SM Rookies

  • I. Introduction

    SM Rookies (임팩트) was a pre-debut team created by SM Entertainment in South Korea, running from 2013 to 2020. Members of SM Rookies were trainees that performed in live performances, music videos and variety shows, but had not yet debuted formally in an idol group. 24 of the 30 members eventually made their debut in SM groups, including Red Velvet, NCT, NCT 127, NCT Dream, WayV and aespa.


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    II. Career

    III. 2013: The First Rookies

    SM announced the formation of SM Rookies in December 3, 2013, adding 12 members over the course of the month. Seulgi, Jeno and Taeyong were introduced on December 3, 2013, while Irene, Jaehyun and Lami were introduced on December 9. Mark, Hansol and Jisung were introduced on December 16, followed by Johnny, Ten and Yuta on December 23.


    Although all members were SM trainees, the length of their time with the company varied - Johnny had been a trainee since 2008, while Jeno had been cast the same year he was announced as a rookie.


    IIII. 2014: More Rookies and Red Velvet

    Yeri was introduced on March 11, 2014, and Wendy on March 13. Although not officially debuted, some members still released songs on soundtracks or appeared as dancers or actors in label mate's videos. In April, an official website and YouTube channel were launched. Members continued to sing and dance at performances and in videos released online, including a series about the rookies. On August 1, 2014, Seulgi, Irene and Wendy debuted in Red Velvet.


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    IIIII. 2015: Mouseketeers, SR15B and SM Rookies Show

    Donghyuck was introduced on July 17, 2014.


    Doyoung was introduced on January 16, 2015, and became MC on MBC Music's Show Champion with Jaehyun. Yeri was introduced on March 17, 2015 and then joined Red Velvet. Members Hansol, Johnny, Taeyong, Yuta, Ten and Jaehyun released a video dancing to "Bassbot" under the name SR15B. Jaemin was formally introduced on April 22, 2015.


    On July 8, 2015, Kouen, Hina and Herin were introduced. They became mouseketeers on Disney Channel Korea's The Mickey Mouse Club with Mark, Jeno, Donghyuck, Jaemin, Jisung (all future members of NCT Dream) and Lami.


    Taeil was introduced on October 13,2015, while Kun was introduced on December 18, 2015.


    The SM Rookies boys performed a series of live shows, some of which was documented in the reality/variety show NCT Life in Bangkok.


    Jaehyun and Herin on the Mickey Mouse Club

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    IIIV. 2016: NCT

    On January 5, 2016, Winwin was introduced. Taeil, Taeyong, Ten, Jaehyun and Mark debuted under NCT's first sub-unit, NCT U on April 8, 2016. In July, Yuta, Winwin and Donghyuck, now professionally known as Haechan, debuted in the second sub-unit, NCT 127. In August, Jeno, Jaemin and Jisung debuted in the third sub-unit, NCT Dream.


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    Yiyang and Ningning were introduced on September 19, 2016, after appearing in an online reality show. Johnny made his debut in December in NCT 127.

    IIV. 2017-20: WayV, aespa and End of Rookies

    Lucas was introduced on April 5, 2017, followed by Jungwoo on April 17. Herin and Hansol left SM. Lucas and Jungwoo made their debut with Kun in NCT U in January 2018.


    SM introduced three male Chinese trainees, Hendery, Xiaojun and YangYang. Yiyang left SM. The new trainees debuted in the fourth NCT sub-unit, WayV.


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    Although SM Rookies was not officially disbanded, they were no longer featured in SM content and social media channels were not updated after December 2018. In February 2020, Koeun and Lami left SM, while Hina departed in October. Ningning was the final SM Rookie to debut in November 2020 as part of Aespa.



    III. Members

    Name Country Date Introduced Age at Intro Debut date Debut group

    Seulgi
    S. Korea Dec. 3, 2013 19 August 1, 2014 Red Velvet

    Jeno

    S. Korea Dec. 3, 2013 13 August 24, 2016 NCT: NCT Dream

    Taeyong
    S. Korea Dec. 3, 2013 18 April 8, 2016 NCT: NCT U

    Irene
    S. Korea Dec. 9, 2013 22 August 1, 2014 Red Velvet

    Jaehyun
    S. Korea Dec. 9, 2013 16 April 8, 2016 NCT: NCT U

    Lami
    S. Korea Dec. 9, 2013 10 - left SM

    Mark
    Canada Dec. 16, 2013 14 April 8, 2016 NCT: NCT U

    Hansol
    S. Korea Dec. 16, 2013 19 - left SM

    Jisung
    S. Korea Dec. 16, 2013 11 Aug. 24, 2016 NCT: NCT Dream

    Johnny
    U.S.A. Dec. 23, 2013 18 Jan. 4, 2017 NCT: NCT 127

    Ten
    Thailand Dec. 23, 2013 17 April 8, 2016 NCT: NCT U

    Yuta
    Japan Dec. 23, 2013 18 July 6, 2016 NCT: NCT 127
    Yeri S. Korea Mar. 11, 2014 15 Aug. 1, 2014 Red Velvet

    Wendy
    Canada Mar. 13, 2014 19 Aug. 1, 2014 Red Velvet

    Donghyuck (Haechan)
    S. Korea July 17, 2014 14 July 6, 2016 NCT: NCT 127

    Doyoung
    S. Korea Jan. 16, 2015 18 April 8, 2016 NCT: NCT U

    Jaemin
    S. Korea April 22, 2015 14 Aug. 24, 2016 NCT: NCT Dream

    Koeun
    S. Korea July 8, 2015 16 - left SM

    Hina
    Japan/S. Korea July 8, 2015 15 - left SM

    Herin
    U.K. July 8, 2015 13 - left SM

    Taeil
    S. Korea Oct. 13, 2015 21 April 9, 2016 NCT: NCT U

    Kun
    China Dec. 18, 2015 19 March 14, 2018 NCT: NCT U

    Winwin
    China Jan. 5, 2016 18 July 6, 2016 NCT: NCT 127

    Yiyang
    China Sept. 19, 2016 19 - left SM

    Ningning
    China Sept. 19, 2016 13 Nov. 17, 2020 aespa

    Lucas
    China April 5, 2017 18 Jan. 17, 2019 NCT: WayV

    Jungwoo
    S. Korea April 17, 2017 19 Jan. 17, 2019 NCT: WayV

    Hendery
    China Dec. 31, 2018 18 Jan. 17, 2019 NCT: WayV

    Xiaojun

    China Dec. 31, 2018 18 Jan. 17, 2019 NCT: WayV

    Yangyang

    China Dec. 31, 2018 18 Jan. 17, 2019 NCT: WayV

    IV. Trivia

    - All of the members of NCT 127 were SM Rookies.

    - All of the members of WayV were SM Rookies.

    - Joy is the only member of Red Velvet who was not a SM Rookie.

    - Chenle and Renjun are the only members of NCT Dream who were not SM Rookies.

    - Chenle, Renjun, Sungchan and Shotaro are the only members of NCT who were not SM Rookies.

    - Lami and Jisung were the youngest girl and boy rookies.

    - Irene and Taeil were the oldest female and male rookies.

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