On 9th July 2021, BTS released the song “Permission to Dance” and it broke 100 million views in an hour since it was released. This MV has been praised by millions of people around the world not only because of the song but also because of the sign language BTS used while performing it.
This song is about everybody staying strong amid a pandemic situation that has lasted for well over a year and announcing the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sign language in this song has moved deaf communities around the world. In the video members all sang “na na na,” the group performs choreography that incorporates the signs for “enjoy,” “dance,” and “peace.”
“Enjoy” is expressed by a gesture in which the hands are moved up and down over the body in a scratching gesture with the thumb extended and the other fingers half curled. “Dance” is a gesture where two fingers on the right-hand move left to right over the “stage” represented by the left palm, while “peace” is a “V” sign with both hands.
As 1.5 billion people in the world are affected by hearing loss; sign language can help them to continue enjoying music which can bring joy to life and to bring across the lyric about “enjoy” to deaf fans, the members have to really signal the enjoyment with their faces.
One of the deaf users commented on her channel that facial expressions “are the most important thing in sign language. BTS did a really good job of expressing an energetic feeling and faces of enjoyment.”
Many deaf users on social media posted a number of videos where they dance along with the sign language moves.
One of the social media users also commented saying, “My cousin watched the video and was so happy, saying, ‘Look, they’re telling me to dance.’ I’ve been crying after hearing that.”
Kim Dong-ho, a sign language interpreter also talked about the song saying, “Some deaf people saw it first and shared the video with me.”
The sign language that was used to express a message of oneness was not particularly special and BTS helped to bridge that distance this time by using sign language in choreography that suits the lyrics so that deaf people can pick up on the meaning immediately and join in the enjoyment.
The signs used in “Permission to Dance” come from International Sign (IS), which serves as a lingua franca along similar lines to English. Another tidbit that Army members share concerns the differences with the signs used in KSL to express concepts like “dance” and “peace.”
“Permission to Dance” sign language has proven effective in encouraging members of the Army’s all-around to develop an interest in signing.
The effort by BTS is even more important at a time when deaf people who rely on lip-reading have been experiencing particular communication difficulties due to the mask-wearing requirements of the pandemic era.
You can sense the sincerity of their intentions in the way they used International signs to share music with deaf people around the world. They have considerably showcased to the social disadvantage and to people who receive less attention which is incredible!