In the last eight years, BTS‘s Jungkook has transformed from shy rookie to global superstar. Here are 4 stories from his trainee days that all fans should know about!
1. His dance training in Los Angeles
In 2012, a year before BTS’s debut, 14-year-old Jungkook boarded a flight to Los Angeles to study dance at MOVEMENT LIFE STYLE. He later shared his memories in a diary blog post called, “An Ordinary Maknae Trainee’s Dance Training Abroad In America”.
Hello this is Jungkookieㅎ I’m nervous because it’s my first time blogging. I wanted to show you the photos I took when we went to the States back in July-August of last year for dance training. -ㅂ-. Looking back on these photos now, I’m realizing how young I was. I think I look better now than back in these photos haha.
In the post, Jungkook shared photos of himself at the airport, on the plane, eating meals, enjoying fun in the LA sun, and much more.
He also revealed how challenging his dance lessons were and how hard he was working to develop his skills.
On our way to our dorm, the scenery was so nice so we stopped the car and took pictures.
I think we took about 2~3 dance lessons, but they weren’t as difficult as I thought it would be. But I began to have a mental breakdown on the second lesson. I couldn’t understand what they were saying ㅜㅜ. It was a much more difficult level than the first lesson.!!
Jungkook practiced dance on weekdays, but he had plenty of downtime on the weekends to hang out at the beach and visiting an art museum.
We didn’t have lessons on the weekends so we played at the beach!
We were hungry so we went to a restaurant, but the owners were Korean. They initially thought I was a foreigner so they used English, but the owner’s son recognized that we were Korean. They even gave us the drink on the left for free. Thanks, hyung.-ㅂ-
yum yum It was so hot that day, we almost died while eating haha.
This is also when Jungkook bought his first skateboard and learned how to use it.
My teacher took this photo when I was riding in front of the training room. I look stupid.
I am the biggest newbie in skateboarding -ㅂ-
2. The fights that never happened
In Episode 6 of In the SOOP, Jungkook and V opened up about their friendship and how it changed over the years. During their trainee days, V once encouraged Jungkook to speak informally to him because they are so close in age.
Jungkook revealed that he declined in order to prevent fights from happening; “That prevents relationships from being ruined. I think I would’ve had a lot of fights if I spoke casually with you and Jimin.”
Fights can be detrimental to relationships and teamwork, but they can also strengthen them. V told Jungkook that he would have preferred the fights, if those fights would have brought them even closer.
I think though as much as we’d have fought, we’d have hung out together a lot more.
3. The cheese incident
During their trainee days, BTS often bought cheap snacks at a nearby convenience store. One time, Jungkook bought string cheese, and it made his life much harder than it needed to be!
Jihoon, better known as Brightoon, is a former Big Hit Entertainment trainee who trained with BTS. On his YouTube channel Brightoon TV, he re-enacted what happened when Jungkook decided to melt string cheese in a microwave for 30 seconds rather than the recommended 10.
Let’s just say it did not go well.
Jungkook: Noooooo, Oh noooooo!
Jihoon: Jungkook! What’s going on! What happened?!
Jungkook: Hyung! Hyung! What am I gonna do!
Jihoon: Why, why, what’s the problem?
Jungkook: Oh no! My cheese all melted down!
— Conversation between Jungkook & Jihoon
4. His shyness
In an interview, Big Hit Entertainment’s founder Bang Si Hyuk revealed that Jungkook’s shyness had a detrimental impact on his evaluations as a trainee, to the point where it nearly prevented him from debuting.
Actually, during his trainee time, when Jungkook was asked to sing, he couldn’t. He was very shy and would just twist his body for 15 minutes. […] The company evaluation was that he couldn’t even debut because he didn’t have the talent to. But now, isn’t he such a fun member?
— Bang Si Hyuk