LIFE ON POINTE Episode 3 | Summer Edition

Partner: Gabe Salazar 

Hey Everyone! I cannot believe we are 3/4’s done with this intensive! In some ways, it has flown by, but that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been hard and long days.

This week, we had a mix of yoga, cardio, and pilates all in the early morning as our warm up, and I have to say as I’ve done this every day for three weeks, it’s gotten so much easier. It’s still hard, but it isn’t as painful, the soreness isn’t as prominent, and I actually feel stronger when I do it.

For ballet classes this week, I did have a day where I sat out. I was having incredibly sharp pains in my stomach and every step I took was so painful. I did do a bit of contemporary that day, but it still was prominently painful. I did learn a lot by sitting and watching, but when I did dance, I learned that I use way too much energy in certain movements that don’t require as much force or energy. It helped me dance from a place of relaxation rather than horrible tenseness in every muscle, and I wasn’t as tired at the end of class.

We had character for two days, and to be honest, it wasn’t my favorite. I found myself a bit bored, although I did do the movements which our teacher said was nice.

We had contemporary for the rest of the week, and it was amazing. The teacher had us improv the entire class, and then she gave us tasks to use in our improv. We had to create letters using our bodies, and we came up with some pretty cool stuff. We got paired up for “duets” that were not meant to go together, but there was one particular couple that was so amazing, I actually cried watching it. It was so beautiful, so moving, and somehow so in sync with each other; keep in mind that they’d never seen each other’s pieces as well. UGH!!! I actually have chills thinking about it.

Pas De Deux on Friday was really hard! Our teacher was different, and his combinations were so much harder. At the end, he told us we were going to do a flying fish from the ground. I wasn’t able to capture the full thing, but I started on the ground, and my partner’s job was to pull me up and “throw me,” all while I jumped. I would be in the air for a split second before he’d catch me, and he did, which, we were both impressed that we nailed it. It was terrifying at first, but once we got the coordination, made the eye contact, and rode the same wavelength, we nailed it four more times.

We had four variation classes as well, and we learned the Tchaikovsky Variation from the Tchaikovsky Pas De Deux, which is my favorite variation of all time. We also learned the Sylvia Variation, which is all relevés and hops on pointe, which was actually really painful. My toes were so numb after that variation, it hurt more that when my feet were in the shoes.

This week overall was a fun week, and I hope you enjoyed watching this episode! I love you all, and I’ll see you next week for the Summer Finale!

xoxo

Sung Eun Rose

Los Angeles Ballet Academy Summer Intensive Update: Week 2

Featuring: Gabriel Ramirez (a.k.a. partner #7)

Hey Guys! So, my level and I survived week 2! We had eleven (in total) this week in our (red) level, and it was really awesome.

We had several toning and strengthening classes this week, such as pilates, yoga, cardio (which was supposed to be belly dancing [so glad we didn’t], but she got sick), and injury prevention. I think that one was my favorite. We learned techniques on how to help relieve the tenseness in our muscles and joints and also how to help each other properly release tension and tightness.

Each morning ballet class, our teachers rode our tails, which is what they’re supposed to do of course, but you feel it a lot more when there are less people. We had several different teachers, and for pointe it was the same. Some days I had the satisfaction of nailing triple pirouettes on pointe, and some days I fell over. It happens!

For Pas De Deux (partnering), it was very difficult, at least for me. I partnered one of the days with my master teacher, and discovered my weaknesses. The other times I partnered with two other partners/friends of mine, and some of the exercises were good, and some of them were terrible. It’s all a learning experience, and as long as you learn something, that’s what’s important.

Three of the five days we had Flamenco, which was actually very difficult. I have great respect now for flamenco dancers and their ability to coordinate and perform with such precision and clarity. The other two days we had contemporary, which was actually really fun. Our teacher made up a really cool combo and I loved performing it about thirteen times (in total).

This week overall was really good. For whatever reason, I was mentally and physically exhausted and drained, feeling really sleepy pretty much every day. But, I’m happy to be home for a day and a half to get some true rest and rejuvenation.

xoxo

Sung Eun Rose

Los Angeles Ballet Academy Summer Intensive Update: Week 1

What an amazingly hard week it has been!

