Yimeng Sun

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

Photo: Mirka Kleemola

The meaning of ballet competitions

It is a good way for young dancers to challenge themselves and to get out of the comfort zone, which is developing.

My memories from HIBC

I remember all the rehearsals and how to I received help from many people, such as 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 had to wait after the performance at the award ceremony. The award ceremony was very exciting and I remember waiting if my name would be called. First, they announced the third prize and didn’t hear my name. Then it was the second prize winner and again I didn’t hear my name – WOW, which prize am I going 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 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. 

How the competition advanced 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 Swan Lake.

Everything worked!

I live here in Finland so I know 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.