Ann Sun – Dancer – US Glove Brand Ambassador
It’s safe to say Ann Sun tried her hand at just about everything during her early childhood: from ice skating and rhythmic gymnastics to the piano and violin, no stone was left unturned as she tested out her different interests. Sure, dance classes were in the mix too, but it wasn’t until she was a little older—with her time a little scarcer—that the Virginia-native decided to narrow her focus and make dance a larger part of her life.
Over the years, Ann’s journey with dance has expanded several times: early on when she discovered her love for tumbling, which allowed her to add acro to her dances; and more significantly at the age of 11 when her studio expanded its offerings, allowing her to move into ballet. “The studio where I used to dance only offered one style of dance, so as they slowly started branching out, I discovered new styles and grew to love them,” said Ann. Her ability to learn new disciplines grew exponentially when she joined a larger studio that also allowed her to participate in more conventions and competitions. In fact, traveling to national and world competitions with her friends where she had the opportunity to learn from master class teachers have been some of her fondest memories.
Today, Ann has a seemingly endless list of disciplines under her belt: folk, ballet, lyrical, jazz, hip hop, contemporary, and acro, and has continued to refine her tumbling skill set, usually from the comfort of her backyard. Despite being two of her favorite activities, she has a unique relationship with each. “In dance, I love being able to move to the music and tell a story. In tumbling, I love getting new skills that I’ve been working on and it’s always cool to tumble in front of friends and family that don’t tumble.”
A few years ago in Ohio, Ann’s experience at nationals was limited by ongoing wrist issues. Preparing for her solo backstage, she realized the pain she endured for months had escalated to the point that she was unable to do a warmup back-walkover. In the end, Ann was forced to scrap her tumbling-intensive routine to prevent further injury; only after a hiatus from tumbling did her wrists fully recover. Having previously followed the advice of a doctor to soak her inflamed joints in saltwater, as well as tried to wear a pair of generic wrist supports—both to no avail—Ann knew she needed a more sustainable plan moving forward in order to stay healthy. Ultimately, Ann followed the recommendation of a close teammate and friend. “One of my friends owned a pair of Tiger Paws and they seemed really cool,” said Ann, who at last found the elusive relief. “Ever since I tried them, I was able to tumble more and my wrists don’t bother me. I’ve even been able to tumble on concrete, which I was never able to do before,” she added.
Ann’s resilience was also on display for most of the past year, as she adapted to the obstacles of the Covid-19 Pandemic. Although her studio has since reopened its doors, she’s kept her distance and relied on Zoom classes, though last month she did return for the first time since mid-March for a well-intentioned outdoor class that brought its own challenges: “I was freezing the whole time, so I couldn’t really dance,” Ann said with a laugh.
Fortunately for Ann, there’s no rush to get back to the old facility because her family constructed their own home studio that Ann and her younger sister—also a tumbler and dancer—can use whenever they please. But make no mistake: it was no small DIY project. “We were trying to make the floor sprung, not quite like a gym floor but a little so it wouldn’t be hard on the knees,” Ann explained. “So, we bought noodles, double-layers of wood that we had to cut to fit the room because it was a weird shape and then we needed Marley flooring to go on top and to tape it all down.” All told, the project took about a month and a half, but it was definitely a worthwhile endeavor.
For all its challenges, 2020 brought one more great addition to the Sun household: a Welsh Corgi named Corey. “I’ve been begging my parents for a dog for years and they’ve always said no because we’re not home enough, but quarantine finally swayed them,” said Ann.
Ann’s favorite subject in school is English—or at least that one seems to come the easiest to her, even if the in-class readings aren’t always the most engaging. She saves the interesting stuff for after class, with some of her favorites being the Percy Jackson series as well as Roald Dahl’s Matilda and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Ann has no trouble keeping herself busy at school, where she competed for the dance team before the pandemic. She’s also involved with a couple of charitable clubs: one that makes crafts and writes cards for the elderly in local nursing homes, and one that makes blankets for children born with physical disabilities.
In her free time, Ann enjoys baking —chocolate chip cookies and macarons are reliable go-to recipes—as well as filming and editing her dance and tumbling videos. In a world that feels full of conflict and uncertainty, Ann provides a positive and uplifting presence on social media that everyone could use. “I just feel like it’s super fun because I love tumbling and dancing already, and being able to make that into videos and share it online with others is really cool,” explained Ann. While she’s definitely contemplated every high schooler’s favorite question—“So, what do you want to do after high school?”—she’s still crafting a plan for the future but sees herself minoring in dance so the art she loves so dearly will continue to be a part of her life, without putting all her eggs in one basket.
Ann’s resilience, determination, and easygoing attitude are hallmarks of the US Glove spirit, making her a perfect fit for our Brand Ambassador family. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for this talented and inspirational athlete! #unleashyoursuperpower