Hello March! This month, we are giving you one of our favourite K-POP dancers in Singapore, Ng Jia Yi! One of the instructors at Legacy Dance Co, her bubbly personality and talent in Girl’s Style is to be reckoned with.
Read on to find out more! But first, let’s take a look at one of her classes:
Talk me through your dance journey. Who/What inspired you to begin dance?
“Interestingly, I was peer pressured to join the dance club in my Secondary School by my group of classmates, and who knew it will actually lead me to where I am today. I had lots of fun dancing during my days in Secondary School and actually only came to realize it was something I would like to take a step further in when I continued this hobby in Polytechnic. It was actually the sensation and enjoyment when I perform when I realize that it was something I could not give up on. Be it on stage, or in a studio or even in front of the small mirror in my own room, I just love to be consumed and absorbed in the moment of performing a dance piece.”
What kept you going?
“It became a sanctuary where I’ll leave “reality” and just forget about any negativity or stress. Just being me while living in that moment of performing a piece. Whenever I am in doubt, I just take a moment.. and dance.”
Any difficulties that you experienced dancing? And how did you overcome it?
“There will always be difficulties and also, different level of difficulties. Such as comparison, when you compare yourself to others or when others compare you to someone else. It gradually becomes unnecessary pressure, trying to outshine another dancer or feeling upset when you don’t achieve a certain goal. As much as you wish not to, these thoughts tend to lead you to forget the reason as to why you dance. But I try to reposition my mindset whenever I need to and remind myself the reason why I continue to dance, and just find that desire and feeling from deep within that reminds me why I enjoy doing this so much – which is to perform. I love it, and I’m doing it for myself.”
Do you intend on making dance a full-time career? Why or why not?
I had multiple thoughts on this and have given it a try a couple times but ultimately, at my current position, as much as I love to dance, I don’t think I’ll be able to make it a full-time career. Reason being, I really love to dance, but by making it a full-time career, I know it will be more than just choreographing and performing a piece. There will be so much more pressure and other responsibilities to take on, which I am afraid that it will start making dance feel burdensome and tiring. Hence I am currently having a great balance so that I can still be able to do what I love and enjoy every aspect of dancing. “
What does dance mean to you?
“A zone where I can drop all my walls and be who I am.”
Any wise words that you keep in your heart when the going gets tough?
“Just do it – I’m not a Nike ambassador, but whenever there’s an obstacle or when you’re doubting yourself, just do it. Time will still pass, the earth will still be turning, if you don’t do it now, you won’t know what’s the outcome. So why not just do it. If you want to try a new dance style, just try it. If you feel uncomfortable or you feel it’s not for you, at least you tried and you have your answer. “
Please define what Community means to you!
“A place of comfort.”
What are your thoughts on our current dance community?
“It’s a growing community and it’s growing stronger and stronger at every blink of an eye.”
What do you hope to see in the future for the Singapore dance scene?
“I sincerely wish we can reduce all the judgments and have all dancers be tight as one dance community. Be it different genre or different level of dance, It’s not about comparison or competition, it’s about learning from one another and growing together as a whole community.”
Through your perspective, could you define what is K-POP Dance for our readers?
“K-Pop Dance is more than just copying a dance piece from a music video. It’s about showmanship, performance and also, characterization. K-Pop, itself, has multiple genre and style which is endless. And yes, through dance techniques and angles are important, I highly believe that showmanship is a skill that is equally important and also, not as easy to “master”. But once you step out of your shell and improve on your showmanship, the entire dance piece quality increases and jumps to a whole new level of performance. And I believe that K-Pop Dance teaches you showmanship and hence, you have to agree that many K-Pop artistes are able to catch attention and their performances are so engaging because of their showmanship and performance skills.”
How did you venture into K-POP Dance?
“I have always been an avid listener of K-Pop music and have followed their trends since my teen days. And I have to give it to them and say that keeping up and watching those music videos since my early dance days have helped me step out of my comfort zone and explore the different ways and style to complete a dance piece. K-Pop Dance also focuses on posture and angles. The moves tend to be choreographed in a way so that the artistes look good performing, and I believe that’s how I grow to learn how each small angle or posture accentuate a certain look and eventually helps the performance to look better visually. Even just a small head tilt during a certain dance move will help you be more engrossing in performing the piece and engage with the audience.
What are the challenges you faced when you began to teach dance? How did you overcome them?
I was really worried when I was first given the opportunity to take up the role as a dance instructor. Especially for choreography as there’s still so much for me to learn. However, everyone starts somewhere and with much practice and experience, you’ll figure out what is the best way for you to complete something. For me, in terms of choreography, watching multiple dance videos help me increase my dance vocab and help me in visualising a dance piece. Another way is really just to shut my eyes and plug in my earpiece and immerse myself in the music. Shutting my eyes and having the music plugged in literally brings my mind to my private dance sanctuary where I’ll be able to immerse myself in the beats and imagine myself performing a piece. This helps me to focus on which beat to hit and what kind of moves are the most natural according to the rhythm, in which afterward, I’ll start to piece the choreography with solid moves.
To all dancers that intend to pursue dance as a career, any words of advice for them?
“Don’t forget the reason why you love to dance. When times get tough or when you start doubting yourself, go back and find out why you actually love to dance and why it brings you joy. Then focus on it. Also, don’t compare. Everyone is unique in their own way and there’s no one person in the world that is the same as you. Go at your own pace, find out what’s the best for you and eventually, you will end up where you want to be. (And also, just try it. Whatever it is. Just try. Because if you don’t, you will NEVER know.)”
Finally, any events in the upcoming months that we will be able to catch you at?
Come for my KPOP/Girls Style classes every Saturday at Legacy Dance Co!