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 didn't like You Make Me Dance very much. The plot was too farfetched, the characters were too shallow, and the romance was too random. It's impossible to feel immersed in this absurd and poorly written story.
You Make Me Dance Summary
Around 1 hour and 30 minutes
Spicy & romantic
Around 12 to 15 minutes
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 doesn'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 On's talent and will do anything to ensure his dance audition goes perfectly.
You Make Me Dance Trailer
You Make Me Dance Cast
Shi On Chu Young Woo (추영우) 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 he'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 (원형훈) 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. He's a big fan of Shi On's dancing.
Lee Soo Ryun (이수련)
Park Geon Rak (박건락)
You Make Me Dance OST
You Make Me Dance Review
Drama Review Score:6.2
When I'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.
I'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 can't believe the scenario, I can't believe the characters, and I can'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 didn't sit well with me. Sorry, I just wasn't a fan of this particular BL series.
Shi On and Hong Seok
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 didn'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? It'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. 🤨
The acting in You Make Me Dance was mostly serviceable, although none of the performances really stood out to me. I thought Shi On'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.
To be clear, Hong Seok is a total weirdo obsessed with his crappy job, but he'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 don't know if this reference is too niche, but Hong Seok's character reminds me of the butler from Kazuo Ishiguro'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 that's the vibe I get from him.
You can just feel there's some deep-rooted trauma hidden in Hong Seok's history that made him the way he is. However, You Make Me Dance barely scratched the surface with him and didn'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
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. 😏
I thought Jung Hoon's evil plan was to trick Shi On into shooting some naughty pictures for money and then leak them to ruin his rival's reputation. Instead, nothing interesting happened, but at least we get a clear view of Hong Seok's lean muscular body.
There was some bullying and psychological torment from Shi On's evil classmate. The debt storyline could also be a little triggering, but I don'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 'sold off' 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.
You're watching a BL drama literally called "You Make Me Dance", 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.
Shi On's mom
The storyline with Shi On's mom was so dumb that I wished they didn'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? 😑😑😑 Umm okay, I have questions:
- Worst reason to take out a loan ever?
- Why didn't his mom borrow the money herself?
- Why did the mom let her son do something so stupid?
- Why did she accept the money from her unemployed son?
- What is she doing with all that borrowed money?
- Did the mom leave knowing that she left her son with a heavy debt?
- Why didn’t she take him with her?
- Why move to Switzerland at all if you don’t have the money?
- Why isn't she helping him repay the debt?
- Why hasn't the mom contacted her son after remarrying?
Maybe I'm missing something with this storyline, but they made it seem like Shi On had such a ~noble~ reason to take out the loan. 😑 They should've just made up some other generic reason for Shi On to have financial problems, because this current explanation is full of plot holes.
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 Seok'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 didn'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 couldn't overlook. You Make Me Dance suffered from a broken premise, and there was nothing they could've done with the ending to salvage the quality.
You Make Me Dance Episodes
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.
⭐ 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. There's some palpable tension in this scene that's kinda engaging to watch.
💋 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.
💪🏻 Episodes with skin: Shi On gets shirtless in Episode 3. Hong Seok gets shirtless in Episode 5. Both characters go topless in Episode 8.