Who is the best dancer in BTS?

BTS
Kevin Winter/Getty Images for MRC

Coming from the Idol industry in K-pop, it’s expected of groups to master all performance arts from singing to dancing, and sometimes even acting and modeling. Most, if not all, K-pop bands go through a pre-debut training process where they get to showcase their talents and battle for a place in the final line-up. That usually means that the end product isn’t made of diamonds in the rough, but rather polished performers eager to make their dent in the multi-billion dollar industry. BTS’ worldwide success, breaking cultural and spatial barriers, is largely due to how hard the members continuously work at perfecting these skills. One only need look through Youtube to find a slew of such examples. 

Just last month, BTS displayed their powerful stage presence at the Grammys as they carried out a makeshift heist to the sound of their groovy summer hit Butter. However, Asian award shows are where BTS usually go all out, like in their grandiose Idol and Dionysus sets at the Melon Music Awards that could match the greats of live performance. In their clean-cut dance practice videos, where it’s just them and the music, their synchronization, stage dynamics, movement definition and immense energy become even more evident. 

That BTS can dance there’s no denying, but, even if their tight, meticulous choreography creates a captivating harmony, at a closer look there are a few members that stand out. Dubbed “the dance line”, members j-hope, Jimin, and Jungkook bring a special kind of flair to their movements and tend to take center stage during the group’s more ambitious choreographies. 26 year-old V is the dance line’s honorary member thanks to his innate charisma, while RM, SUGA and Jin make their own, indispensable contribution to BTS’ stage magnetism. 

As much as these distinctions among BTS’ dance abilities are generally agreed upon, rankings of best to worst dancer are all down to personal opinion and taste. With that in mind, here are the best dancers in BTS, ranked. 

7. Jin

BTS’ power vocalist Jin is not the greatest at dancing, but the 29-year-old puts in all the effort he can conjure into learning and perfecting choreography. Never shying away from a challenge and showing massive improvement since his debut days. 

In an interview with Rolling Stone in 2021, Jin shared:

Other members will learn a dance once and they’ll be able to dance right away to the music, but I can’t. So I try to work harder so I don’t hold the other members back or be a burden. 

Jin is the best entertainer in BTS and he often uses dance to make his fans and bandmates happy. What was supposed to be a fun gag for fans, quickly (and unprompted) turned into a viral dance challenge when Jin released his infectious trot track Super Tuna late last year. 

6. RM

It is worth it contemplating the fact that BTS was initially created as a rap, hip-hop group, built around RM. As the concept for the group gradually shifted into pop, the rapper had to adapt too as he learned just how important choreography was going to be in their career going forward.

Even so, RM’s stage presence is no joke. Despite dancing not being his forte, no one can deny the minute RM steps on stage something shifts, and that is a skill that cannot be trained. BTS’ leader mostly struggles with coordination and sharpness in his movements, but he makes up for it with hard work and a natural groove from his background in hip hop. As a highly-skilled rapper, RM understands how important it is to follow the beat and flow of a track. 

He takes to simpler choreographies like the one for Dynamite like a fish takes to water, and watching him perform it one would never guess he was one of the least skilled dancers in BTS. 

5. SUGA

SUGA, also a rapper, has previously joked that he was tricked by HYBE Chairman Bang PD into joining BTS with the promise there would be minimal dancing. However, for someone who seems so opposed to dancing, SUGA sure doesn’t act like it, because he always gives it his all on stage. Whether he does it for the sake of the group or because he actually does enjoy dancing after all, that much is unclear (hint: it’s the latter), but SUGA can and does keep up with his more dance-inclined fellow members. 

SUGA recently produced, wrote and rapped in Psy’s latest single That That, and it seems like history repeated itself because the Daechwita musician was once again lured into performing pretty extensive choreography for the music video. Regardless of technical flawlessness, SUGA’s dedication to refining a craft he was initially intimidated by is a testament to BTS’ love for the art of performing. 

4. V

V is pretty much a member of BTS’ dance line. As one of the most prolific idols in K-pop, V is notorious for his overflowing charm and cited by peers as an example of stage presence. He is the fastest to learn and best at remembering choreography in the group and naturally embodies the beat, rhythm and flow of any song. His facial expressions are also one of his strong suits, and a must for every successful pop star. 

Even if he isn’t technically perfect, V is easily one of the best performers in BTS. The solo stage for his 2018 neo-soul track Singularity was a turning point for the 26-year-old, cementing his place in the industry as one of the most innovative and surprising idols yet, and granting him a dance line position. 

3. Jungkook

A trainee since his early teens, Jungkook was heavily influenced by his peers, thus developing a versatility that allows him to dominate any choreography that comes his way, without specializing in one specific skill set. Unless we are talking about stage presence. That’s where his biggest strength lies. 

Thanks to his athleticism, Jungkook is capable of charging any choreography with astounding power and energy, resulting in truly exhilarating performances. Nicknamed the “golden maknae” (or golden youngster), Jungkook is the most well-rounded performer of the group, with an above-average ability to grasp any artistry from dancing to singing. Jungkook is able to deliver an impressive modern dance performance, even if hip-hop is where he feels most comfortable. 

Back in February, Jungkook shared a fiery cover of Jo Nain’s choreography on his Instagram. The BTS idol became a fan of the choreographer after watching a Korean TV dance competition.

2. Jimin

Jimin was already trained in dance before he auditioned for HYBE (then called BigHit). His background is in modern dance, which is evident in his dancing style. Albeit not as technically excellent as the number one in this list, Jimin has an extraordinary ability for movement, flow and expressiveness. His dancing is the most seducing and emotive of the group, but he can just as easily nail a hip-hop heavy choreography. 

Flexibility, agility and acrobatics are other strengths of Jimin’s, and early BTS choreographies would feature ambitious moves from the 26-year-old as he spun and somersaulted around the stage. 

Most recently, Jimin wowed as he took the spotlight in BTS’ music video and performances for Black Swan, the band’s 2020 eclectic emo hip-hop single. The song’s classical elements were the perfect excuse for the dancer and singer to showcase his ethereal dance style. His elegant body lines, seamless coordination, and flexibility shone throughout this contemporary solo stage. 

1. j-hope

J-hope had already made a name for himself as a dancer before joining BTS. With his roots in b-boying and hip-hop, he was part of an underground dance group called NEURON and participated in a competition for dancers held by JYP Entertainment, a competitor of HYBE’s (BTS’ label). 

J-hope specializes in popping and locking and is a great freestyler. The 28-year-old dancer, rapper and singer often did livestreams, in a segment he called Hope On The Street, where he performed freestyle for fans in the company’s dance studio.  

Within the group, j-hope is the main dancer along with Jimin, and the owner of a fierce work ethic when it comes to their performances. If you find BTS backstage pre-show they will most likely be going through each dance move with j-hope leading the scene. 

J-hope’s hip-hop influences are most clear in his solo work, particularly his 2019 single Chicken Noodle Soup, a remake of its Harlem namesake from the 2000s. His dance challenge with the song’s choreography went viral online. 

BTS’ many strengths only achieve their full potential when united into their exigent, incredibly synchronous and dynamic group choreographies. As for whatever weaknesses BTS’ members might have as individual dancers, they pale in comparison to their chemistry and monstrous vigor when banded together.