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Friday
Aug122011

DanceArt is 25 today!

Once a student's mum told me this. She was recommending DanceArt to her friend and she told her, "Don't look at the place. It's a little shabby but the teaching is good"

One could take it as an insult but I know she did not mean it that way. On the contrary, I think she paid DanceArt a huge compliment. These days, everybody goes for the packaging. She saw beyond the packaging (which was nothing to shout about) and saw quality. She is a school teacher herself and therefore, it meant a lot to me.

Today, DanceArt is 25. When I began DanceArt all those years ago, it was meant to be a branch. I was already established in Subang. But circumstances unfolded and I moved my base to Taman Melawati.

We began our 1st class with 3 students - a pair of sisters and another girl. Although in numbers, we have not increased tremendously, nevertheless, lives that have been touched are countless.

Students spent many of their formative years in those studios. We chased dreams together. We also faced reality together. We laughed, we cried. Blood, sweat and tears were and are still being poured within those walls.

Students and I call it our 2nd home. And indeed, I have aways wanted that for DanceArt - to be a 2nd home. A place of refuge from the rest of the world. A place whereby anybody will feel instantly at home and be relaxed. So relaxed that students are often found asleep on the floor, in between classes.

I wanted it to be a place where dreams are realised. I wanted a 'family concept' for it's structure. Most students know the others from other classes and levels. They mingled and intergrated. They cheer each other on and that encourages further excellence. They also mourn for losses and disappointments.

I love my present students but I also love my past students tremendously. They are now scattered all over the world. Some have pursued further into dance, making it their career but most carries it in their heart. They will go to a dance performance and appreciate it even more with their knowledge. Their posture 'grilled' with years of training gives them the extra poise and confidence to 'slay the dragon' of an interview. They also take their love of ballet into many other art forms and other forms of dance.

In a family unit, although apart, they are not separated. The web just becomes more intricate. Now the Family of DanceArt entwines the past students' lives with new families, spouses and children. I have attended countless weddings and celebrated births of many children. I love the way they still keep in touch.

I love the way they miss shabby old DanceArt. They will talk about memorable moments that they have had. They even miss the 'smell'. That's what somebody told me. The 'DanceArt Smell'. In all honesty, I think it's just the smell of stale sweat mixed with the smell of wood.

What has the 25 years been to me? In reflection, it has been a roller coaster ride. Time has passed so quickly. There have been moments when I think I've had enough and then students walk in and stands at the barre and that old feeling sweeps over me and I get immersed into my love for teaching.

What will the next 25 be? I truly do not know. What I do know is, I definitely will not be around to see that. The baton would have been passed another person. Or perhaps I should say the 'torch'.

Reader Comments (4)

Happy Anniversary DanceArt! :D

I'm proud to be a part of this and it's my place to escape the world! That's why I enjoy coming in for classes so much. Right there in the studio is where I could do things I didn't know/think I could. Thank you Teacher Katy and Bee Hong, for introducing me to a world of ballet and dance and for helping me realise that this place outside my confort zone is pretty spectacular after all :)

Dance on!
August 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMelalyn
Happy 25th Anninversary to DanceArt! Congratulations on this achievement!!

Although I had not been a student at DanceArt, DanceArt has indeed been part of our family; and you have been an amazing teacher and family.

Wishing you and DanceArt many more fantastic year ahead! xx
August 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne
Those are super cute. I like you on Facebook. fapecf fapecf - <a href="http://www.gianmarcolorenzishoes.org.uk">Gianmarco Lorenzi Shoes</a>.
November 22, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterikxbuo ikxbuo
A bit late, but Happy Birthday, DanceArt!
July 31, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterwanz

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