South Korean Reality TV Opens Gates to Diversity

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The Big Picture

  • Street Woman Fighter is a popular and well-received street dance competition show in South Korea, with its first season gaining global attention and inspiring subsequent seasons and spin-offs.
  • Season 2 features a diverse lineup of internationally recognized all-female dance crews, including multicultural groups like Jam Republic and the all-Japanese crew, Tsubakill.
  • The show’s expansion into the international scene reflects a shift in the local Korean media towards a more global experience, highlighting the power of women and providing opportunities for dancers to showcase their talent.


South Korea has been hitting us with interesting reality TV shows one after another. They gave us valuable dating tips with Single’s Inferno, a realistic look at surviving a zombie apocalypse with Zombieverse, and interesting experimental reality shows like Physical: 100. Another hidden gem that deserves our attention is Mnet channel’s Street Woman Fighter. The first season of this street dance-inspired dance competition aired in 2021 and was so well received globally that it spurred several more seasons and a few spin-offs. These included Street Man Fighter and Street Dance Girls Fighter.

The women-focused dance survival show moved the audience as it put on screen the solidarity that comes with womanhood. Street Woman Fighter (SWF) provided the dancers with a stage and an audience that they had craved their whole life. Many of those female dancers then used the opportunity to express the female experience through their art. Two years after that iconic season we have SWF 2 and this time with a global lineup!


‘Street Woman Fighter’ Wants to Go Global

Just like the first season, season 2 of the dance competition is receiving loads of love with some of their stages reaching 10M audiences on Youtube. The show started airing in August 2023 and introduced us to 8 internationally acknowledged all-female dance crews. These included 1Million, Bebe, Deep N Dap, Jam Republic, Lady Bounce, Mannequeen, Tsubakill and Wolf’lo. The last season of SWF introduced us to several extremely talented Korean dance crews. But this season is diverse with multicultural dance crews. Jam Republic is a multicultural all-female crew consisting of world-acclaimed talents such as Kirsten Dodgen, Latrice Kabamba, Ling Zhang, Emma Huch, and Audrey Lane. Kristen and Ling used to be part of the world-famous Royal Family Dance Crew. Tsubakill is an all-Japanese crew with Miyoshi Akanen as their leader. Having an all-Japanese crew on the show is a piece of positive news considering the socio-political history of the two countries. It seems that the Korean media is moving from their monocultural setting and welcoming a more global experience.

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Before K-pop blew up globally, South Korea was known to have a mono-cultured environment. This was natural for them since the country never had any outside exposure. But after K-pop was desired internationally, the market diversified, and it seems that we are finally seeing changes in the local Korean media. The Korean Herald reports the producer of SWF, Kim Ji-Eun, talked about this in a press conference. She said, “I wasn’t so familiar with the dance scene, so I received a lot of advice from the season 1 contestants. Based on that, we held meetings with numerous dancers. Here, we decided to expand into the international scene and reached out to Tsubakill and Jam Republic.”

During the same conference, the leader of Jam Republic, Kristen, gave her personal opinion on this and how she connected with the purpose of the show. She said: “I think the advantage that we bring to this show is the international flavor and sauce. The first time hearing about this show, ‘woman’ was such a strong thing for me, and really connected with me. It’s a great platform to show the power of women and what we can bring.”

Tsubakill’s leader, Akanen, also talked about how even though the street dance culture of Japan is way more developed than South Korea, yet there aren’t many opportunities for the dancers to showcase their art. She said, “The reputation of dancers is still quite low there and there aren’t any TV shows centering on dancers yet. We hope to spotlight Japanese dancers and the talent we could bring through this opportunity.”

Street Woman Fighter Season 2 can be streamed online.

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