“Chunmoo” Stephanie announces her return to the music scene with her group members of CSJH The Grace. Stephanie has been receiving therapy in the United States for a chronic back injury that forced her to halt concert activities with CSJH in Japan in March 2009 and SM Town concerts.
Over her period of recovery, Stephanie took up ballet again with the LA Ballet Dance club. Stephanie’s nickname “Chunmoo Stephanie” comes from her strong dancing background and abilities. Popular clips of her dancing on Korean variety shows such as “X-Man” and “Love Letter” can still be found on Youtube.
Below is an article about Stephanie’s past and journey, and her statements regarding her plans.
Idol Returning as a Ballerina Kim Bo Kyung
Ten years as a Ballerina, Stephanie became a member of CSJH – During Japanese promotions injured her back, after 2 years has had a heartfelt successful rehabilitation – She auditioned and made it into the LA Ballet dance team – Folding her dreams as a singer, knocking on it again
Back that felt like it was dragging her body down. Not being able to maintain her body due to fatigue. Breaking into sweat in the cold practice rooms and collapsing to the floor.
Cheers and applause from fans felt as if they were fading. Losing consciousness within these thoughts.
In winter 2008 in Tokyo, Japan near a practice room. With a large concert ahead, the 4 member groups were preoccupied with practice, but one member injured her back. All activities were halted. Nabbing the Asian market was only a hands reach away, but the dream quickly collapsed. The frustration of it felt bigger than the pain in her back.
Dancing was her all, but not being able to do so, cried everyday. At the end of her struggles, she chose to go to the states, where her family resides.
Little by little, within her family, she has found stability. For 2 years she held onto rehabilitating. Winning the challenge of recovering was as sweet as a fruit.
Last month, she auditioned for the LA Ballet Dance club and came out on top as the only Korean dancer among hundreds and placed her name on the list.
It is SM Entertainment’s 4 member group CSJH The Grace’s member CheonMu Stephanie (23, Korean name Kim Bo Kyung) is that woman.
Ballet Loving Maiden
At the age of 5, Stephanie first put on her ballet slippers.
She has danced ballet for 10 years prior to being chosen by SME at the age of 16.
She was happy with just dancing.
She enjoyed learning the dances of stars on TV and has practiced dancing on her own.
That is how she met ballet. It was as if it were fate that she came across ballet.
In 1999, she followed her family and immigrated to Southern California, San Diego.
She was able to take great ballet classes there. As if they were gifts, in the San Diego region Black Mountain Dancing Center, she has built talent and skills.
At the age of 12, she won the highest (DaeSang) award at a competition that was sponsored by famous associations. She has then performed as a soloist in the Southern California Youth Ballet.
“Since I loved ballet and was able to keep doing it, I did the best I could. I was happy to be able to get on stage.”
Her skills have garnered the attention of many.
Back in 2000, she performed in the Nutcracker in an early summer night. She was praised by the Union Tribune.
In 2003, she was scouted for the Boston Ballet Dance School.
She said her skills must be/is in her genes.
“My mother majored in vocal music (?), so maybe this is how I inherited my (distinct ballet skills(?))” She said.
“I was always interested in music or dancing, so I was able to start them at a very young age because of my mother. I thank my parents for the skills I have and had a great time practicing and performing on stage.”
From Ballerina to Idol
Ballet being the only thing quickly changed.
In 2004, SME held a Best Youth Contest at Orange County.
She won best song (?) and was picked.
She was attending San Diego Rancho Bernardo High School at that time.
“I accidentally got into doing it and got to win an award and was asked to become a singer in Korea.”
“In between ballet and singing, I thought a lot about it. But for the bigger dream of going to Korea, I temporarily folded my ballet dreams. Even now, I would have still chosen to become a singer.” She confessed.
With receiving praise for her singing and dancing, she triumphantly did well in Korea.
Only being a trainee for one year, she was able to debut as a singer. SM was looking for a 4th member for CSJH to break into the Asian market. Being the best at choreography, she acquired the name “CheonMu Stephanie.” It means Heaven’s Dance.
She was the only member with no past experience in the Korean entertainment.
“Living in Korea was a whole new experience. But thanks to ballet, I wasn’t nervous nor shook. I was already fit for performing. The experiences I’ve had in Korea are unforgettable memories.
After debuting, she has gone on various programs. While showing her dancing and flexibility (?) was able to rise. She was naturally able to gain a strong/warm fanbase. With a goal of breaking into the Asian market, was able to succeed.
Recovering Injury and Ballet
In their advancement in Japan, CSJH held a few concerts and heightened their popularity.
They were able to schedule their first tour.
“In Japan, we lived their for 3 years we slowly found our spot from the bottom and was holding our first concert at that time. Members were overflowing with motivation.”
But through those motivations were faults. They held unnecessary practices and put stress onto her back.
“I exercised at this time when my back wasn’t even in good condition and continuously practiced dancing, so I think that resulted in injuring my back. I was given time to rest, but it was not getting any better. So I had no choice but to return to the states to my family.”
Living in the states was no picnic(?) either.
Due to the pain in her back, it was uncomfortable. For months she never set foot out of her home. She was far from being able to dance. Tears would not stop flowing and fell into depression. The one thing that was able to help her back up was ballet.
“In order to move my body again, I went through therapy to rehabilitate. During that time I visited the ballet school I went to when I was a kid. It’s been years since I’ve left that school, but nothing changed.
With the encouragement from the company, she slipped back on her ballet slippers. She followed the advice of the director and acquired a certificate.
“Restarting ballet, it felt like I was returning back home. I’ve been working on ballet and recoring. Eventually in 2 years, I was able to finish rehabiliating and was able to dance again.”
With her body becoming more healthy, she was able to gain confidence. She started studying and with the support (?) from the Korean Arts University, was able to feel the happiness and what it is like to be a college student. Taking absence/leave from school, she went back to the states and in the Los Angeles Ballet aduitioned in “The Nutcracker.” She has once again been able to raise her name as the only Korean ballerina.
“I am determined to give it my all in whatever casting I receive as a ballerina. To everyone who has supported me when I was on stage, I will pay you back. After finishing this year-end (?) performance, next year I will return back as a singer to once again take up a new challenge in my dreams as a singer.”
With dreams of becoming a future ballet director, “Within a hard and tiring circumstance/situation, in order to acquire my dreams, I am working hard. I want to become an outstanding example to Koreans. Please watch me rising back up like a roly-poly(?).”