Being a dancer.
I am a professional ballet dancer. I started ballet when I was 2 years old and I never stopped since then. It started out as a hobby until I became more serious. After that, I went to a vocational school in the UK, and now I’m back in Singapore joining the Singapore Dance Theater as a professional dancer.
Being a dancer has allowed me to challenge what normal people can’t do. For example in ‘Nutcracker’, being the role of Clara allows me to explore the different places and adventures that she goes through. Also, the role requires me to know different type of dances such as Chinese dance, Spanish dance etc.
As dancers, ballerinas, we are always very technical. We try to improve ourselves everyday by working on having the perfect technique. People always say that practice makes perfect. But no one is perfect. So it’s a very tough profession. You always try to keep yourself in shape. You have to know what your body can do, know all its limits and know how much you can push yourself. But you can’t push yourself too hard because you can get injured.
Because I have very flexible ankles, it’s very easy to sprain them. I’ve sprained both my ankles before. The most important thing is the rehabilitation sessions. You must know how to work yourself back. You need to know how much you have lost, and use your own perseverance, determination, and desperation to bring yourself back to dance. When I stopped dancing, I realized how much I really enjoy it. Eventually I managed to get back stronger by doing more strengthening exercises and going to physiotherapy.
Every time after I finish a very good performance, I would feel quite accomplished and satisfied. It’s the experience of performing on stage, when people enjoy your craft and artistry. But at the same time, I think the most important thing is the process of learning, especially the rehearsals, because that’s where you learn the most. After all, when you’re on stage, the audience only watches you for that short 1 to 3 minutes. But it’s the process of the rehearsals that is the most important. You have to rehearse and perfect each movement and choreography. Sometimes when the choreographer comes in, you work with them, explore and discover what you didn’t know you could actually do. That’s the fun part.