The K-pop movement has quickly taken over pop culture worldwide, influencing people to its music and lifestyle brand. For many people in the United States, Korean pop music has become an intense pastime, but for dancers and dreamers like Dawvaun Quigley, K-pop is more than a music genre. It’s a calling.
To say that the twenty-four-year-old from Buffalo, New York is a K-pop fan would be an understatement. Dawvaun is all about the craze and more, even dancing and performing in front of crowds. His passion for K-pop started some eight years ago after he encountered Girls Generation’s music. Dawvaun, also fondly known as K-pop Quigley, would then start listening to more Korean performers, including BTS and Twice.
When asked what about K-pop brings Dawvaun to life, he has a lot to say. “K-pop has helped me stay positive through the negative times in my life,” the dancer and performer share. “I wasn’t a popular kid in high school and college. During these times, I felt alone and always rejected. K-pop helped me find myself. Also, it helped me find my inner talent.” During college, Dawvaun picked up a degree in Animation Design in a highly competitive school. He often felt overpowered by the talent and potential of his peers and struggled with self-doubt a lot.
In the moments that Quigley struggled with his self-esteem, he would listen to K-pop. Through time, the songs from his idols would turn into anthems of hope and self-love. He started dancing to the music and discovered his passion for performing in front of people. Dawvaun began to share videos of himself dancing to his favorite K-pop music, which would catch momentum.
But the most fantastic transformation that K-pop has brought to Dawvaun Quigley’s life is the level of persistence and confidence it has given him. Because he loved it so much, the dancer started auditioning for K-pop shows and competitions. The first several times he did, Quigley would only pass two, but that never stopped him from pursuing his wildest dreams. While it was once an unthinkable thought for Dawvaun to keep pushing after one rejection, he would prove how K-pop had made him more resilient as a person.
At one point, Dawvaun would get as far as getting on one Korean TV program’s cast of calling in New York City back in February of 2020. The K-pop enthusiast didn’t make it to the later stages of the show, but he had a newfound perspective—one that assured him that if he got this far this time around, he could keep growing and get closer and closer to his dreams. “From there, I know it was a spark in me,” shares K-pop Quigley. “If I got the chance to pass the first round of this audition, who says that I can’t make it all the way?
One of Dawvaun’s more notable wins was receiving a reply from one of his K-pop idols, Alex Reid, one of the first African American K-pop artists. She encouraged Quigley to keep pursuing his dreams, which would give him yet another boost. Today, Dawvaun has just come out of four months of K-pop training and is ready for his following challenges. He hopes to join more auditions and competitions in the next few months and hopefully continue progressing.
Dawvaun is proof that passion can give one the perseverance and hope to keep pushing even when faced with opposition. To learn more about Dawvaun Quigley, visit his Instagram account.