Need an outlet? Try dancing

Updated: Mar 25

Have you ever heard the quote “dance like nobody’s watching”?

I think it’s about letting loose and not having a care in the world. It’s also about having fun, doing whatever it is you want to do – and not worrying about what other people think.

At least that’s how I look at it. 😊

(And if you literally can’t dance, or aren’t a good dancer, who cares? If you feel like dancing, go for it. Even if – especially if – there are people around.)

This applies to everyone

Whoever you are, whatever your age, whatever you do for a living… you can definitely “dance like nobody’s watching”.

Why am I writing this? I was inspired to when I learnt that the Singapore Dance Theatre’s (SDT) theme for their 2020 season is “Dare to Dance”.

For me, “dance like nobody’s watching” and “Dare to Dance” sounds like an invitation for us to do all of the above – as well as watch SDT’s performances. 😊

Next month it’ll already be Romeo and Juliet; in September it’ll be Ballet Under the Stars, and in December it’ll be The Nutcracker – two other fan favourites.

Catch the show from 5-8 March 2020

There’ll also be three world premieres in November to look forward to, at Passages Contemporary Season, which will be by Timothy Harbour, Natalie Weir and Loughlan Prior. (For schedules and more information, click here.)

We ask a professional

What else comes to mind when you think of “Dare to Dance”? 😊

“Boldness and being adventurous – trying to move out of your comfort zone and encouraging people to be more exposed to dance in one way or another,” answers Elaine Heng, soloist with SDT.

Here's Elaine in Don Quixote (Photo by Bernie Ng)

And practice makes perfect. “The season has only just begun so it’s too early to tell,” she muses, when asked about how preparing for the season has changed her.

“But you learn from every season and carry the knowledge over from the previous one to the next. I would say the past few seasons have thrown a couple of curveballs at me. I can’t say for sure if I always rose to the occasion but it definitely made me a bolder and more confident performer. So here’s hoping that it will be reflected this season.”

You’ll see Elaine thrive in “Dare to Dance”, also because there are so many things and firsts she’s excited about for this year. Among them:

“Romeo and Juliet, because I first danced Fate when I felt inexperienced and inadequate. I feel stronger now and I hope to do this role justice this time around,” she admits.

“Also, because we have a live orchestra playing Prokofiev, I want to be driven to tears! This year the company will be touring one out of five works created for the company by Nils Christe – Organ Concerto – to Malaysia and to Salt Lake City, Utah, for the first time. I’m excited to perform Serenade with a live orchestra, the Singapore National Youth Orchestra, at a one-night-only event.

Elaine in Serenade (Photo by Bernie Ng)

“Another piece I’m excited to perform is possibly the world premiere of a Timothy Rushton work for our Masterpiece in Motion season, which we have just started rehearsing for. He’s using Ravel for his music and it’s wonderful. As you can see, music drives me largely.”

Still unsure?

Let’s face it – we don’t usually get up and dance even if we wanted to.

If there’s something stopping you, Elaine’s words might convince you to take that bold step – to do something new or out of the box, your own version of “Dare to Dance”. What kind of results do you think you’ll get? 😊

#1 Be open

“… because you need a mind that doesn’t shut itself out, and to be able to have a laugh at yourself. Otherwise that’s when people stop learning.”

#2 Be adventurous

“… because you need that little bit in you to throw yourself into something you may not be completely comfortable in.”

#3 Be committed and patient

“… so that you stick to something and not give up easily. Dance, ballet in particular, requires years and years of hard work to master let alone when someone picks it up for recreational purposes. The fundamentals are hard and dry, but possessing commitment and patience will get you somewhere. All these are useful in your everyday life too.”

#4 Be curious

“That sense of wonder and want to explore. People shouldn’t rely on being told things; the best times are when you question them.”

Can you do it?

Why not make this year your year to “dance like nobody’s watching” (and “Dare to Dance”)? Start trying and doing things that’ll allow you to express yourself without fear of judgment.

And if a favourite song happens to play when you’re out, don’t be afraid to bust a move or two. 👏

For more on SDT and their 2020 season, go to their site and follow them on social media: @singaporedancetheatre.