In 2002, when the young Girls’ Generation‘s YoonA was a sixth grader, she attended the SM Entertainment weekly Saturday open auditions. YoonA is said to have wanted to become a singer since she was a second grader — so the audition came naturally.
After singing Wax‘s “Please” and dancing to Britney Spears‘s “Oops!…I Did It Again”, she was deemed full of potential and passed with flying colors. For five years and two months from then on, YoonA trained diligently with SM Entertainment. In fact, she became the very first to secure a spot in Girls’ Generation.
During the training period, however, YoonA went through a time when she wanted to stop singing. The more she practiced, the less she trusted her lower-pitched voice to have a chance in the K-Pop world. Eventually, YoonA told SM Entertainment’s performance director Shim Jae Won that she “[doesn’t] think [her] voice is good enough” to debut — and that she would consider acting instead.
Shim Jae Won, who has always picked YoonA to be SM Entertainment’s best female dancer, then sat her down and convinced her not to give up. He kept reminding her that “Someone with [her] level of dancing skills should not quit pursuing a career in performing.”
Fortunately, YoonA ended up listening to Shim Jae Won and ultimately debuted with Girls’ Generation — as the group’s undeniable “center” member.
In a recent Instagram story, using the “Questions” feature, Shim Jae Won reminded the fans that he “led YoonA to become a K-Pop idol” because of her moves. Looks like he never, for a second, doubted her potential to succeed as a well-rounded performer!
Q. What is the reason you led YoonA to become a K-Pop idol…? Thank you so much for it…
A. You’ve seen YoonA dance. What more reason did I need?
Read more about YoonA’s highly-praised dance moves here: