing. When her parents eventually enrolled her in dance classes, she first trained in the classics — jazz, ballet, and tap; and by the age of six, she was taking part in dance competitions. 

At the age of 10, Bailey made the transition to hip-hop dance and kept competing, from America’s Got Talent 9 as part of the all-girl dance group, Buns & Roses, to NBC’s World of Dance Season 4, where she partnered with another young dance prodigy, Kida the Great. She’s even performed on stage alongside Janet Jackson, Meghan Trainor, Jason Derulo, and Marshmello. 

By the time she turned 14, she was teaching dance classes, not just in the US, but globally in Australia, France, Japan, Korea, and Poland. In fact, she was the youngest dance teacher at the 2019 Fair Play Dance Camp in Krakow. Moreover, that same year, she had her first taste of K-Pop dance when she became one of four dancers to work on the music video choreography for POP/STARS, the debut single of League of Legends’ virtual K-Pop girl group, K/DA’s.

But her real foray into K-Pop came one year later when she was approached for her first K-Pop choreography gig with Red Velvet for their Psycho music video, alongside mu:tudio’s Mina Myong. “It was such a crazy experience for me because I didn’t have any experience in choreographing for other groups; even with my friends, we were just trying things out,” she says. Bailey was only 15 then, and this K-Pop first has become her proudest dance moment to date. “It was my introduction into the entire K-Pop industry,” she adds. “Luckily, I had really great mentors and friends who supported me through it.” Fun fact: Bailey choreographed her part from her bedroom.

Since then, she’s contributed to music video choreography for SHINee Taemin’s IDEA, SHINee’s Don’t Call Me, Aespa’s Savage, and Kai’s Peaches. And today her dance videos, from performances to personal dance routines, have garnered millions of views.  

We sat down with the dancer-choreographer to find out more about her beginnings, her love for K-Pop, and how to look good when dancing along to your favorite K-Pop choreo. 

How does the process of designing dance choreography differ from performing dance? 

Bailey Sok: My approach to choreography definitely changes depending on what I’m choreographing for, whether it’s for a music video, a stage performance, or an artist. 

For K-Pop specifically, I’m learning to just remove myself from it, to do what I can to support the artist and whatever message and story they’re putting out to the world. It’s definitely different every time. 

What types of music inspire movement for you? 

Bailey Sok: My movements are always inspired by what I’m going through at that time. If something really exciting happens and I need to get something out, it’ll be super upbeat, ranging from ’90s hip-hop. Or it can be really chill and slow music, like jazz or lo-fi. 

Who’s your favorite K-Pop idol dancer?

Bailey Sok: I think Taemin is really great. I was going through all his music, music videos, and dance practices, and he just has a different approach to it. He’s capable of a lot of different things and telling a lot of different stories, and I’m super inspired by it. 

What’s your favorite K-Pop song that you’ve got on repeat? 

Bailey Sok: Balloons by TVXQ. I’ll go running around the house in circles when the song plays. I don’t know what happens but something happens, and I feel like a child again. 

What’s your favorite K-related activity?

Bailey Sok: Me and my family will get together and binge-watch any K-drama. 

What’s the key to looking good when dancing to K-Pop choreography? 

Bailey Sok: As long as you feel good, that’s all that matters.