So, as you all know (or at least, you should know!), I have been in Los Angeles for the last week and I’ll be there for the next three weeks as well for the Los Angeles Ballet Academy summer intensive and boy, was it intense this week!

The first day was great. There were only seven (technically six, long story) people in our level, which we were all excited about but we were also thinking, “Oh shoot, we’re going to die.” Tuesday came and all of us were so freaking sore, to the point where I’m not sure I’ve been that sore in years. We had an amazing week of pilates, ballet, contemporary, and jazz with some amazing teachers. Believe me when I say they worked us.

I’m so looking forward to tomorrow!!! You’ll know why next week! But I hope you all enjoy the first summer episode of Life On Pointe! I love you guys, and thank you all for the support!

xoxo

Sung Eun Rose

I Failed?! (Thank You)

You guys know that back in March, I took my Advanced II exam. If you watched that Vlog, you’ll know that I had some pointe shoe drama. Well, my exam results came in about a couple weeks ago, and I failed the exam.

STANDARD NOT ATTAINED

My teacher texted me that morning and told me the news. To be honest, I’d already prepared myself as soon as I left the exam room for the possibility that I would fail. Of course, I also was hoping that the examiner would forgive the technical difficulty, but that was not the case. I wasn’t at all surprised, but I did feel a bit irritated. Not with the examiner, but with the situation.

The scoring of the exam works like this: if you fail one section, you fail the whole exam. You can score as high as 10/10 points. This was my score chart:

Technique 1: Barre   9/10

Technique 2: Port De Bras, Center Practice, Pirouettes:    8/10

Technique 3: Adage   7/10

Technique 4: Allegro 1, 2, 3 & 4   8/10

Technique 5: Pointe Barre, Enchainment 1 & 2     4/10

Technique 6: Pointe    3/10 (Failed)

Music:    9/10

Performance:    9/10

Variation Technique:    4/10

Variation Performance:    9/10

Total Score: 70% (Standard Not Attained)

Had I not failed my pointe technique score, I would’ve passed with a distinction. I was talking to my best friend about this and he asked me (in my opinion) if it was worst to fail or pass with a merit. I honestly feel like failing was better than passing with a merit, and I answered that with confidence.

I am so proud of myself. I have never seen four 9/10 scores in one exam before, and my score of 8/10 for Allegro 1, 2, & 3 is the highest jumping score I’ve ever had. Though the paper says that I did not meet the standards of passing, I don’t see it as failing. I see it as overcoming hurdles I didn’t think I could overcome.

The next step is to retake the exam next year. I’m excited to reach my goal of getting distinction and moving on to Solo Seal!

And to those of you who read my Facebook/Instagram/Snapchat post on this, thank you so very much for the messages of encouragement and inspiring posts you sent to me. Thank you for your support, your love, and for your kind words. I took each and every message to heart and was overwhelmed by you. I’m so glad that you guys have found inspiration in my failures!

xoxo

Sung Eun Rose

My Last Mock Exam… 02/27/17 A Life On Pointe Special

 

Hey guys!

How in the world have I made it here? That is the question I’ve been asking myself for the past month. I’ve been doing exams since I was nine years old, and I’m almost seventeen. Like… what?!

I’ve grown up. The night before my mock exam, I was looking back on footage from my Intermediate Foundation (a.k.a. years ago) on Facebook and I started crying. I was such a baby then, and now I’m a big girl… chasing hard after a childhood dream.

When I got into the LABA studio, I couldn’t hold back my joy. I was giggling and giddy and I just couldn’t believe that I was about to do this again. I have a lot of good memories in that particular room; from flashbacks of the first time I met Mr. Pegler and Ms. Andrea back in 2014, to past exams with my friend Renee, to late night and sometimes delirious partnering classes, I suddenly felt so overwhelmed with things to be thankful for.

I decided to just let go of all the doubts trying to creep into my head and I danced, feeling each and every movement. I can honestly say that I am proud of the way I performed that morning, even when I had some drama.

