You Make Me Dance is about the overlapping worlds of a dancer, Si On, and a loan shark, Hong Seok.

You Make Me Dance is a Korean BL drama about a student dancer. He forms an unlikely romance with his loan shark. Yes, you read that right. He falls in love with the guy who chases him over his debt payments. Even for the BL genre, this pairing seems like such an odd combination between two characters from different walks of life.

Unfortunately, I didnโ€™t like You Make Me Dance very much. The plot was too farfetched, the characters were too shallow, and the romance was too random. Itโ€™s impossible to feel immersed in this absurd and poorly written story.

You Make Me Dance Summary

What is the drama called?

์œ ๋ฉ”์ดํฌ๋ฏธ๋Œ„์Šค

Where was the series made?

South Korea

When was the drama released?

2021

How long is You Make Me Dance?

Around 1 hour and 30 minutes

What is the genre?

Romance

How would you describe the series?

Dramatic and intense

How many episodes are there?

8 episodes

How long is each episode?

Around 12 to 15 minutes

Plot

Hong Seok gives Si On a piggyback.

Hong Seok is a loan shark who feels disenchanted about his line of work at the debt collection agency. He wants to quit his job, but his boss convinces him to take on one last project before leaving. Hong Seok is tasked with collecting the payments from Shi On, a broke twenty-year-old university student. Shi On is an aspiring dancer who has been preparing for a big audition at school, with hopes of landing the lead role in an upcoming show.

Unfortunately, Shi On doesnโ€™t have the money to pay back his debt. He pleads with Hong Seok to extend his deadline for another month. Shi On claims that he can earn all the necessary funds after securing the key role in his school play. To prove his ability, he performs a private dance for Hong Seok, who is moved to tears by his talent.

Hong Seok agrees to give Shi On more time to repay his debts. However, he wants to keep a close eye on him and decides to move in together. As Shi On would soon learn, Hong Seok takes his job as a loan shark very seriously. Hong Seok believes in Shi Onโ€™s talent and will do anything to ensure his dance audition goes perfectly.

You Make Me Dance Trailer

You Make Me Dance Cast

Characters

Shi On Chu Young Woo (์ถ”์˜์šฐ) Chu Young Woo Instagram

Shi On is a 20-year-old university student who is an aspiring dancer. His personality might seem pretty carefree, but heโ€™s dedicated to dancing. Shi On has been preparing for a big audition, with his eyes set on landing the main role in an upcoming production.

Hong Seok Won Hyung Hoon (์›ํ˜•ํ›ˆ) Won Hyung Hoon Instagram

Hong Seok is a loan shark who feels disgruntled about his job at a debt collection agency. Calm and composed, he has been professionally trained to never lose his cool. Hong Seok develops an emotional attachment to Shi On after meeting him. Heโ€™s a big fan of Shi Onโ€™s dancing.

Supporting Cast

Jung Hoon is played by the actor Lex (์ „ํ˜•๋ฏผ).

Jung Hoon

Lex (์ „ํ˜•๋ฏผ)

Soo Ryeon is played by the actress Lee Soo Ryun (์ด์ˆ˜๋ จ).

Soo Ryeon

Lee Soo Ryun (์ด์ˆ˜๋ จ)

Mr. Kim is played by the actor Park Geon Rak (๋ฐ•๊ฑด๋ฝ).

Mr. Kim

Park Geon Rak (๋ฐ•๊ฑด๋ฝ)

You Make Me Dance OST

You Make Me Dance Review

Review

Drama Review Score:6.2

C-
Hong Seok strikes a pose in his modelling photoshoot.

When Iโ€™m watching one BL drama after another, I sometimes get the feeling that these series are being churned out through a random storyline generator. This is how I would describe my first impression of You Make Me Dance, since the romance between a dancer and a debt collector seems like such an unlikely combination. Surely, I thought, You Make Me Dance was the result of someone pulling a magical lever, obtained two totally unrelated topics, and then meshed them together into the same BL drama for a laugh.

