Kazuha from Le Sserafim might have one of the most interesting pre-debut stories! The now-K-pop star used to be a professional ballerina years before deciding to enter the K-pop world. Keep reading to learn more about Kazuha.

Who Is Kazuha?

Born in Kochi, Japan, on August 9, 2003 (a Leo!), Kazuha’s family moved to Osaka when she was only 2 years old, which is where she lived until she was 16.

Prior to K-pop stardom, Kazuha studied at the Dutch National Ballet Academy in the Netherlands, previously attending the Bolshoi Academy in Moscow, Russia, and the Royal Ballet School in the United Kingdom. For context, both schools are amongst the best in the ballet world, with the Royal Ballet School only accepting 16 students per intake.

However, she left the ballet world behind after being personally scouted by Big Hit Music/HYBE founder Bang Si-hyuk shortly before making her debut, leaving her to learn Korean and train intensively in the matter of three months before debuting with Le Sserafim.

The Japanese native explained why she chose to hang up her pointe shoes during an interview with Weverse Magazine in May 2022.

“The more I did ballet, the more I wondered if it was what I wanted to focus my life exclusively on. The process of doing ballet itself was fun, of course, and I learned a lot, which was nice. At the same time, I couldn’t stop thinking, ‘Is this really my dream?'”

le sserafim
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA – APRIL 29: Hong Eun-Chae, Kim Chae-Won, Kazuha, Huh Yun-Jin and Sakura of girl group Le Sserafim attend the Louis Vuitton Pre-Fall 2023 Show on the Jamsugyo Bridge at the Hangang River on April 29, 2023 in Seoul, South Korea. (Photo by Han Myung-Gu/Getty Images) Photo by Han Myung-Gu/Getty Images

That was when Kazuha started thinking about expressing herself through different genres and performances, like K-pop. “But it isn’t easy to start something new, and I didn’t know how to get into the K-pop world since I was studying abroad, so I felt really frustrated. And at that time, all the K-pop auditions moved online because of COVID-19.”

“I didn’t have many ballet classes at school at the time, and spending all that time at home filled me with thoughts and concerns,” she continued. “I thought that, while being a ballerina was an attractive option, what I do now would open up more opportunities for me to follow my dreams. I kept deliberating about it, but finally said, ‘Let’s just do it! And I sent in my audition video.”

Who Is Le Sserafim?

Le Sserafim includes members Kazuha, Kim ChaewonSakuraHuh YunjinHong Eunchae and former member Kim Garam (who exited the group in July 2022). The group debuted on May 2, 2022, with the release of their debut EP Fearless and lead single “Fearless,” marking them as the very first girl group to debut under BTS‘ label, HYBE.

“I can’t say that there was no pressure [before debuting], but rather than giving in to that pressure, we focused on putting our all into showcasing the best performance possible,” Kazuha told Buzzfeed in May 2023.

As for what K-pop itself means to Kazuha, the ballerina-turned-idol said the genre is “a challenge and a world that I can discover new sides of myself.”

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