How old were you when you started ballet? Did you like it?

I started learning ballet at De Souza Dance Centre when I was 12 years old. I can’t say that I liked ballet at first since I quit after learning it for a while, but I started again when I was 14 and have not stopped since.

What was the first ballet you ever saw in a theatre? Who was it by, and what impression did it leave with you?

The first ballet I saw was The Royal Ballet’s Romeo and Juliet at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. I was taken back when I saw the scale of what a ballet performance could be and was surprised at how deeply it affected me because I only associated ballet with dancing in a village hall after school. The experience of watching that performance definitely changed my perspective of what ballet means to me.

When did you decide to pursue a professional career, and why?

After performing on a small stage for the first time at my school’s production, I discovered that performing on stage was a completely different feeling to dancing in the studio. The stage gives a dance much more validity because a dancer gets to share their dance with audience. It was then that I decided to pursue a professional career as a dance performer.

Where did you pursue pre-professional training? / Did you enjoy your training at your school?

I joined the Royal Ballet School’s senior associates in 2009, before joining Central School of Ballet in 2011. Moving from an all boys school in the countryside, to a city based ballet school, was a huge change for me. It was quite difficult at times, but ultimately, rewarding and filled with many happy memories

How/When did you become and apprentice at SDT?

I joined SDT in August 2014 after sending my video audition to Mr Janek Schergen after I graduated from my school.

What was your first role in SDT as a professional dancer?

I was a village man in Don Quixote, and it a was fantastic experience to work with Cynthia Harvey who is such an iconic dancer.

How do you learn a new ballet/choreography? Is it different for contemporary and classical choreography?

I have to really make an effort to internalise the choreography into my muscle memory. Some people can watch a phrase or piece of movement and it is instantly set in to their bodies and minds, but I’m not as lucky because I am a kinaesthetic learner, so I have to try a more physical approach in learning.

What is a typical rehearsal day like for you? What do you do during breaks?

We have company class in the morning, and a full day of rehearsals. During my break time, I would usually read, or take a nap to rest.

Do you have any pre-performance rituals?

I try not to do too much before a performance. I would usually listen to music and try to keep my mind as clear as possible. If need be, I may go through a few steps, but I always prioritise maintaining a clear mind and minimal stress without having too many negative thoughts.

What do you eat on a big rehearsal/performance day?

Carbohydrates are good for a slow release of energy, so I would usually have pasta with some sort of meat for protein.

Do you watch ballets from the wings during performance days?

No, I usually try to concentrate on myself and what I need to perform for that day.

How do you feel after a performance?

A drowsy sort of contentment. (laughs) I feel great basically!

What is your most prized possession?

I would say my collection of books, I prefer the palpability of hard copies. To me, it is important to keep hard copies of books, because if I had my library on a memory stick I would probably lose them all at once.

What do you like to do outside of SDT?

I like to listen to music, read and have a drink with my friends.

Do you have a “guilty pleasure”?

If you feel guilty about it, it really is not much of a pleasure, so no, I don’t think I have one.

Are most of your friends dancers?

In Singapore, yes, I haven’t been here for long, so I have not had the chance to plant my roots very deep yet.

How does your family feel about your career?

My family was brilliant about it. They always drove me to classes and supported me all the time, and for that I am incredibly grateful.