During the last year of High school not long before graduation, the Academy of Performing Arts in Hong Kong held an audition in the hall of my school to select potential students who got the talent and passion for dancing. I was one of those who preferred dancing over football so I went feeling excited. They put on the soundtrack of Flashdance, “What a Feeling” sung by Irene Cara, while dozens of us started shaking our bodies. I was literally like a mad kid all over the place from one corner to another as if I were a professional dancer, with no shame as I was a bit overweight. I gave my best and was soaking wet, but left disappointed. Those who got picked didn’t try very hard, but they all had something in common – good looking and slim.
In 2013, an Australian ballet dancer, Alexander Campbell caught my attention on Facebook, who is now a Principal Dancer of the Royal Ballet in the UK. He inspired me to give myself a chance just to feel it despite my age. I called up a few famous dance studios, but none were willing to take me because I had absolutely no experience, and I was already in my 40s. After googling a whole day, I was thrived finally managed to find a small studio in the city which had amateur classes for adults at beginners’ level.
I still remember the moment when I first entered the room full of girls focusing on stretching before the class began. I was terrified as I was the only guy and the girls were all younger than me. Everybody had their ballet shoes on except me as I hadn’t got a pair yet. At the end of the class the teacher was kind enough to give me some advice on where to get my first pair of ballet shoes. I flew all the way to New York to get a pair of Bloch instead of getting one nearby as per her suggestion, lol. Anyway, the first lesson went nice and smooth although I had no idea what she meant with all those terms. It took me a couple of months to be able to really feel the joy of being a ballerina despite the excruciating pain at times.