Ballerina Park Sae-eun Joins Paris Opera Ballet 박세은 발레리나 파리 오페라 발레단


I just tweeted this, but feel it deserves a write up also. The Paris Opera Ballet almost never chooses a non-French member for their troupe! congratulations Sae-eun!! Maybe you can see her in Paris next time?

Park Sae-eun has become the first Korean ballerina to become a member of the Paris Opera Ballet, one of the most prestigious ballet companies in the world. She has been dancing there since last summer.

“After finishing an audition on Thursday, I was notified that I was the only person to be given a permanent place as I finished first out of 130 applicants,” Park said on Saturday in a telephone interview with the Chosun Ilbo.

The Paris Opera Ballet is the oldest troupe in the world, having been established by Louis XIV in 1669. It is considered one of the world’s top three ballet companies along with the American Ballet Theatre and the Royal Ballet at the Royal Opera House in London.

Park has penetrated the glass ceiling that exists for non-French ballerinas. The troupe is seen as a bastion of French culture and is highly selective, especially in admitting dancers from abroad. Just 5 percent of its 180 dancers come from outside France, mostly from other European countries.

Due to such fierce completion, it has been the all-but impossible dream of many dancers to become a permanent member of the troupe.

Park started ballet at the age of 10 and picked up a gold medal at the Dong-A Dance Competition when she was in high school. Since then, she has had an impressive run at international competitions and picked up the nickname, “the queen of competitions” along the way.

She is the first Korean to have won three of the most prestigious competitions in the world in Jackson (2006), Lausanne (2007) and Varna (2010), with Moscow being the only key title to have eluded her so far.

She worked at the American Ballet Theatre Studio Company in 2007 and joined the Korea National Ballet in 2009, where she became the youngest dancer in its history to land starring roles. Park intended to become a permanent member of the Dutch National Ballet, but instead took a gamble on going to Paris, where she set a new milestone in just a year.

Park’s case is quite unprecedented, as most of the troupe’s members are selected after six years of training at its own ballet school. They then spend another four to five years there on temporary contracts.

“I heard it’s extremely difficult for a foreigner to pass the audition, so I didn’t have high expectations,” she said. / Jun. 18, 2012 12:51 KST

[Now Listening] WA by Lee Jung Hyun (와 – 이정현)

I’ve always been a fan of Dance Dance Revolution. As for K-pop, let’s just say that our love affair has gone on for a while. You can imagine my surprise when I first found this song in Dance Dance Revolution 4th Mix. I think it went like this.

(Sometime in the late 90’s, early 00’s)
“Hey, this isn’t cheesy J-pop! Waiiit….this is Korean! Whoa, Korean Rap interlude!”

[Now Listening] Love Style by 보이프렌드 (Boyfriend)

Hello everyone, my name is Rhema and allow me to introduce some mainstream k-pop music. The song that I have been in love with recently is called Love Style by Boyfriend which came out on June 14th. They debuted on May 26th, 2011 and I was right there when it happened. These guys have the young, innocent, and overbearingly cute concept going on. However this is actually the first song of theirs that I really like.  I remember when everyone was going on about them, I just never saw it. But when I heard this song I got hooked immediately! The group consists of six members: Donghyun (Age 23, Position: Leader), Minwoo (Age 16, Position: Rapper, Maknae/Youngest), Youngmin (Age 17, Position: Vocalist, older twin), Kwangmin (Age 17, Position: Rapper, younger twin), Jeongmin (Age 18, Position: Vocalist), Hyunseong (Age 19, Position: Lead Vocalist).  The music video is also unbelievably cute, with lots of cute faces and colors flying around. But, don’t take my word for it, listen here and I hope you like it!

[Now Listening] 10년 동안의 오독 (10 Years of Misinterpretation), Pt. I by Verbal Jint

Hello readers, it’s Eli and this is my “Now Listening” post! Woohoo~ ヾ(@⌒ー⌒@)ノ

Eli 요즘 듣고있는 노래입니다. 버벌 진트에 대한 포스팅!

After watching the teaser videos on repeat for the past week and a half, Verbal Jint finally delivered “10 Years of Misinterpretation”, one of the albums on my “now awaited” list.    The video above is for the headline track, “You Deserve Better” (Also known as Pretty Enough/Enough Better)  featuring Sanchez of PHANTOM.  I can say that the video is an interesting take on being “friend zoned” by the girl you like, and having to watch her date that no-good guy (Played by Sangchu of Mighty Mouth).

