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BTS vs. Dorms

Today's Kpop history will be focused around the following question:


For how long do Kpop stars live together in their dorms?

BTS Bangtan Dorm gif jin funny cute sled Seokjin

Most Army probably know that BTS live in a dorm and have lived together in dorms since pre debut.

They continue to live in dorms to this day too, but will they continue to do so in the future too?

I'll attempt to answer these questions by exploring some Kpop history and letting you know what other idols have done, and why, and taking a look at how BTS compares.

Let's begin...


Moving into the dorm


Most idol groups live in dorms, at least in their early years, and during their trainee days.

In fact, I can't name a single group that haven't lived together at least for a short while either pre-debut or at debut.

BTS Bangtan Dorm old photo debut

There are many reasons for this but some of the most obvious ones include:

1. Some trainees and members don't have family living in Seoul but they need to be in Seoul in order to train to be an idol and in order to promote after debut.

In BTS, for example, everyone except from RM and Jin come from hometowns outside of Seoul and wouldn't be able to live at home while training or promoting.

BTS Bangtan Dorm Cute most Joen Jungkook waving hd gif

2. Most trainees and idols are too young at the beginning of their career to secure housing for themselves; too young to sign papers for a lease, so the company does this for them by putting them into dorms.

BTS Bangtan Dorm hello greeting morning tired sleepy

3. Most trainees and young idols don't have money to pay for housing even if they wanted to do so.

They are in debt to their company who has invested a lot of money in training them, and they rely on the company for simple things like housing, food and transportation.

4. Especially during promotions, the idols get picked up in the morning and driven to their hair and make-up shops and to their schedules. It's a lot more convenient for the company (who pays for this) if they can all be picked up from the same location.

5. Idols living in dorms are easier to manage and managers will sometimes live with them too. This way there is never any doubt about where they are, and if they're eating the right things.

BTS Bangtan Dorm dance bangtantv choreography in synch cute gif

6. Practices and rehearsals are easier when the idols live together and especially early after debut idols spend days and nights at their company just practicing, which doesn't leave a lot of time to spend at home anyways.

7. Living together reinforces teamwork.

Although living together can make teamwork, it can also break teamwork, which is one of many reasons why some groups decide to move in on their own after a while.


Groups stopping their dorm life

BTS Bangtan Dorm Kim Taehyung alone airport bon voyage hd gif

Some idols choose to live on their own when they can because they lack a private space, since in the dorm they will share rooms and won't have real time just be on their own.

BTS Bangtan Dorm luggage pull Park Jimin Bon Voyage gif

For others, to move out on their own presents a new challenge, like moving away from home for the first time, and not just be dragged along by parents and other members.

Whatever the reasons, if idols move out of their dorms, then they need to pay for their own housing, so only idols who make enough money to pay for themselves, hence only idols who have paid back their company debt, even have the option of moving out of their dorm.

Let's look at an example.

Big Bang, like almost every other Kpop group, started their career by living together in a small apartment. They quickly shot to fame and made money, and four years after their debut, in 2011, they began to move out and live independently.

BTS Bangtan Dorm yellow card Suga J-Hope gif funny

Even so, a few of the members continued to live together. Daesung and Taeyang lived together, and a year later they moved in with Seungri to keep "watch over him" and keep him out of trouble.

By 2014, Seungri and Taeyang still lived in the same building.

Beast (now called Highlight) also began to move out of their dorms after they succeeded, and could afford it.

BTS Bangtan Dorm No reception Suga gif funny

However, during promotion times they would still gather back in a dorm.

Staying in dorms during promotion times is a standard practice as it makes it easier for the company to manage the idols when they have packed schedules. Besides, dorms tend to be conveniently located so idols don't have as long a road in the morning to their make-up and hair artists.

Hence many idols still have dorms, even if no one lives there outside of promotion times anymore.

Sometimes members whose families are not from Seoul will also continue to stay in the dorm as they can't move back to their hometowns even during non promotion times, as their company would be too far away.


Continuing dorm life


Some choose to go beyond this and continue to live together, even after their company agrees to allow them to live on their own.

BTS Bangtan Dorm crying Kim Taehyung V meme

In 2015, Girl's Day said that they moved out of the dorm that their company provided them with, in order to move into an apartment - together.

Their company had offered them to move out of their dorm, but two of the members stayed behind, worried about living alone.

Sojin's and Yura's families both lived far from Seoul and the girls worried that life would be too lonely if they lived alone so they refused to leave the dorm - until they decided to buy an apartment and move in together, all but Minah who lived independently with her sister.

In 2016, they confirmed that they were still living together and joked about now it was time to live on their own, but that living apart would not weaken their bond.

Another prime example of continuously living together is Super Junior. Several of the members have lived together in their dorm(s) for as long as ten years, only leaving when the members each began to head off for their two year mandatory military service.

BTS Bangtan Dorm military choreography dance gif uniforms

But ten years is already a long time (even if it was only some of the members) and few groups come close to having lived together for that long.

Another example is A Pink who, six years after their debut, still live together.