I owe this to a wonderful and inspiring teacher, Ms Goh.
I am currently a ballet teacher, but just 2-3 years ago I would not have thought this remotely possible.
When I was nearing the end of my JC studies, and the time had come where all my peers were deciding which top universities they wanted to go to and which scholarships to apply for, I only wanted to pursue a dance degree. Due to parental objections, however, I was forced to give that up, and went to an academic university. Along the way, my regular ballet training got interrupted due to a couple of overseas stints - exchange programmes, and pursuing MA studies. By the time I returned from my overseas MA programme, I felt too out of touch to go back into serious training, so I dabbled here and there in other dance forms, and just went to a few adult ballet open classes.
It was at one of these open classes that I met a teacher who changed all of that. After a few classes she insisted that I go back into training to take the next level of ballet exams (which is also the minimum level required to be a registered syllabus teacher). That was in 2012, a good 8 years after my last exam, and at a time when I had all but given up any hope of ever progressing further in ballet, especially as an adult. Fortunately, there was still some of that fire left deep down, that this teacher managed to stoke - I went for the exam and miraculously achieved a Distinction.
Since then, I have achieved the next higher level in my own training, and have also, under her guidance and mentorship, taken over the teaching of her children's classes. This is a far cry from back then when at one point I was so discouraged that I almost gave up ballet completely. I owe this to a wonderful and inspiring teacher, Ms Goh.