Every girl dreams of being a ballerina when they’re young, twirling and leaping in skirts of lace and satin. For Chae Ji-young that dream came true.
The 18-year-old won the gold medal at the junior women’s segment of the USA 2010 International Ballet Competition in Jacksonville, Mississippi, last Friday, the first Korean to have ever done so at the world-renowned event.
“I never thought I would ever receive a prize such as this,” Chae told Yonhap News Agency, Monday. “It feels really great.
Even though I still have a lot to learn, I will take this as a sign that I need to continue to do my best.” The Korean ballerina began her dance education at the age of 7, when she was inspired by the Gala Show, performed by the Korea National Ballet at the National Theater of Korea, with her father. She began entering competitions by the time she was in elementary school and her talents quickly drew her to overseas as well as domestic events.
Her first round in the competition saw a paired piece with Kim Ki-min, 17, for “Fire of Paris,” which earned them an award for best junior couple. Round two was a modern “Paganini,” while three was: “Diana and Actaeon.” “I was very happy because as the performance ended and I came out, I ran into members of the audience who all said, ‘You were magnificent,’ ‘Really awesome,’ and ‘I was happy to get to see the performance.”’ The competition, first established in 1964 in Bulgaria, is now among the most prestigious of ballet events. It is held every four years in Mississippi, though it used to rotate through partner cities, such as New York, Helsinki and Shanghai.
The young dancer is a fellow student with Kim at the Korea National University of Arts and has previously won silver and bronze awards from Japan’s Hokuoka Competition and first place in the Italia Roma International.
Prospects only look brighter in this ballerina’s future. “I haven’t thought about which foreign or domestic ballet company I’d like to go to.” Chae said. “Since I’m still a student, for now I need to graduate.”
Source: koreatimes + usaibc