An Interview with EMBLEM’s Abbi Carey

photo by Anna Beth Corson

photo by Anna Beth Corson

Together with fellow senior Yoonjin Jung, Abbi Carey took second place in Covenant College’s Mountain Affair, an annual talent show, on October 5. The two danced to popular hits and their quick, spot-on choreography brought an eruption of cheers and applause from audience members. In this interview, Abbi gave The Bagpipe her own perspective on the event, as well as some insight on the many hours of planning and practice that went into their performance.

Q: When did you and Yoonjin decide to try out for Mountain Affair together and why?

A: We decided last semester to do it. I was in Korea at the time, so it was a fun process of going back and forth trying to figure out songs and choreography long distance, but I think it made us more excited! We both love to dance, and since it's our senior year we wanted a cool memory to have in the books.

Q: How long did it take you to choreograph your routine?

A: So, we can't claim all credit for the choreo. Some of it was from a couple dance studios in Korea that we found on YouTube. They were One Million and Alien dance studios. We added some moves ourselves later when we were finally back together at school. I would say it took us up to 60-70 hours of work here and there to fully get the choreo down the way we wanted. Plus, add on about 12 hours to put the music together.

Q: What was your favorite movement or combination in the routine and why?

A: My personal favorites were the moment that the lights went down in the second song (The Middle), and we switched outfits. The lights came back up and then we hit them again with choreo. It just felt super impactful, and like ‘Yeah, we're here to burn it down!’ Everyone went wild for that part, too. The solo parts in the third song (Keeping Your Head Up) were also super fun.

Q: Congrats on your second place win! How did it feel when you realized you had won?

A: It was so cool for us! Since it's both our senior years, we really wanted to just do something fun together that we enjoyed. So, Mountain Affair was that. We worked really really hard at it; we literally shed blood, sweat, and tears. So, we're both just so happy that it paid off.

Q: Where does the name EMBLEM come from?

A: Honestly, we could not figure out a name that suited the vibe we were going for. Yoonjin was just reading one of her music textbooks and saw the word ‘emblem’ in it. We rolled with it. It has a nice ring to it, I think.

Q: What are you most proud of, looking back on the experience?

A: I'm most proud of the way we stuck through the entire process. This has been building up since the middle of last semester when it was just an idea that was floating around. We practiced a bit alone through the summer, and then came back to school and hit it hard. It took a lot of time, where we spent up to four hours almost every night or morning. It was tiring, too. Some parts took unbelievably long to get down, and we got discouraged a lot, but we did it in the end! I'm really happy and proud that we stuck through together.

Q: Will EMBLEM keep dancing together?

A: Oh, yeah, we'll definitely keep dancing together! It's something that we love to do and something that is very rewarding. It brought our friendship a lot closer, too, which I hope to continue to do for a long time. Watch out, people in the aerobics room, we're going to take over it again.

You can look forward to seeing EMBLEM plus more in Culture Fest this spring with K-pop.