A little girl dance with a dancing shadow

How To Say ‘Dance’ In Korean

One thing that many young Koreans, especially those living in Seoul, enjoy doing on their weekends is to go dancing. Whether in a dance group or at a night club, it’s a popular past-time with young Koreans, and there are even many high school dance troops you can spot practicing in any out of the way place with a large reflection in Seoul.

So today we will learn how to say ‘dance’ in Korean. Read on for examples, tips to remember it, or just get the 80/20 below! Check out more great Korean words to add to your vocabulary.

Picture of a girl holding a teddy bear dance and a dancing shadow

The 80/20* of How to Say ‘Dance’ in Korean


댄스 – daenseu | dance (Konglish)

– chum | dance

춤을 추다 – chumeul chuda | to dance (v.)


How to remember (association):

Who do you go dancing with? Your chum of course!” ( | chum)

*80/20 Pareto Principle – The 20% you should learn that will give you 80% of the results.


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‘Dance’ in Korean

First of all, you can use the Konglish word 댄스 (daenseu) to refer to dance in Korean. However, the word is not used that commonly and can confuse many Koreans with its meaning. Therefore, often the better word to say dance in Korean is the purely Korean word 춤 (chum).

To make it into the verb ‘to dance’, you also have two choices. The first one is forming the expression as 춤을 추다 (chumeul chuda). It is highly likely that this is the form our minds would first jump to. However, there is an easier choice as well, which is 춤추다 (chumchuda). It still has all of the same ingredients, it just drops the object particle and merges the noun and the verb into one word.

To remember how to say dance in Korean we’ll create an association for it in English. You can do this using similar sounding words in English, or associating images with the Hangeul characters, basically anything that helps you remember the word and its meaning.

For 춤 (chum)we’ll use the English word chum meaning ‘friend’. The pronunciation is different between these two words, what’s important is to just be able to recall the target meaning of dance.


 “Who do you go dancing with? Your chum of course!” ( | chum)

See if you can come up with your own association and share it in the comments below!


A word of caution about Romanization

While it is possible for you to study the words in this article simply by reading their romanized versions, it will come in handy for you to be able to read Hangeul if you ever wish to come to Korea. Hangeul is the Korean alphabet, and not difficult to learn. In fact, you can learn it in just 90 minutes.

After you’ve familiarized yourself with Hangeul, life in Korea will suddenly seem so much easier and the country won’t appear so foreign for you. So, if you’re serious about learning Korean, why not learn Hangeul today? 

You can get a free guide here that will teach you to read in about 1 hour.


Sample Sentences

Group of dancer exercising dance training


춤추는거 좋아해요? (chumchuneungeo joahaeyo?)

Do you like to dance?

저는 춤을 줄 모르겠어요. (jeoneun chumeul jul moreugesseoyo.)

I can’t dance.


이게 뭔데? 아까 춤을 추자고 했을때 춤을 못 춘다고 했잖아. (ige mwonde? akka chumeul chujago haesseulttae chumeul mot chundago haetjana.)

What is this? You told me you can’t dance when I suggested to dance a while before.

그렇게 잘 춤을 추는것을 어떻게 배웠어? (geureoke jal chumeul chuneungeoseul eotteoke baewosseo?)

How did you learn to dance that well?

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Photo Credit: BigStockPhoto

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