(haha, funny story… sort of)

My pointe shoes decided they wanted to die during my fouettes. When my mom went to order a new pair, I found out that my Russian Pointes are being discontinued. I got really frazzled and stressed out, which then effected the rest of my dancing. Once the session was over, we hopped in the car and went to the Dance Store.

Thanks to the lovely Jenny at the Dance Store and Mr. Pegler’s shoe choice, I found a brand new shoe that I love even more. I had my regular classes plus partnering class that night, so I was able to wear them and get a true feel of what dancing in them are like. They’re completely different from what I’m used to, but I love them.

I feel ready. Tomorrow, I’m taking the exam. I’ve never felt more nervous or excited for an exam in my life. I’m coming face to face with the dragon, and I know that I can take it down. Thanks to my teachers and their patience in training me, I know I am ready. Thanks to my friends, I know I am supported. Thanks to my family, I know I am loved.

And thanks to you, I know that I’m ready to kill this thing. I love you all, and thank you for all of the support you have shown to me in the last year. Keep me in your prayers and wish me good luck!

xoxo

Sung Eun Rose

Life On Pointe: What Inspired It

 

Before I started making YouTube videos, I would watch hours of ballet documentaries, YAGP classical and contemporary variations, classes from different ballet companies on YouTube, and Joy Womack’s vlogs.

Joy Womack’s daily vlogs got me thinking about starting my own channel in the beginning. I thought it was such an amazing idea to get the world of ballet back into the world. It makes me so sad that a lot of people are so uneducated in ballet. People don’t realize how much energy, emotion, and time goes into this art, especially when you want to become a professional.

Joy Womack’s vlogs shows the daily life of a prima ballerina. My LIFE ON POINTE series shows the life of an aspiring professional dancer. I love filming LIFE ON POINTE videos for you guys, and I’m so glad that so many of you are enjoying it.

I want to show people through my series the real, raw process of what it takes to become a dancer. Granted, my situation is much different from the average aspiring pro dancer. i.e. Most dancers don’t have to dance on crooked wood flooring, tiny space, and a baby running around.

P.S. There’s gonna be a new baby introduced to the LIFE ON POINTE family very soon!!!

I hope you guys have been enjoying the last ten episodes of LIFE ON POINTE! I can’t wait to show you guys more of what I’m working on, and also, I’m really excited to continue my Advanced II journey with you all!

FAQ: Will You be doing another Exam Vlog?

Answer: Absolutely!!!

I love you guys lots!

xoxo

Sung Eun Rose

P.S. This is my bedroom where I practice a ton of exercises! You know that odd little thing that sticks out into my makeup tutorials? Yep, that’s my ballet barre! Thanks to my amazing Dad for building it for me.

Check out Joy Womack’s Channel!

www.youtube.com/joywomack 

Let Me Just Tell You About My Teacher… A Birthday Note (Blogmas Day 21)

In the nearly 10 years I’ve been with Ms. Jana, we’ve been through a ton together. In our first studio at Lenore Smith’s, she got me my first role in the Moscow Ballet Nutcracker as a little snowflake. She then continued to teach me as we went all around town, literally dancing in places that include the street, closets, waiting rooms, on broken grocery store tiles in a disgusting dance studio on the east side of town, in the building right above Dagny’s, in a belly dancing studio next to a construction site, and finally, in her own backyard, where Gloria the Chicken used to sit in the window and watch ballet class. Yes, all of this has taken place, no over-exaggeration.

In those years, I watched her grow to be the teacher she is today, and she’s watched me grow from a teeny-tiny baby to the young dancer I’ve become. She finally convinced my Mom to put me in the Royal Academy of Dance Exams, and I started in Grade 3. I got my very first certificate with my very first distinction. That’s when I decided that this was what I wanted to do, and I’ve done it ever since.

Ms. Jana is not great because she’s gotten me five distinctions and two high merits. She’s not a great teacher because of her skill level, although both these things are part of it. She’s a great teacher because she will stand beside you every single day and build you up. When you’re feeling frustrated and you break down in the middle of class, she’ll get up and give you a hug. She’s a great teacher because she’ll walk with you to the end of your journey.

