KOREATOWN, Calif. – Samgo-Mu is an energetic and crowd-pleasing traditional Korean art form that combines dancing and drumming at the same time.
Once performed only by men, drum dancing has grown to include all genders and ages. Kim Eung Hwa has been teaching it in Koreatown since moving to Los Angeles in 1980.
“Korean traditional drum dance is only one,” said Kim Eung-Hwa. “One drum is more original dance, but now three drums is more modernized. That’s why, more movement, more playing, more exciting!”
In an effort to promote cultural awareness and preserve the art of Korean dance, Eung-Hwa also teaches fan dancing, floral dancing, and other styles of drum dancing, but three drums is the most popular class. Despite being a dance fit for young folks, seniors are gravitating towards the class.
“The average age that our senior class has started is around 50 years old, but they continue to participate because it’s a great form of exercise and it prevents arthritis, it prevents migraines and they produce a lot of strength from this,” said dance instructor Lena Ahn.
Not only does the drumming crescendo over time, but as the routine goes on, it gets faster and faster the closer it gets to the end.
Anna Kim started drum dancing at the age of 50. That was 20 years ago and today she is bending over backwards and keeping up with the class. She says her kids and grandkids are proud of her.
“So I started Korean dance and it’s given me a lot of strength, a lot of energy, a lot of power and lot of spirit as well,” said Kim.
For those who want to get cultured and fit, they should give up the gym membership and try a Korean drum dancing class instead.