Got talented children? Why not enroll them in a performing arts class? It’s a fun way for them to hone their abilities, from dance classes, ballet and theatre, to playing a musical instrument. Here, young performers tell us what they love about their respective performing arts school.
Centre Stage Performing Arts and Drama Classes
Name: Sam Amestoy (18)
Years at the school: 10
I’ve been at Centre Stage since 2007, and I’m now leaving Singapore to attend Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in London to pursue my passion in musical theatre. When I moved to Singapore from Dubai, my parents wanted to find a place where I could build my confidence and desire to be on stage. Centre Stage was recommended to them by friends. Over the years, I’ve taken part in creative drama, on-stage musical theatre, musical theatre workshops, ballet, jazz, tap and singing. I’ve also performed in musicals (Legally Blonde, FAME!, Seussical, A Little Princess and Honk, to name a few!), dance shows and Christmas pantomimes. In addition, I sat for my Grade 7 Solo Acting Exam from Trinity College London.
The most beautiful moment in a performance is the silence before the show starts; the audience is in quiet anticipation, while the actors wait in the wings with excitement. It’s a moment of hope – anything can happen.
Everyone has something to give to the world and can educate others in different ways. The theatre is a beautiful thing; after two hours, the audience comes out with a thought ingrained in their minds and, more importantly, in their hearts. The message the actors convey over those two hours could change the lives of many. I want to do that for the rest of my life. Through Centre Stage, I’ve learnt confidence, perseverance, empathy and respect.
Tanglin Arts Studio – Dance Classes
Name: Anya Harvey (11)
Nationality: Vietnamese American
Years at the studio: 2.5
My mum’s good friend and colleague at the Singapore American School told us about Tanglin Arts Studio and about her daughter’s experience with learning to dance there. I do ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary, lyrical dance, musical theatre and acrobatics at the studio, and I’ve learnt a lot about communication, teamwork and expressing myself through dance. I’ve also learnt how to dance as a soloist, as part of a duo and with a group in the Performance Team.
I’ve participated in three Tanglin Arts dance recitals. I also joined two Get the Beat competitions as a soloist (lyrical, song and dance), in a duo (lyrical and contemporary) and as part of the Performance Team (jazz, lyrical and contemporary), as well as the Australian Teachers of Dancing (ATOD) competition in Bangkok in ballet, jazz and tap. I was also given the opportunity to perform and be interviewed for the children’s show Hiccup and Sneeze, and I’ve participated in two dance conventions in Australia. I love that when I’m dancing, it’s not about anything but dance. If something is bothering me, I forget about it when I’m dancing – I feel safe and happy. I love being part of a team that feels like a family. It’s great as I get to know people from other schools.
I love that some of my friends are older, some are younger and others are my age. When I’m dancing, I can be myself and be in the company of great friends and teachers.
Yamaha Music School
Name: Tok Min (10)
Years at the school: 5
When I was a little girl, I enjoyed making simple compositions on the piano. A family friend heard of this and advised my mother to enrol me at the Yamaha Music School. Under the guidance of my teacher Helen Goh, I learnt about chord progressions, rhythms and how different instruments come together to create an ensemble. This allowed me to compose original music, improvise and arrange music, which is a lot of fun! I’ve taken part in a few piano competitions and Electone (Yamaha electric organ) competitions between 2013 and 2017. I’ve also arranged music pieces for public performances, one of which was for a bursary award presentation. I’m very happy to be able to encourage others through music.
I love the fact that I can create my own music with the Electone. It’s an amazing instrument that has many functions, sounds and rhythms. I love learning how to play all sorts of instruments – it’s satisfying and fun! I’m able to play pretty well on the Electone, piano and clarinet (in my school band). During my free time, I work on improving my skills on the flute, oboe, recorder, ukulele and dizi (Chinese flute). My parents are very supportive of my musical interests.
I’ve picked up useful skills such as discipline and perseverance while learning music. I’ve also learnt about teamwork during my group lesson at Yamaha where I work together and perform with others.
Multiple locations islandwide sg.yamaha.com
L’Academie de Danse Singapore – Ballet Classes
Name: Ava Hopkins (16)
Years at the academy: 4
I heard about L’Academie de Danse Singapore from my mum as she attended adult ballet classes there. I’ve been learning ballet as well as contemporary dance. I have danced two big solos and a few miniature solos in a group, and I also attended the Boston Summer Camp this year and The Bolshoi Ballet in Russia last year.
I enjoy ballet as it’s a way I can express myself; I love turning the most! I also love the perfection of the movements and memorising the different combinations. I have picked up many skills along the way, including perseverance – nothing is perfect on the first try – and teamwork, as we need to move and dance together.
Name: Ines Dubouis (13)
Years at the academy: 7
I heard about L’Academie de Danse Singapore from my friends, and I am learning ballet (répertoire, technique and foundation) and contemporary dance there. In the last seven years, I’ve taken part in four competitions in France. I’ve also danced in shows organised by the school such as the end-of-year recital in June and “open doors” in December. I also attended the Paris Opera Summer Camp for the third time this year.
What I love the most about ballet is being on stage, and the fact that everyone can learn at their own pace. I enjoy learning new steps, choreography, and challenging and fast exercises. I’ve learnt a lot about teamwork and patience, too.