Sometimes we wish our dads are as cool as the dads in the video below…unless, of course, your dad also dances then congratulations!
Not everyone is as privileged as Gwen (short for Gwendolyn), or the little babies in the video for that matter when it comes to having such a sporting father. Our Dance.Write.Repeat’s editor started dancing at the tender age of 3 with ballet and today we celebrate the father – Mr Yap Bock Chuan – who has been with her in every step of her dance journey!
“I remember watching a prima ballerina on the old TV set alongside my mom very late at night. I loved how beautiful she looked and I insisted to my mom I wanted to do that too. So after many temper tantrums and a stubborn passion (you must remember I was 3 then, convincing was very tough), I attended my first baby ballet lesson – and I hated it. I came out of it all angry and said to my mom “I want to learn REAL ballet” and since then my mom threw me into real ballet class.”
Sending someone for ballet lessons costs a lot of money and the longer you are invested in this genre, the bigger the figure grows. Paying for classes to learn the dance techniques is one thing, but you would also need to consider the cost of ballet shoes, leotard, tulle skirt, bobby pins, hairspray, etc.
Mr Yap shares that he was initially reluctant to allow Gwen to dance ballet because of these: “At the point in time I had to take care of the older siblings, and I was the only one working. But in the end, because my daughter was passionate about it, and I felt my career was stable enough to allow her to join.”
“After my dad gave the ‘okay’ to let me go ahead, everything fell into place very quickly”, Gwen said. She had a rough start to her dance journey after being ridiculed by her ballet teacher for her size in front of her class when she was younger. This caused her to switch schools quite a bit to the point that she didn’t have the chance to be part of any ballet recital. When asked why she still continued doing ballet to this day despite her bad experiences, she simply said, “I love the fact that I can see improvement if I work hard.”
Her perseverance to continue dancing did pay off eventually when she became a part of a dance performance in her secondary school. The very performance that her dad still remembers to this day: “One of the more memorable ones was when she dancing Swan Lake in secondary school. I felt that it was okay, don’t really have any interest in dance, but because it’s something my daughter likes I will let her do it.”
“It is how it is. Selfless father love for a daughter whose passion he doesn’t get but fully support,” Gwen said.
“I wish that one day she can become a teacher and earn money from it,” her dad added.
If your dad were a dance genre, what would he be and why?
Probably Disco. He was a secretly wacky kind of guy. And to this day I can always imagine him in 70s clothing with the button down shirts and wavy big hair dancing with my mom in a disco bar.
If you can dance with your dad, what genre will it be?
My dad says he wants to do the Cha Cha with me. I personally prefer a simple waltz to a nice music that’s about it.
Do you have any message for your dad this father’s day?
Thank you for all that you’ve done for me. I know it hasn’t been easy raising three kids on such a small salary, but the fact that you sacrificed so much for us, and especially for me is something that I can never repay. Thank you for selflessly supporting my art and my passion, I promise to make you proud one day.
Mr Yap, you are truly an inspiration. Happy Father’s day to you, and to the other fathers out there!