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Korea opens K-pop academy in Mexico

June 7, 2016 - 14:47 By 임정요
South Korea has opened an academy in Mexico that allows locals to experience first-hand what it is like to be trained into a K-pop star, the Korean Cultural Center here said Tuesday.

The Mexico K-pop Academy is sponsored by South Korea's Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and is part of the programs offered at Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes in Mexico City and the Korean Cultural Center in the city.

The 10-week program is divided into two parts -- the first six weeks will be dedicated to learning Korean lyrics, mastering Korean pronunciation and vocal and dance training. In the following four weeks, participants will receive advanced training in singing and choreography, the center said.

South Korea's Howon University, which is in charge of the program's execution, has sent professional vocal trainers and choreographers who have worked with top Korean groups such as TVXQ, JYJ and Girls' Generation.

Natasha Aguirre, who has signed up for the six-week beginner course, said she has always been curious about South Korea's star training system.

"I'm excited to experience K-pop as a 'trainee' for the next six weeks," she said.

The Korean Cultural Center said it has received an overwhelming number of inquiries about the academy since its launch, with more than 400 people from all over Mexico applying for 60 available spots.

"This academy will provide an opportunity for us to upgrade the way we spread Korean culture, from simply watching it to experiencing it," Chang Chi-young, head of the Mexican branch of the center, said.

More than 140,000 locals are estimated to be part of some 80 Korean culture appreciation societies in Mexico. (Yonhap)