Love Bites: Back in My Body

This month's columnist reflects on how learning BTS' dance routines put her back in her body

Article by Katie Hawthorne | 12 Nov 2020
  • BTS

There’s this moment in the music video for BTS’ hit single Dynamite when Park Jimin twirls. He’s dressed in double denim, lit with a golden-hour glow, and he just spins and spins as if gravity’s a myth. I copy him and feel weightless for a split second – before crashing into my wardrobe.

Back in January, my head left my body. I’d been depressed before, but not like that. My tight, horrible little brain was drifting somewhere above my useless sack of a body, totally disconnected in a way that made all physical activity feel pointless. I started medication a month before lockdown began, so, in a weird twist of fate, the world shut down just as I was ready to rejoin it. All I wanted was to be in a crowded club full of friends and strangers, spill drinks down myself and feel the bass in my gut: to experience the kind of carefree, physical joy that would finally put my body back together.

Until then, I’ve found an alternative source of dopamine: learning K-Pop choreography in my bedroom. I tie up my hair, put my thermal leggings on like a real dancer, queue a playlist and flail my way through BTS’ dizzying, all-out dance routines.

I’m terrible at it. I can’t touch my toes, and yet the seven members of the world’s biggest boyband remain intimidatingly glamorous even while hopping on one leg – the key move in my favourite of their songs, Baepsae. The foot-shuffle required in Boy With Luv makes me look like a garden gnome and the high-kick gymnastics of Idol render me a health hazard. But when I catch my attempts in the mirror, and laugh outright at myself, it feels like a gift. I’m back in my body. Silly head on silly shoulders, finding fun in the world again.