Iโ€™m all about dramas with innovative premises, but the concept behind You Make Me Dance was too out there for me. From start to finish, I had a difficult time suspending my disbelief when watching this series. I canโ€™t believe the scenario, I canโ€™t believe the characters, and I canโ€™t believe the romance that develops between them. With the weird story and the shallow romance, there were so many elements in You Make Me Dance that didnโ€™t sit well with me. Sorry, I just wasnโ€™t a fan of this particular BL series.

Romance

Shi On and Hong Seok

I couldn't buy Shi On and Hong Seok as a couple

Despite some very formulaic BL moments, I was never convinced by the romance between Shi On and Hong Seok, not for a single second. Call me unimaginative, but I could not understand why Hong Seok formed such a quick and deep emotional attachment to Shi On. It didnโ€™t make sense to me why this loan shark had such a vested interest in some random kid he just met.

Every time Hong Seok did some big romantic gesture for Shi On, I was simply confused. You barely know the guy and you move in with him? Itโ€™s also weird how Hong Seok spends his time hovering around Shi On 24/7, as if he has nothing better to do with his life. This guy really uprooted his entire lifestyle for a total stranger with a shitload of debt? None of that behaviour is normal, dude. ๐Ÿคจ

Acting

Decent acting

Shi On cries when he thinks Hong Seok left him in the end.

The acting in You Make Me Dance was mostly serviceable, although none of the performances really stood out to me. I thought Shi Onโ€™s actor (Chu Young Woo) came across as pretty relaxed and natural. Hong Seok (Wong Hyong Hoon) was decent as well, but had a more limited role to work with. His character was written in a way where he had to be restrained most of the time.

Best Character

Hong Seok

Hong Seok seemed like an interesting character with a hidden backstory.

To be clear, Hong Seok is a total weirdo obsessed with his crappy job, but heโ€™s strange in kind of a cute and endearing way. I enjoy his robotic personality, his serious work ethic, and his unflinching loyalty. His character was so weird that he intrigued me, and I wanted to learn more about him. How did he become a loan shark? Where is his family? What happened to him in the past? Why does he wear such long trenchcoats?

I donโ€™t know if this reference is too niche, but Hong Seokโ€™s character reminds me of the butler from Kazuo Ishiguroโ€™s The Remains of the Day. Both placed too much emphasis on their work and led sad, repressed lives as a result. Obviously, comparing this frivolous BL drama to a piece of classic literature is a real stretch, but thatโ€™s the vibe I get from him.

You can just feel thereโ€™s some deep-rooted trauma hidden in Hong Seokโ€™s history that made him the way he is. However, You Make Me Dance barely scratched the surface with him and didnโ€™t expand on any of the juicy stuff. I see the hidden potential in this character, if only they did more with him.

Skin & Nudity

Shirtless

Hong Seok does a shirtless photo shoot.

Both actors had some short shirtless scenes during the series. In one scene, Hong Seok is offered a modelling job and gets involved in a topless photo shoot. There was nothing racy involved, although I totally assumed that we were heading in that direction. ๐Ÿ˜

I thought Jung Hoonโ€™s evil plan was to trick Shi On into shooting some naughty pictures for money and then leak them to ruin his rivalโ€™s reputation. Instead, nothing interesting happened, but at least we get a clear view of Hong Seokโ€™s lean muscular body.

Triggers

Bullying

Hong Seok threatens Shi On's bully Jung Hoon.

There was some bullying and psychological torment from Shi Onโ€™s evil classmate. The debt storyline could also be a little triggering, but I donโ€™t think it crossed the line of being too dark and serious. Near the end, there was a moment where it felt like Hong Seok got โ€˜sold offโ€™ because he signed his life away in a contract. Kinda scary when you think about it, although nothing bad happened to him in the end.

Highlights

The dancing

Shi On dances for Hong Seok at the end of the series.

Youโ€™re watching a BL drama literally called โ€œYou Make Me Danceโ€, so the dancing better be the main selling point of the series!

