Winner Story

Yimeng Sun

Principal dancer of the Finnish National Ballet
1st price winner 2016

The meaning of ballet competitions
It is a good way for young dancers to challenge yourself and to get out of the comfort zone, which is developing.

My memories from HIBC
It was a lot of rehearsals and help from many people like my ballet master Ingrid Nemeckova, choreographer Emrecan Tanis and my partner Maksim.

My personal HIBC highlight
The final gala performance was a memorable one. We didn’t know about the actual prizes beforehand, but we could anticipate that participating in the gala means that you have won something! So, we got to know it only after the performance in the award ceremony. The award ceremony was very exciting and was waiting if my name would be called. First they announced the third prize and didn’t hear my name. Then it was the secondprize winners and still didn’t hear my name – WOW, which prize am I gonna to win… Then they announced that I have won the first prize and I was so excited and happy. That was of course a highlight for me!

Developing as a dancer
The training for the competition was very developing. Working with a very good ballet master was very important and I think without that help I could not have achieved so much. There are limited opportunities to tell a story with short variations, which means you need to be good in every detail. 

HIBC impact on my career
After winning, I became a more confident dancer and during the work process for the competition I also learnt new ways of working. After the competition, when a new season started, I got to perform the main role in the Swan Lake. 

Everything worked!
I am living here in Finland so I knew that everything works well here. But I heard from many participants that it was really nice and convenient that the hotel where competitors were being accommodated was just across the street from the Opera house. We all also got more time to rehearse on stage than in other competitions and got sufficient studio time. It was really nice and I was happy with that.