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…

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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

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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!

 

American Ballet Theatre Summer Intensive Update Week 3: 8/12/16

I can’t believe it’s over…

Hey everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful week! Well, here is the 3rd and final post for American Ballet Theatre’s Summer Intensive Update! I can’t believe how fast these past three weeks have gone. Even though I went back home and got a cold in August, it was still a great week.

The first day back, I had a slight fever, chills, you know, the whole bit. What sucked was that I had a rehearsal later that day as well, and also another variations class. So I decided to save my energy for later and sat out of my technique classes. Don’t worry, I took notes.

Later on, I put on my pointe shoes and performed my roles (a court dancer and a queen). The role of entering the court as queen wasn’t hard at all, but the court dancer part was. Nonetheless, I performed feeling absolutely terrible and I surprised myself with how well I’d done. I know it wasn’t perfect, but I don’t care. I felt like I was at my worst and I pushed through it. Hearing the teacher telling me I did a good job was enough for me.

The week went on, and the more I danced, the more I felt better. I realized that it’s all in my head. If I think I will do poorly because I feel poorly, then I will do poorly. One of our teachers earlier on (as well as my wonderful mother for the last nine years) told us that when you have bad days, you have to change the way you think. I was put to the test, and honestly, I feel as though I passed.

Dress rehearsals were actually good, and the teacher was pleased, which made our whole level ecstatic. Friday was the day of the Showcase. We had an excellent warm-up (final) class. For me (and for others), it was extremely emotional. We got ready for the first show where I was to enter the court with my partner as the “queen.” Going on stage and performing that part was a surreal experience for me. It may have been short, but it was still, in my opinion, the most amazing experience I’d ever had. Maybe it was because I was chosen by the teachers from ABT— I don’t know.

After the show, we had a couple hours to kill, so we had a dance party. It was so much fun, and I realized how many people here I was going to miss… ALL OF THEM!!! I even took videos so I could document this experience and so I could look back on it in the future.

I was more nervous for the second show where I performed as one of the court dancers. The steps were unnerving, and before this intensive, I’d never done them. The difficulty of the steps were harder than some of my studios had ever given, which was both exciting and nerve racking.

As soon as I went out onto that stage, the fear melted away and it became fun. Dancing alongside my friends was an incredible feeling, and I wished that it would never end. When we took our final bows, it hit me that this was over. On Monday, I would be back home, and the rest of my friends would be scattered all over the world. It literally made me cry.

This summer intensive was such an emotional experience. For once, I was having fun. I was letting go, performing in ways I didn’t know I could. I met so many amazing people I can now call friends. All the teachers’ encouragement made me feel like all the crap I’d gone through in the last year was all worth it. For once, I felt understood by people who know exactly what it’s like to be in the world I want to live in.

Thank you American Ballet Theatre for this wonderful experience. I learned so much and I am incredibly blessed and honored to have worked with such incredible teachers and dancers.

Rate: 15/15

Sincerely,

Sung Eun Rose

Featuring: American Ballet Theatre’s Violet Level Dancers, Julie Kent, Duncan Lyle (teachers)

American Ballet Theatre Summer Intensive Update 2: 8/7/16

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Hello Everyone!!!!

My gosh, it’s been an incredible week. I can’t even describe the way I feel right now. Grateful, excited, appreciated, and loved.

All of our technique classes for both flat and pointe have been pretty solid. There was one day that I didn’t feel quite myself, but I quickly pushed through the point of exhaustion and stiffness to power and strength. Who knew?!

Our partnering classes this week were no joke. It was full on, real work. Being someone that rarely partners, it’s been so amazing working with the amazing teachers and our patient partners. I had the same guy twice in a row and I gotta say, he’s an incredible partner (shown in photo).

We only had two repertoire classes (thankfully), and we got our casts. They are not going easy on us at all, and I actually love it. It’s pushed me to my limits and has shown me what I am truly capable of.

I’ve learned so much in every one of my classes. In my notebook, I have pages of notes. It’s kind of ridiculous, but it will be helpful to look back on.

Even jazz and modern (which are not my forte) were super amazing. As I said in last week’s update, my goal for this year was to let loose and have fun. Well, I did exactly that, and it was the best decision I’ve ever made. Guys, little tip: HAVE FUN!!!!

We had a new class added: Variations. Both classes were at the end of the day, so in all honesty, I was scared to death of how it was going to go. Surprisingly, it was actually enjoyable and I learned a lot. Like, the second day of Variations, I decided to try both. The second one was fast and the difficulty was (for me) out of this world. I decided to have fun and perform it, and I didn’t realize I could perform with such character.

I know… it’s weird for me too, guys. I was literally blushing with embarrassment. But, I realized that if I didn’t push myself to do that variation, I wouldn’t have known that I had that level of performance in me.

I’ve learned so much about myself as a dancer that I know will help me. It makes me so excited to go back home and show off all that I’ve learned. Honestly, the teachers have been so incredibly generous with how much information they’ve offered, and the people I dance with every day make each day more fun and interesting. You never know what might happen. There’s always something new every day.

We only have one week left!!! Where did time go??!!

Until next week,

Sung Eun Rose

Featuring: Jake Ray

 

American Ballet Theatre Summer Intensive Update 1: 07/31/16

Hey everyone!

I told you all that I was going to American Ballet Theatre Summer Intensive in Irvine, California. In just one week, I’ve learned so much, met so many great people, and honestly, I’ve had a whole lot of fun.

I’ve been to ABTSI last year as well. I was battling an injury, so I was unable to continue with all of my classes. One of the things last year I learned was that I over-tuck my pelvis, and my placement was off. After the intensive, I went to physical therapy to get stronger and to fix it. My body freaked out and swelling appeared. However, there was no pain. After a frustrating few months of no dancing, I finally went back, and it took a lot of time to fix my placement. I took my RAD exam (you can check out my blog post “Where I Dreamed” under VLOGS) and didn’t get the score that I wanted. At this point, I was emotionally and physically exhausted.

Skipping a few months ahead, the ABT intensive finally arrived. Honestly, I wasn’t sure how it was going to go. I was worried that I would constantly be exhausted, much like my normal dance life back at home. But this week, I’ve been so refreshed.

Sometimes you need a change of perspective and scenery, different teachers, and extra encouragement. Being on the UCI campus where the studios are nice and large and beautiful makes me feel so free and excited about dance. Even though it’s only week one, it’s been an honor to be instructed by the teachers ABT has provided for us. I’ve learned so much, and already, I can’t wait to go back home to show my teachers.

The first day was Placement Class and Injury Prevention. The second day, we found out our levels, and our day consisted of Ballet Flat Technique, Pas De Deux (partnering), Repertoire, and Jazz. All of these classes were absolutely incredible. Pas De Deux is something I rarely get to do, so getting to do partnering here at ABTSI is such an awesome experience. For repertoire, we are learning excerpts of Raymonda.

For the rest of the week, we had technique class everyday, both flat and pointe. We always have an hour for lunch each day, which is nice, even though it’s such a long walk to the cafeteria. The afternoons consist of different things: yoga, pilates, anatomy, repertoire, jazz, modern, character, and more.

Not only are our instructors incredible, but I’ve met some amazing people here as well. I’ve met so many more people than last year, and I am so incredibly excited about new friendships from all over the world- literally.

The best advice I’ve been given this year was to have fun. I have a hard time letting loose and letting go. But I’m so grateful I’ve gotten to meet great friends who help me let loose and don’t care. So, that’s what I’ve been doing, and it has totally changed the way I feel. I feel happier and more excited about dance.

One of our teachers, Duncan Lyle (a professional dancer at ABT) told us that there are going to be the days where we feel horrible. His advice: put on a smile and nod. Think about what you’re thankful for. Above all, make sure you have fun. I had to do that this week, and it’s the best advice. It really works. I promise.

More updates to come!

Sung Eun Rose

Featuring: Alyssa Barton, Leah Hill, & Nikki Rosenbloom