She tells me often that she believes in me, that she’s proud of me, that she often thinks about what will happen after my RAD journey is over. Well, now it’s my turn.

Ms. Jana, I believe in you. I always have, and I always will. I’ve always believed that you can help me fulfill my dreams of becoming a professional ballerina, and I still do. You’ve stood beside me for all these years in all my frustrations with dance and life and whatever else has happened. One day I may be in a company, and I’ll be doing something in class that will remind me of you. I’ll see something another teacher or dancer does, and I’ll think of you. I’ll be sitting in class with some amazing teacher and think, “Jana’s still the best.” Thank you for standing beside me, for continuing to stand beside me, in all the craziness of both our lives. Thank you for giving me the journey of a lifetime. I’m so proud of you, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Happy Birthday Ms. Jana. I hope it’s the best one you’ve ever had.

Love Your Most Faithful and Hard Working Student 😉

Sung Eun Rose

P.S. To my readers who are dancers, go and thank your teachers. You don’t have to give them a gift or a card or a gift card, but go up to them, look them in the eyes, and say thank you. It’s the least you can do for everything they do for you.

I need your help…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Give the girl the right pair of shoes and she’ll conquer the world.         -Marilyn Monroe

Hey guys!  Today, I wanted to share with you something that I need your help with. I get asked all the time by friends of mine and friends of my family on how they can support my dance career non-financially. For a while, that was difficult to answer because the truth is, dance is not cheap. From pointe shoes to tuition to private lessons to dance wear and more, people can spend up to thousands of dollars a month. Yes, a month. However, I found a great way for you all to help me out.

RUSSIAN POINTE AMBASSADOR 

Every year, a dancer can spend up to anywhere between 1-3,000+ dollars a year on pointe shoes, depending on how strong and flexible your feet are, and how often you dance. This is on top of how much we spend on tuition, dance wear, and other fees. As I said, dance is expensive.

Most pointe shoe  and dance wear companies & manufacturers sponsor and support dancers by giving them a position as an ambassador. The job of the ambassador is to promote the company’s merchandise (leotards, tights, shoes, etc.) and in return (depending on the company), they get free merchandise for a certain amount of time.

WHY I LOVE RUSSIAN POINTE

Since January, I went back and forth between Grishko and Russian Pointe. One of my teachers didn’t like the Grishko brand on my feet. So I decided to continue with Russian Pointe. I found that they are extremely comfortable and fit very well. My foot size is a bit awkward, but Russian Pointe is amazing. Not to mention they are much harder shoes and last much longer. They make my feet look beautiful and I am in love with the brand.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

It’s extremely simple. Go to your Instagram app and follow my account, @sungeunrose. Then share with your friends and family! Please follow my Facebook page, Sung Eun Rose (facebook.com/sungeunroseblog) and share my articles and my YouTube videos, subscribe to my blog and YouTube Channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdbXHOE3-spCFkCtkdOPR6g), & share my photos and videos on Instagram! And if I get up to 700+ followers by October 1st, I will be qualified to apply for a position as a Russian Pointe Ambassador. Your subscriptions will help me earn a sponsorship of sorts, which will help me out in my career as a dancer.

Thanks guys for being interested in my life. You guys are the best. Special thanks to my family and friends for helping me out. I have the best support system in the world, so, thank you.

Sincerely,

Sung Eun Rose

The Next Step

IMG_0354

There are some massive changes coming in the near future. Some of them are already here.

Coming out of American Ballet Theatre’s summer intensive this year, I had a lot of realizations in regards to not only dance, but also in my life. As I am headed into my Junior Year of High School, I am thinking about the next phase of my life.

FACING CHANGES

One of the major changes of this next year was quitting ballet at one of my home studios. The class times changed, and I just couldn’t fit it into my schedule. Therefore, I will be attending my classes at my other two home studios, Revolution Ballet Academy and Los Angeles Ballet Academy. I plan to take private lessons with a couple of incredible teachers that I’ve had the pleasure of working with as well.

