During a livestream on July 13, ATEEZ‘s main dancer and vocalist Yunho shared the inspiring story of what led him to become a K-Pop trainee.
Born in Gwangju, in the southwest area of South Korea, Yunho explained that he knew from a young age — around the third grade — that he enjoyed singing more than studying, and felt that studying just wasn’t for him.
Unfortunately, when he told this to his parents and grandparents and asked if they would enroll him in an academy to learn about singing, they didn’t approve of his interest and wanted him to focus on his education.
Despite this, however, he was able to enroll in an academy in Gwangju, which is also where he met fellow future ATEEZ member Mingi as many fans know about!
Despite his lack of experience, Yunho’s vocal teacher at the academy took good care of him and taught him well, and even suggested to him that he might want to attend a performing arts school, such as SOPA (School of Performing Arts) or Hanlim Arts School, both in Seoul.
While he originally just focused on singing, when he and his fellow students at the academy was sent to a workshop by the academy’s director, those running the workshop were impressed by his singing and suggested that he learn dancing as well. By this time he was in his later middle school years, and he agreed with what they suggested and started learning how to dance.
He quickly found that he loved dancing, and that it helped to relieve his stress. Yunho worked hard with his dance instructor to improve his skills, along with his singing abilities, in order to apply for a performing arts school in the future.
After one semester of intense practicing, he was one of 500 people to try and get into SOPA, where only 38 participants would be picked to join the prestigious high school. Even though he doubted his abilities and worried that he wouldn’t be accepted, Yunho ended up being one of the 38 chosen!
Fortunately his grandparents lived in Seoul, and though they were initially against him pursuing an education in performance, they allowed him to come live with him after he was accepted into SOPA.
After working even harder during high school in both his singing and dancing abilities, Yunho applied to become a trainee at KQ Entertainment, and the rest is history!
After sharing this story with fans during the livestream, Yunho concluded with inspirational words.
So for our ATINYs too, if you have something that you want to challenge, be confident and don’t be worried about failing. Since it’s something that you want to do, if you challenge it, there will be a good outcome. Our ATINYs should never give up, and I believe a good outcome will always follow!
So if you have a passion that you want to pursue, don’t be afraid to follow it! Stories such as this make it even more obvious why so many of ATEEZ’s songs are about chasing your dreams and not letting anything get in your way.