The album itself has been on repeat and it works as a nice daily soundtrack,  filled with mellow beats and soothing vocals.   It seems as though Verbal knows exactly who to pick for his collabos,  and that’s what keeps bringing me back to his music.  I’ll post a few of the teaser tracks below, and you can see for yourselves! The full tracks are on itunes~

Perfect Day (Featuring IVY)

Good Morning (Featuring Jung Yeol of 10cm)

Console The Boy  2013 (Featuring ZION, and Hanhae of PHANTOM) 

[PS. Please sing more often, especially in the album… whenever that’s dropping ;A;]

[Meet a KKonnect Buddy] So I’m the Maknae? 내가 막내야? 일라이의 소개글

꼬넥닷넷의 “막내”로 불리는 일라이가 전하는 소개글 입니다!

Hello there, or should I say 안넝하세요!

My name is Eli, and I’m currently an upcoming senior… in High School.  I’m also turning 17 in August as well… welp.

My hobbies consist of, but aren’t limited to: cooking, taking photos, blogging, listening to music, drinking coffee, going to karaoke rooms (노래방)  with friends, and being absolutely fabulous.  My goal in the future is to travel around the world and teach English, so I’m hoping that everything will work out once college comes around (which isn’t too far off.. uh oh)

My adventures into this delightful world of Asian (pop) culture, began when I was still a little kid.  My parents had me watch anime throughout my childhood, and I can say that I began to fall in love with Korean pop culture after playing one too many video games through middle school.  However, the relationship with K-POP was on and off, until 2009; where everything was wonderful.

Though I’m not as much of a hardcore fan (anymore), a few of my favorites would have to be: Double A, Infinite, T-ARA, and Girl’s Day.   As for K-Indie and Hip hop (oh yes),  my top groups would be: Phantom, Epik High, and Glen Check!

It’s a pleasure to be interning with the Korea Daily, and writing for the KKonnect blog/magazine! Expect to hear about  music, events,  fashion, and food (lots about it too).

And that’s all there is to it~ *w*

Christine’s Experience of Teaching Abroad in Korea – an Interview


Meet Christine Mendoza!  She has gone abroad to Korea to teach English and she is going back soon! Read how she got started and what the experience is like. 


한국에서 영어선생님일을 한 크리스틴과의 인터뷰! 

– Introduce yourself!

Hi, i’m christine. I graduated from SDSU in 2009 and as of now, i’m planning to get my masters in either psychology or social work. If i’m not working or hanging with my friends, i’m either on my PS3 or on my ukulele.

– Where and when did you teach abroad? with what program?
i was in south korea from Jan 2010 to Feb 2011 with the TaLK Program (Teach and Learn in Korea) 

– how did you choose the program?
well this is a funny story. i was sleeping in east commons at SDSU waiting for my friends. when i woke, i saw i made a drool trail on my daily aztec newspaper. i followed it and saw this advertisement for the TaLK Program. because i was graduating in the winter, and the graduation ceremony is only in the spring, i needed something to do for 6 months, and i thought, why the heck not.

– about how much do people earn average?
this was a part time teaching job and i got 20,000 won per hour


– what was the best and the worst experience of teaching abroad?
the best experience was meeting new people, experiencing a new culture, eating with friends and coworkers, and having your students talk to you and understand you in “konglish”
worst experience is when it’s a hot and humid day and none of the kids would pay attention to you and everything is just lost in translation. FRUSTRATING!!!!

– you are now going back, why?
I miss it. I miss the lights, the food, the jimjilbang, the noraebang, the people, the “ajumma parks” i want to immerse myself in it a while longer if i can, and, well… it’s happening 

– do you recommend this job to others? what sort of people would be best fit for this job?
I most certainly recommend this job to others. you learn from one culture while giving back english confidence to your students and all around you. BUT you have to be committed and give it your all. i’ve experienced and heard about many “bad” teachers that waste the students time and the school’s time by going to school hung over or just streaming english movies with korean subtitles. sure teach them english, make them understand, but also make them want to use it, especially with you!!

– what is your biggest “Korean interest” at the moment?
i would have to say the food. i miss the food carts, i miss the kimchi, and how they deliver food absolutely everywhere. also singing in the noraebang for 3 hours and only spending approx 15 dollars. MAHNI SERVICE JUSEYO kkkk


Check out Christine’s blog that has more on her experience abroad: