I learned ballet since I was 7 years old. My parents sent me for ballet classes for me to acquire grace, posture and elegance through discipline and application.
I was one of the eldest in the class then. The recommended age for kids to start ballet class was supposed to be between 4-6 yrs old.
Therefore, after my few ballet classes, the principal Miss Grace Chew 'upgraded' me from Pre-Primary to Primary class (1 class higher). Then, during my Primary exams, I was caught with chicken pox thus I missed my exams. No matter how, I was given the greenlight to move up to Grade 1 based on my potential.
I still remember my first class, I refused to go as I was afraid to be apart from my mum. I cried and shouted but was forced to attend anyway. But the moment I stepped into the class, I loved it.
I can remember my first ballet lesson very well. Miss Grace had us all seated in a circle on the floor and taught us which are "good toes" and "notty toes". Good toes meaning pointed toes, while notty toes meaning sickle toes. We had fun learning to dance in a group.
Since then, I seldom miss my ballet classes. I love the way I sweat while doing workouts and we were taught to appreciate and love the music and dance. We were taught to recognize music and I recognized waltz music in my Grade 1 exams. We even did mime during our primary years.
There were many dancing styles in our syllabus. We danced classical ballet, free movement, character dances in Russion style, etc.
My Grade 1 to Grade 3 results earned me Honours in my ISTD exams, while we changed to RAD Exams from Grade 4 onwards. I got Distinctions from Grade 4-8 which the exception of Grade 7 which I only managed to get a Highly Commended.
I stopped after I finished my Grade 8 exams as I was in Form 5 at that time and was preparing for my SPM (I was 17 yrs old then). After SPM, I never continued to the next level of Pre-Elementary. Part of the reason being most of my friends stopped learning during that time too with some going overseas to further their studies.
I took pride in dancing ballet. It makes me happy to learn the steps and dance with my heart. Until now, I kind of regret not pursuing ballet after Grade 8. Sometimes, amongst my family which I am not ashamed to do what I feel like doing, I still spread my hands and legs and do some ballet steps out of nowhere.
I am now sad to say that I cannot even touch my toes with my fingers without bending my knees.....and it hurts....OUCH!
Oh...found below "oh-so-familiar video in YouTube"
RAD Grade 8 Valse Printemps
I miss my ballet friends. Pls bear in mind that tt was a time when ICQ, MSN, Email nor even Mobile Phone was popular...all I had was their house phone# (which by now most have moved).
I am now only in contact with Sze Wei, Diane Chan, Yen Hoi, Chuey Szu, Esther, Hai Lin, Khai Lin, Chew Chia Lin and U-Nee.
I'm now 'searching' for Ch'ng Li Ling, Tan Hui Ling, Tan Yee Ling, Nikki Cheah, H'ng Khai Li n Khai Lin , Hui Pin, Jesicca Peh, Chen Mei, Yu Lin.......
If any of you know these people, pls let me know :D
More videos for those who are interested to see more ballet steps:
Pointe Variation (by a 12-year old)
Barre Routine (by a 12-year old)