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Tips from an expat mum in Singapore

With a teenager and a toddler on her hands, I expect Australian expat Mel Cassidy to be tearing her hair out; yet, on the outside at least, she appears cool, calm and collected. She gives me her take on bringing up her children in Singapore.

Mums the Word: Australian expat Mel on having
toddler and teenager in Singapore 

I hear you’ve just returned from a flying visit to the UK. What were you doing there?

My daughter Jordyn (15) had an audition at Tring Park School for the Performing Arts, and we’ve just found out that she got the place. She was shocked when she found out, but so happy, as are we. I’ve not seen her so passionate about something in a long time.

She starts the three-year musical theatre course in September this year. My plan is to visit every couple of months, but I’m sure she’ll be fine; she’s very confident and independent.

How did Jordyn get into the performing arts?

Back in Sydney, when she was two and a half years old, Jordy started a tots’ dance class which included ballet, jazz and tap. She has been dancing ever since.

She loves jazz and hip-hop dancing, and trains up to five evenings a week at Centre Stage School of the Arts. She’s good at ballet, but it’s not her passion. Ultimately she wants to be in musicals on Broadway or in the West End. The course at Tring is perfect for her, and she’ll get training in ballet, jazz, tap, singing and acting.

Has Rory been bitten by the theatrical bug yet?

He’s only two and a half, so he’s a bit young yet, but he does take Playstage 1 classes at Centre Stage. They’re an hour-and-a-half long. We dance, sing songs, do craft, have story time and snack time; it’s really phenomenal. Rory loves Andy, who runs the classes; he talks about him all week long and always sits on his lap in class.

What else does Rory have in his busy diary?

He goes to Marcel’s Playgroup on Ridout Road near Dempsey two mornings a week. He’s one of seven children there; they only take children from 18 months to three years old. We also go to St George’s Playgroup once a week, and have joined the Bukit Timah Meetup.com group, a nice, easygoing group of ladies. Three times a week, we go along to Bloom n Fit strollercise classes, which are run by Claire Dinsmore in the Botanic Gardens. I love sport, and this a great way to keep fit and spend time with Rory. As you’re the sporty type, I’m assuming you participate in some other activities – do you?

I play for the Singapore Gaelic Lions Football Club women’s team, and I love it. It’s the one thing I can claim as all mine, and I always look forward to it. Gaelic football is a mixture of soccer, basketball, rugby and Aussie Rules football, and we play on Wednesday evenings and Sunday afternoons. The bunch of ladies who play are great, and so much fun.

Our Favourite Things

  • I can’t do without: My Asic trainers. They are the best running shoes, and I use them all the time.
  • Rory’s favourite toy: His scooter; he’s a scooter maniac.
  • Our favourite holiday: It’s a toss-up between Sri Lanka and Nikoi. Sri Lanka was unreal; we stayed at South Point Villas and the food and people were amazing. And Nikoi speaks for itself really; it’s just a dream.
  • Favourite restaurant: I love ChoPSuey in Dempsey. The food is great for sharing, and the chilli lychee martini is the best cocktail ever!