Is it hard leaving? Yes. Even though it was an incredibly hard year, the reality is that I attended that studio for four years, and friendships were made there that I will never lose, and memories were made there that I will never forget. Sometimes you get so comfortable at a certain place, you don’t realize the other incredible opportunities that are laid out right before. I will continue my modern class there, but I will not be performing in their performances and showcases.

Another major change is that I am heading into my Advanced II examination season. I can’t believe it, this season will mark seven years of examining with the Royal Academy of Dance. This year’s exam is the most important exam for me because it determines whether or not I can enter into the next phase: Solo Seal. Completing the Solo Seal Examination has been a dream of mine ever since I started examinations. In order to enter, I must complete Advanced II with a Distinction. I will be working harder than ever this year to achieve that goal.

On top of this, I will also be writing for a website called My Trending Stories. I was approached by them in late July and was asked to write for their website. So as I write for my blog and film for my Youtube Channel, I will also be writing for My Trending Stories. I am also starting a makeup business in partnership with Motives Cosmetics and helping my mom out with her skincare business. Yes, I like staying busy.

With all of these things that I am doing, I have decided to cut back on YouTube and upload only once a month. The biggest reason why is because I am not super happy with how my videos have been turning out, and with excellence being one of my core values, I want the videos to be good quality, fun, and interesting to watch.

FINDING INSPIRATION

Last year was probably one of the hardest dance seasons I’ve ever had. I was battling injuries left and right, three of which prevented me from dancing for three months, which meant lost time of preparation for my Advanced I exam and no Nutcracker.

However, I filmed most of my classes last year, and when I compare them from the last nine years of footage my mom and dad have taken, I get so overjoyed when I see how far I’ve come. When I think of all I’ve been through, from my first show at seven performing with the Moscow Ballet in the Nutcracker to entering the court as Raymonda with ABT, I realize that I am the luckiest person alive. I may dance in a studio about the size of my living room, I may dance on uneven floors, and there may even be a baby running circles around me while I perform my fouetté, but all of this is training for the real thing. It teaches me to not take anything for granted—big spaces, master teachers, pianists, etc. People may say that my situation is impossible, and yeah, sometimes it sucks, but I can honestly say that my “situation” has made me the dancer I am today.

I may not have gotten the score I wanted for my Advanced I, and I may have cried about it for a week. But right now, it doesn’t matter. Advanced I is history, Advanced II is now. And this year, I am going to work my butt off, and I will achieve the goal I set for myself years ago.

MY TIPS FOR DANCE CLASS

TIP NUMBER 1: Every year, I make a list of goals for myself. It’s a great way to inspire you, but sometimes, at least for me, I give up on some because I’m not ready for them. Set realistic goals for yourself. The biggest mistake you can make is trying to take on something that you may not be ready for. Everyone is different. Some people can achieve doing 32 fouetté at 13, and some people can achieve them at 16 or 17 (me).

TIP NUMBER 2: Ask your teacher if you can take notes in class. Sometimes they’ll say something amazing and it clicks, but then when you try to remember it, you can’t. It’s so frustrating. For me, I record class with my camera, but you can also turn on your voice memos and leave that on. *NOTE: if you want to record class with a camera, be sure to ask your teacher and fellow dancers first.*

TIP NUMBER 3: At the end of class, ask your teacher what they think you need to work on. It shows that you have work ethic and you actually care about what they have to say. Also, if you have a question on how to make a correction, don’t be afraid to ask! The worst thing ever is when you try and correct it when you don’t understand it, and you end up using the wrong muscles and wind up on the sidelines injured. Trust me guys, I am speaking from personal experience! I have done this before, and it got me injured. ASK QUESTIONS!!!

TIP NUMBER 4: While you’re waiting for your turn to do the combination, watch the group from the point of view as a teacher. I do it all the time, and it helps me make mental notes of the corrections that are being given. Usually, I look for flaws in people’s technique, and I make a mental note to not make the same mistake. If you are allowed to record yourself in class, watch yourself with the same perspective, and you will catch things that you like and don’t like.

If you all want to see my Q&A addition, click play to watch!