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Monday, April 14, 2014

BRAND's Innershine x Dance

Most of you should know my life is revolved around dancing, having always to hear me say: "Sorry! I've got dance tonight!" and turning down your dinner invites. Today, together with the help of BRANDS Innershine I'm here to share with you my journey as a dancer:





What was your dance journey like?

I started doing Modern/Contemporary dance since 14, as a CCA back in Secondary school.
There was a point in time I got tired of dancing I decided to venture into sports instead. I have always loved running when I was in Primary school, participating in Sports Day every single year in multiple events, so I decided to join Track & Field when I entered Junior College. All the rounds of running, gym sessions and physical trainings are so draining yet satisfying for me, I looked forward to trainings every week.

When I moved on to University, I was asked to audition for a youth program under an external dance company and I also picked up Dragonboating as a CCA. During dragonboat trainings we ran, lifted weights and rowed endlessly, even on weekends. I grew so much stronger, mentally and physically. However there came a point in time where I couldn't juggle both of these activities because their schedules start to clash. I was forced to make a choice and then, I realised I really still loved dancing and performing and I wasn't gonna give them up again. So after 4 months I stopped rowing and I've been dancing ever since. I even started a Contemporary/Jazz dance club in SIM with a few strangers (back then) because we had a common goal of bringing these genres to the student body.



What were the challenges you've faced along the way?

It wasn't a smooth sailing ride of course, throughout these 8-9 years of Contemporary dancing. Trainings are really exhausting, you get scolded by instructors for not being up to standards, you get demoralised when someone is so much better than you, you wake up with sore muscles the next day it's almost impossible to do anything, injuries (blisters, floor burns, sprains, bad bruises) are way too common, rehearsals can take up to 6 days a week, and the scene can be competitive. You need to fight for your place to perform onstage and in competitions you need to prove yourself to be the best. You need to have good techniques, you need to be flexible, you need to portray emotions through your bodies, and you need to have a good figure/form to stand out from the rest. There are times when I was told I was too short (readers tell me I look like I'm 160-170cm from my pictures, but I'm actually only 152cm haha) and I don't have a 'dancer's body' because my muscles are too bulky from doing years of intense sports. It's heartbreaking when you know this is something you can't exactly change and will probably hinder your improvement.

I had a bad injury early last year during dance practice where I sprained my left mid-foot, the crucial part needed for body support; I couldn't walk at all I had to rely on crutches. This happened just 2-3 months before selections and trainings for a Contemporary dance competition began. I was devastated of course, and it didn't help when the doctor said I should stay off dancing for 6 months. My Mum wanted me to stop dancing completely. I couldn't stop crying and I became so pessimistic about everything. But eventually I pulled myself together, I went for various therapies to get better and of course, being the stubborn me, I went for trainings straight after I was free of crutches, doing things that didn't require the left foot. It was tough though, especially when this meant putting more pressure on my other parts of the body to support my left. Eventually I got myself a spot in the competition and my team managed to enter the Finals.
I also had to stop preparing for a Dancesport competition because it was impossible to dance in heels anymore. I couldn't run or do other land sports either and I was so afraid my health would take a toll because I was almost inactive (while still eating a lot). Up till now I still have to be extra careful not to over-exert my left foot because the injury can relapse anytime.



How has this helped you shape your personality?

Despite all these obstacles throughout my dance journey, they have built me up to be physically, emotionally and mentally strong. I do not see failure as the end of the world and this keeps me highly motivated and determined in the things I do.
Having had numerous performing opportunities also helped me learn the importance of discipline, and also to be grateful and optimistic. They have also made me learn to become more humble and selfless when dancing together as a team - it's not just about yourself anymore, it's about syncing with others and moving together as one.
In addition, I learnt to be confident yet not to the point of complacency as I have got lots more to improve on.



What are my plans in life now?

Now that I've already graduated with a Degree, I am living life to the fullest of my abilities. While everyone is busy settling down with a full-time job right after their last papers, I am still doing what I enjoy the most, which is dancing and cafe-hopping among other things. I am waitressing part-time as well so I still have a source of income to support myself for the time being. I don't believe in committing to something I have totally no interest in just for the sake of a huge paycheck at the end of every month. I'd rather be happy with what I'm doing with my life and live it to the fullest. Some people may think it's stupid/silly because it means not sparing a thought for the future, but to me, it's always the present that counts :)



Last week I had the opportunity to work with BRANDS Innershine on a photoshoot to showcase just about all these, a huge thank you for bringing out the best in me and also recognising my potential! I had fun at the shoot as it was really casual; it's all about being myself, there was no pretense needed.

At Innershine, they believe in championing the aspiration to help common girls shine. Featuring above is the MCJelly that I've incorporated into my daily life and you could too! Together with a few other girls, we are promoting @innershinesg on our social platforms so do head over to check them out! :)

4 comments :

  1. Really nice pictures here! I really like your thoughts about dancing - it echoes mine as well.

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    1. Thanks Tracy! Yes, hope you go really far on your pole dancing journey!! :D

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  2. Wahhh wenhui.. So inspiring! 😏 hope your feet recovers soon! Wanna see u dance in heels leh 😂💛

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    1. Heheh thanks Cand Cand. I also want to go back to competing! I'm so rusty now haha :(

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