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Aljess Lee (Indian Cultural Society)

From Zero to Hero

I never imagined I would join Indian Dance* as my CCA. In fact, I was skeptical about it; about my role in Indian Dance* and whether I could even contribute positively to the CCA. During the first dance session, I was nervous and fearful that I might be alienated as I was the only non-Indian in the CCA. However, the welcome that my fellow dancers gave me soon allayed my fears. Picking up Indian dance became one of the best decisions I made in PU1. Now, even after three years, Indian Dance continues to instill resilience in me and help me to grow into a person of character and value.

I am really proud of the Distinction award we won during the Singapore Youth Festival (SYF). It might seem like an unsurprising outcome to everyone else, but the hard work we put in through the long exasperating journey made us savour our Distinction with all our hearts. I am especially proud of my fellow dancers who travelled together with me on this journey. Notwithstanding the fact that we were a small team, each of us gave our 100% and more. My fellow members were my source of motivation to push myself even harder.

The journey towards the SYF was tough for all of us. We faced different challenges. I remembered how I lacked classical dance skills and was fearful of being a burden to the dance team. This drove me to practise on my own at home and my efforts paid off as I was able to execute the moves well. This experience of overcoming my lack of dance foundation to execute the SYF moves well has definitely motivated me to be more forward-looking and resilient in my educational pursuits. I firmly believe that one reaps what one sows, and have applied this principle to both my CCA and school work.

It is no secret that Indian Dance* is a small CCA and we always face the issue of not having enough dancers. This could have restricted our ability to mount public performances even for the SYF. However, we thrived in unity and we basked in passion. With determination, we were able to get people to join us, by helping them to understand the cultural richness and values that Indian dance develops in each dancer.

All our achievements would not have been possible without our teachers, especially my CCA teachers who guided us and provided us with immense support throughout our years in MI. To all the friends who helped us out during performances and other events, I cannot thank you enough for your efforts. May Indian Dancers always put up the best performances and may we continue to put a smile on your faces.

*Indian Dance is now known as Indian Cultural Society

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