Jocelyn Loong Hui Ting during L’Amour de Danse concert in 2012. Photo by Matthew Seah, MS Photography
would have been more difficult to do that if I simply graduate as an NUS student without the bond. It provides a very good opening. Apart from that, there was the awards ceremony the NAC held with the recipients and this helped expose me to the other arts practitioners out there too. There were some who were interested in very specialised forms of arts, things that I didn’t even know existed, so that was great. TR: There’s always been a sort of stigma attached to the arts in Singapore. Certainly, this has eased off compared to the past, but what are your thoughts on this? JL: I still do experience that now. For example, whenever I mention NAC everyone will always ask me what the acronym means. It’s just not as well known. However, I’ve always thought that the arts scene wasn’t dead to begin with. It’s there. It’s just unrecognised and it’s up to
NAC Management Scholarship 2012 recipient - Jocelyn Loong Hui Ting. Photo from National Arts Council
you to jump into that pool.
TR: As a dancer is there anything in particular that you do to prep yourself before you get out there on stage?
TR: So it depends more on the surroundings for you?
JL: Yep, I usually make sure I at least have a minute alone to visualise the dance from start till end, including all the steps and any potential troubles that might happen. Say, if the lights malfunction or something, what would I do so I don’t get caught off-guard or panic. I will walk myself through the item. TR: Is there a favourite dance or performance so far? One that stood out in particular for you? JL: That’s difficult to say, but I’ve enjoyed working more under certain people because of the styles they work with and the way they teach… The way they carry themselves, I guess. It’s more about the journey and the people I dance with than
JL: Yes, a lot. I could be dancing something like the chicken dance, but if it’s with people who are passionate and there’s a good teacher, I still wouldn’t mind. TR: Have you received any valuable advice from a good teacher then? JL: My choreographer once said when you’re dancing: Don’t think about anything else. Don’t let anything distract you from what you’re doing - not your home, your handphone, or anything else. You should be whole hearted and commit yourself to the full 100%. Only when you’re able to do that would the time be worth it. TR: Any parting words for all the arts practitioners out there?
JL: Yes, a lot actually. (laughs) But I’ll try to control myself. I would have to say that it really is a journey, and if you start it with the right frame of mind, it won’t hurt you as badly when you get negative comments or criticism. I feel that for the performing arts, especially, there can be a lot of jealousy involved and the field can get quite nasty. Certainly, this is because all of the practitioners are passionate and they’re all vying for the leading role. They want to put themselves in a better position. This might be disheartening for younger artists though, so I always make sure to remind my juniors that so long as you’re happy with what you’re doing, there’s no need to care about what other people say. You can be chucked in the corner of the room, but if you’re passionate, you can still feel happy. Even if you don’t dance all that well, it doesn’t matter so long as you feel you yourself have grown as a better person.
March 2013 issue of THE RIDGE - the largest student-run magazine in the National University of Singapore