What do you enjoy most about 2016’s performance season?

Getting reacquainted with Swipe by Val Caniparoli was probably the most enjoyable experience this year. I last did Swipe two years ago, and I was a very different person and dancer then. It was an interesting and challenging journey. This piece is technically demanding and quite difficult, and I only managed to get through it because of the help from my fellow dancers and ballet master, Md Noor.  Swipe features 4 males and 3 females, and I had to work closely with Maughan and May for the women’s section. It was really lovely working out the choreography with them, functioning as a team and discussing through various issues for the piece. Working with a new partner, Jason Carter, was also a pleasant change. He brought something very different and personal to the pas de deux which made me seek a new approach. Also, at the back of my mind, I just kept thinking to myself, “I wanted to dance better than last time”.

What do you think is the most beautiful aspect of ballet?

To me, the beauty of ballet lies in the fact that it doesn’t remain stagnant, but it is continuously evolving. New works are being created all over the world, dancers test their limits everyday in the studio, and techniques and styles are perpetually being developed to suit the needs of our time and culture. As a dancer, each day my relationship with ballet varies, and as an audience member, my view on ballet grows with time.

What motivates you to keep dancing?

As cliché as it may sound, it really is my love for dance that keeps me going. It really comes down to having a passion and heart for dance, without that, it is almost impossible to keep persevering through the strenuous trainings and disciplines. It’s amazing how far passion can push you.

How has dance changed your life?

Dance has caused me to become more appreciative. I have met, danced and lived with other dancers who are now dancing all over the world. I have learned from amazing teachers, and worked with many inspiring choreographers and répétiteurs. Some encounters were brief, some for a longer period of time, but all of them made a lasting impression. I do my best to enjoy every experience and opportunity I get, no matter how long our interaction may be, because I know that it can influence and impact who I am and become as a dancer.

What do you enjoy most about class/rehearsals?

I enjoy that classes are never the same. My body feels different each day, so I will always discover and understand myself better after every class that I take. Class is also the place where I am more intentional in trying trickier steps, and exploring various movements and approaches to certain steps.

To you, what is one of your greatest fulfilment?

I think one of my greatest fulfilment is achieving my dream to be a professional dancer. It still amazes me that I get to go to work and do something I love. I remember that when I first started dancing in SDT, life in Singapore seemed a bit surreal and unbelievable. Looking back, I’ve come to realise that I am really quite lucky to be able to dance with SDT.

If a choreographer created a work on you, what do you think it will be about?
I am still growing to know and understand myself better as a dancer, from my personal style to choreographic inclinations. I’ve never had a work created on me, but I do look forward to it. I don’t think I’m good at rapid movements, but perhaps that side of myself can be developed and unearthed through the creation process.

Favourite movie, past-time, food, person, ice cream flavour?

Favourite movie – My Fair Lady. I first watched it when I was around 11 years old. I like the Cinderella feature of the plot. Surprisingly I only read the play it is based on last year. Pygmalion has a different resolution. It’s more realistic. I prefer this ending now that I’m an adult.

Past-time – Crocheting. I learned to crochet in 6th grade home economics. Once I made headbands for my ballet classmates. I was making a placemat and coaster set last year. I gave up on that. Currently I’m working on shawls and scarves for loved ones.

Ice cream – Cookie dough and dark chocolate. After my first company class audition, my sister, mum and I were exploring Singapore. We stumbled upon a quaint ice cream parlour called Merely. I’ve been going there ever since, I think they have the best dark chocolate ice cream.

Food – It’s really hard to choose, but my current top three would be tom yum, the burnt ends of barbecue briskets, and laing (a spicy Filipino vegetable dish cooked with coconut milk)

Person – my older sister, I love teasing her. Apparently my sister hated ballet after her first class. My mum was a bit reluctant to put me in a ballet class because of my sister’s reaction. My sister lives in manila now. We only really started to bond together more when she moved away for university, I guess the separation made me realise how much I value her.

Interesting fact about yourself

I like to name some of my pillows. There’s a Bob and a Ting now. (laughs)

Quote or motto to live by?

Carpe diem. Our time on Earth is fleeting so I want to make every second count instead of letting possibly significant moments slip away.