Shi On performs two dances for Hong Seok during the series (one at the beginning and one at the end), and both performances were pretty good. For me, the dancing captured the emotions better than the actual dialogue. Sometimes, your feelings are more elegantly conveyed through motion than words.

If anything, I actually wished we got to see more dancing on the show. When I started You Make Me Dance, I thought it would be packed with dance numbers, because duh. Instead, we got all this other crap about loan sharks and parental abandonment or whatnot.

Feedback

Shi Onโ€™s mom

The storyline with Shi On's mom was dumb.

The storyline with Shi Onโ€™s mom was so dumb that I wished they didnโ€™t mention her at all. Apparently, the reason why Shi On took out a loan is because he wanted to give his mom money to immigrate to Switzerland with her new husband. WTF? ๐Ÿ˜‘๐Ÿ˜‘๐Ÿ˜‘ Umm okay, I have questions:

  1. Worst reason to take out a loan ever?
  2. Why didnโ€™t his mom borrow the money herself?
  3. Why did the mom let her son do something so stupid?
  4. Why did she accept the money from her unemployed son?
  5. What is she doing with all that borrowed money?
  6. Did the mom leave knowing that she left her son with a heavy debt?
  7. Why didnโ€™t she take him with her?
  8. Why move to Switzerland at all if you donโ€™t have the money?
  9. Why isnโ€™t she helping him repay the debt?
  10. Why hasnโ€™t the mom contacted her son after remarrying?

Maybe Iโ€™m missing something with this storyline, but they made it seem like Shi On had such a ~noble~ reason to take out the loan. ๐Ÿ˜‘ They shouldโ€™ve just made up some other generic reason for Shi On to have financial problems, because this current explanation is full of plot holes.

Ending

Dumb ending

Shi On and Hong Seok got together in the end.

The happy ending in You Make Me Dance was so ridiculously contrived. From Shi On landing the lead role immediately after his audition, to Hong Seokโ€™s evil boss changing her mind after she listened to a radio show, all the plots concluded in such clumsy, unrealistic ways. Of course, these plots were dumb to begin with, so I didnโ€™t really expect the ending to be any better.

The problems with You Make Me Dance go beyond just a patchy ending though. From start to finish, this drama is full of gaping plot holes and nonsensical logic that I couldnโ€™t overlook. You Make Me Dance suffered from a broken premise, and there was nothing they couldโ€™ve done with the ending to salvage the quality.

You Make Me Dance Episodes

Episode Guide

You Make Me Dance has a total of 8 episodes. Each episode is around 12 to 15 minutes long. The last episode is around 18 minutes long. This is a short BL drama, and you can finish the entire series in under 2 hours.

โญ Best episode: My favourite episode in You Make Me Dance is probably Episode 7. This is the episode where Shi On confesses his love for Hong Seok at his office. Hong Seok goes through a bit of inner turmoil at first, but eventually gives in to his feelings. Thereโ€™s some palpable tension in this scene thatโ€™s kinda engaging to watch.

๐Ÿ’‹ Episodes with kissing: Shi On and Hong Seok share their first kiss in Episode 7. They also kiss and share a physically intimate scene in Episode 8.

๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿป Episodes with skin: Shi On gets shirtless in Episode 3. Hong Seok gets shirtless in Episode 5. Both characters go topless in Episode 8.

Episode 1

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Episode 2

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Episode 3

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Episode 4

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Episode 5

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Episode 6

โ˜…โ˜†โ˜†โ˜†

Episode 7

โ˜…โ˜…โ˜†โ˜†

Episode 8

โ˜…โ˜…โ˜†โ˜†

You Make Me Dance Behind the Scenes

You Make Me Dance Information

W-STORY

W-STORY is the Korean BL studio that made Where Your Eyes Linger (2020).

W-STORY is the Korean BL studio that made Where Your Eyes Linger (2020). Its portfolio also includes Mr. Heart (2020), You Make Me Dance (2021), and Cherry Blossoms After Winter (2022).

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