It’s Saturday and instead of doing my assignments, I spent my Saturday noon by browsing all the pictures that I have in my external hard disk. While browsing, I came across those pictures of me dancing and it reminds me of those happy moments in Sydney.
Thanks to Ashwin, my life as a dancer started because of you. Ashwin was the Cultural Director of Malaysian Students Association (MSA) and the Entertainment Producer of Sydney Malaysian Festival 2009 (MFest 09). Well, being a freshman at that time, I was so eager to enjoy my university life to the fullest. So when I heard that MSA was looking for dancers to perform in MFest '09, I was so excited because I thought that it could be a great opportunity for me to expand my study abroad experience. Even though I had very little experience in dancing, it did not worry me at all. Err, a little maybe. Well, I still could learn right? So why should I worry?
To shorten the story, I signed up my name as one of the performers. But to my surprise, Ashwin asked me to not only dance, but also to choreograph a Sabahan ethnic dance. I was like WHAT?! Me? Choreograph? You've got to be kidding me! I was so damn surprised! Ashwin said he wanted Sabahan and Sarawakian dances to be performed in MFest this year (2009) and Jane and I could help him to realize the dream.
I knew it sounded ridiculous since I was not a dancer myself, what more of choreographing? But I hated to say no. As a Sabahan, I do want my culture to be exposed to the global audience. And how could I turn down that request just because I thought I was incapable of doing so? Well I said to myself "THIS IS A CHALLENGE'! So, I ignored the doubts and fears and said "Alright, let's do the thing!".
Alhamdulillah I had my friends especially Farouk, Danny, Izza and Intan to help me to overcome all the hardships. I would say the highlight of our journey as dancers was when Danny formed a dance group named RENTAK. RENTAK’s first public performance was during Malaysian Night at one of the hotels in Blue Mountain . I officially joined and performed with the group in June 2009. RENTAK was invited to perform in 'TONG 09 as well as Sydney National Conference Game (NCG) opening ceremony which were held at Malaysian Hall and UTS respectively. After that, Alhamdulillah, offer datang mencurah-curah. Wah macam celebrity pula kan.
Photo credit: Farouk
Photo credit: Azriq Aiman
Photo credit: Azriq Aiman
Photo credit: Azriq Aiman & Farouk
My first ever MFest experience. I performed three dances during this MFest; Malay Joget, Sabah Daling-daling (choreographed by me) and Ngajat (choreographed by Jen).
iCLUB INTERNATIONAL DAY '10
Photo Credit: Den Angelles
This one was big! We actually competed with other international students in order to win $1200 cash prize. And guess what? WE WON THE FIRST PRIZE! Awesome!! (Read more about this here)
Photo Credit: Farouk and Arniza
My second MFest. This time around I joined MFest as not only a dancer but also the Cultural Director of MSA and one of the Entertainment Directors of MFest 2010. There were times when I had a breakdown and felt like giving up because I had to do triple jobs at one time; managing, choreographing and dancing. Can you imagine that kind of pressure? But Alhamdulillah it went very well. I survived!
The overall experience was just amazing. I would never trade it for anything in the world because it taught me so many great things in life:
- There’s nothing impossible in life. We can achieve anything if we work on it.
- Friendship and teamwork matter! I owe it to my friends for all the good times and fond memories. They did not just teach me how to dance but most importantly, they also taught me to believe in myself and to have faith in others. They were there to support and cheer me during good and bad times. SO BIG THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU. (macam academy award acceptance speech pula..hehe
- We don’t have to be the official Malaysian ambassadors in order to promote our Malaysian cultures! We ARE the ambassadors of our great nation, whenever and wherever we go. It’s our responsibility to promote and showcase the unique cultures and traditions of Malaysia to other people. So don’t ever say no if you were given that kind of opportunity in doing so. MALAYSIA BOLEH!
My point of this whole long entry was to say that I am so proud of everything I've done.