1st Time Dance Competitor

I never knew that I would be this stressed for the in-house beginners' competition. I had diarrhoea in my office 6 times one day during the week before the competition! As I went overseas with my family a few days before the competition, Cornelius and I had limited time to practice. Hence, I went to Xenbar everyday for practice in the week before I left.

 This was my first ever salsa competition. I had little social dance experience prior to the competition so I still had reservations dancing salsa. Cornelius and I had quite some bit of disadvantage. Poor Cornelius! He was a total noob at salsa and he had to compete. I think he had less than 2 weeks of practice. As for me, the hotel room in the resort did not have a CD player. I had to resort to borrowing the hi-fi system from a guy manning the controls in the public arena. I really couldn’t be bothered when I decide to give my all in what I do. The other guys standing around must be thinking I was some “siao zha bo”, or “gila”. It was quite mortifying.

In all my previous performance experiences, I had never done a couple dance before. This only added to my stress. In a couple dance, only 2 people are on the stage. It is so much easier to spot any mistakes! This real feeling, that lesser people are with you on stage, is intimidating as well! I had this tendency to think the worst of everything when I’m not confident. I was just so scared I’d screw up no matter how many times we practiced.

Thank goodiness Cornelius is such a healthy kid! Yeah! He’s very positive in his thinking, optimistic, always so encouraging and keeps telling me to relax. To Cornelius: Thanks, you’re a great teacher in the making! On the actual day of the competition, we “miscounted” the music. During the competition, there was two more 8s that we did not know of at the end. We had no choice but to free-style and just make the best out of it. In other words, we smoked through it. It’s quite a funny experience, thinking back. I still remember Cornelius’s face of sheer shock and horror! Wahha! Alright, I’ll admit, I bet my face was screwed up too.

One more thing, I was initially doubtful of myself because Cornelius just had such great isolation powers! His hips are… Omigush! He can control them very well. I almost thought that he could direct each part, each millimeter of it to go anywhere he wanted it to go. Hip thrusts, hip circles, I am far behind him… That stressed me up too. I feared that we were much too far from each other in terms of our dancing capability and it would be painful to watch. We were really surprised that we got second despite screwing it up at the back.

To sum it up, I enjoyed it. A competition really makes one improve. You would practice really hard so that the routine became part of “muscle memory”. You don’t want to make a fool out of yourself so all you could do is to make sure you look good. It made you conscious of how you look when you dance because you know all eyes will be on you when you perform. There’s no other way the audience can look if they are really watching the dance.

- Kyla Ng (GRACE), 15 Sep 07' (Sat)

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Starlinn Actfa DanceSTARLINN CHOO YANQING joined the SFDF program in 2004 while studying in NUS, training 12 hours a day; she completed her SFDF, Diploma & IHDC courses in 3 years, using her teaching income to finance her classes in Diploma & IHDC. In 2008 she pursued her IMDC Dance Business & is now doing her 3 years IPHDC Dance Product Research. While pursuing her IHDC she was already traveling around the world for assignments. more


Bianca Actfa DanceBIANCA enrolled in the SFDF course after A-levels. Within 6 months she was dancing as a backup dancer for MTV. She has also traveled to many countries like Germany, UK, Taiwan & Hong Kong to teach & perform, & was offered a position to dance in a few Musical plays. 


 Libin Actfa DanceLB, a masters degree holder working for a MNC, decided to do a career switch after he completed his SFDF. He then worked as an International Sales Manager in dance products, an international artist & dance instructor. He is the Singapore Bachata Champion 2008 and the 1st runner up in the Asia Salsa Championship behind Serge and Polina from Russia in 2010. more


manfred Actfa DanceMANGGOH was one of the elite few selected for the Mediacorp Dance Academy in 2000. He graduated from NTU with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and used to work as a Project Manager in the IT Industry. He passed his examination & evaluation for SFDF and is currently doing his Diploma & IHDC. more


maricel Actfa DanceMARICEL, a professional dancer from the Philippines, joined SFDF in 2009. In less than a year, she has performed at the Esplanade Da:ns Festival 2009, Salsa Cruise Asia 2009, & has also been to China to teach & perform. In 2010 she was offered a full time dance instructor job in Singapore. She has since gone on to set up a dance studio in the Philippines and comes back periodically to upgrade her skills.


rachel Actfa DanceRACHEL an undergraduate in NTU joined the SFDF in 2010 and was offered to open a dance studio in China.  She has taught and performed in Guang Zhou, Shen Zhen, Hong Kong, Singapore.


 derrick actfa danceDERRICK has over 20 years of dance instructor experience with more than 30 types of dance. He was granted an exemption from SFDF after taking an examination & evaluation and signed up for the diploma & IHDC simultaneously.


tamil actfa danceTAMIL, a professional dancer & teacher actively involved in competitions & performances for Hip Hop, Bollywood, Indian Dance. He was teaching dance in secondary school and choreographing for SYF. He joined the IHDC program to further his training as a dancer & teacher in 2009.  Since joining the IHDC, he has taught, performed & competed in Hong Kong, China, Taiwan.


brenda actfa danceBRENDA joined the SFDF when she was 13 years old and was hired to teach and perform both locally and overseas after 6 months. She was also financing her own dance study while teaching private dance classes.  Under the SFDF, she was the 1st runner up in the Asia Salsa Championship 2010 and Singapore Bachata Champion 2009.  She was given opportunities to teach in Malaysia, Hong Kong, China.

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Actfa School of Dance & Performing Arts
Tel:  +65 6225 0150                        Location:  Map
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