10 K-pop idols who were once back up dancers, from BTS members Jungkook, J-Hope, Jimin, Jin, V and Suga, to SNSD's Hyoyeon who performed with Boa, and solo diva Chungha

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scouted on the streets, being good friends with her dancers, new band GOT the Beat, queen of K-pop Boa, Street Woman Fighter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter

Many K-pop idols come from different walks of life – from entering the industry as child actors or former models, to being scouted on the streets and even performing as backup dancers for other famous names.

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Here, we take a look at the K-pop idols who danced out of the spotlight before becoming superstars in their own right …

1. BTS members Jungkook, J-Hope, Jimin, Jin, V and Suga

scouted on the streets, being good friends with her dancers, new band GOT the Beat, queen of K-pop Boa, Street Woman Fighter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter

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BTS members Jungkook, J-Hope, Jimin, Jin, V and Suga were all once backup dancers. Photo: @bts_twt/Twitter

BTS members, who’ve broken records on Billboard charts, once danced for other senior artists under their agency. In 2012, a year before their debut, 16-year-old Jungkook and 19-year-old J-Hope stood behind Jo Kwon of 2am for his solo performance for the song I’m Da One. As for Jin, V and Suga, they made special appearances in the music video of the song.

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scouted on the streets, being good friends with her dancers, new band GOT the Beat, queen of K-pop Boa, Street Woman Fighter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter

BTS members Jin and V in Jo Kwon’s single I’m Da One. Photo: Big Hit Entertainment

This wasn’t the only time they had stood behind senior artists. When the girl group Glam debuted under Hybe (formerly Big Hit Entertainment) in 2012, Jimin, Suga, Jungkook and J-Hope came together once again and performed as back up dancers at the group’s debut.

2. Chungha

scouted on the streets, being good friends with her dancers, new band GOT the Beat, queen of K-pop Boa, Street Woman Fighter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter

Chungha was a backup dancer for girl group Ulala Session. Photo: MBC

Before Chungha made her name as a solo diva, she went through some ups and downs in the beginning of her career, spending seven long years as a trainee. In 2013, she danced next to Ulala Session for their performance on the show Immortal Songs: Singing the Legend – a show in which she appeared as a solo artist four years after her debut as a backup dancer.

scouted on the streets, being good friends with her dancers, new band GOT the Beat, queen of K-pop Boa, Street Woman Fighter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter

Chungha as a back dancer on the show Immortal Songs: Singing the Legend. Photo: KBS

Perhaps due to her past experiences, the 25-year-old star has become known for being good friends with her dancers, and she’s been outspoken about her support for dancers. On EBS radio show Chungha’s Listen in 2019, she said: “I hate the word ‘backup’ dancer. Can we please take out ‘back’ in front of dancers?”

3. SNSD’s Hyoyeon

scouted on the streets, being good friends with her dancers, new band GOT the Beat, queen of K-pop Boa, Street Woman Fighter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter

SNSD’s Hyoyeon once danced for K-pop superstar Boa. Photo: @hyoyeon_x_x/Instagram

One of K-pop’s most talented dancers, Hyoyeon is the main dancer in girl group Girls’ Generation. She also recently joined new band GOT the Beat. Also spending seven years as a trainee, she’s danced behind many senior artists, such as performing in queen of K-pop Boa’s shadow at the 2005 Mnet KM Music Video Festival.

The 32-year-old formed a dance duo with Min – a former member of now-disbanded girl group Miss A – called Little Winners. Their performances even got attention in the street scene, winning the 2003 Street Jam contest.

4. Monsta X’s Shownu

scouted on the streets, being good friends with her dancers, new band GOT the Beat, queen of K-pop Boa, Street Woman Fighter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter

K-pop star Shownu. Photo: @shownuayo/Instagram

If you’re wondering who stood next to the alluring Lee Hyori in her Bad Girl performance in 2013, it was Shownu before his debut with six-member boy group Monsta X in 2015.

Dancing as a couple in the song, Shownu has expressed his gratitude to Lee many times in entertainment shows, saying that she would get meals with the dancers after shows, and even gave them bookings for tanning services for free, according to Koreaboo.

5. Daniel Kang

scouted on the streets, being good friends with her dancers, new band GOT the Beat, queen of K-pop Boa, Street Woman Fighter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter

Daniel Kang hosts popular dance programmes Street Woman Fighter and Street Dance Girls Fighter. Photo: @daniel.k.here/Instagram

Solo artist Kang Daniel’s breakdancing background makes him a perfect fit for his current role as host of popular dance programmes Street Woman Fighter and Street Dance Girls Fighter.

The 25-year-old singer, who was formerly part of boy group Wanna One, also has “backup dancer” on his resume. Before his debut, he danced beside Fiestar’s Cao Lu on the show Her Secret Weapon in 2015. Cao Lu performed the song Invitation alongside Spica’s Park Sihyun. In an interview with SBS’s Access Showbiz Tonight in 2017, Kang said that since it was his first time dancing with a girl, he was so nervous that his hands were shaking.

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