HAVE you ever watched in awe as celebrities dance in a music video and wondered if you could ever pull off the choreography with the same energy and precise dance skills? Well, you should give it a try before jumping to any conclusions!
K-Pop dance instructor Wong Ting Yao better known as Stoppie first attended dance classes at the age of 18. Today, the 24-year-old is a full-fledged dance instructor at 1Dance Studio in Petaling Jaya.
Prior to becoming an instructor, Stoppie represented Malaysia in K-Pop dance competitions across the globe, and even won first place a few times.
Despite the rapid timeline, Stoppie did not become a dance expert overnight, and he shares his insights on what someone must do if they want to master the art of dance.
“Of course you have to love dancing, that’s the first step! Next, you have to listen to the different genres and choose the music that you’d like to dance to. I would suggest that if there is a specific style of dance that you like – for me it was K-Pop – try out those classes first. But then, also give other dance styles a try.
“I’m still not a pro, I’m still learning. Even though I am already an instructor, I am still taking classes from dance professionals.”
Aside from his love for dance, Stoppie is also passionate about guiding his students to improve day by day.
“Some students come and go. I see old and new faces but I really appreciate those students who stuck around for a long time. I can see their improvement, and it shows me that they are willing to put in the effort and overcome their limitations.
“There are two types of students that come to my class – the ones who come for the songs, and the students who are passionate about dancing, with the intention of performing on stage or even joining dance competitions.
“I will try to help those students and give them the tips that I have learned [over the years of] joining competitions.”
According to Stoppie, age doesn’t matter when learning. The youngest student that he has taught in his career was just nine years old.
“The student could pick up so well and I was so surprised,” he said. “She’s into K-Pop and is very focused during classes.
“So, it definitely depends on the student’s ability to pick up and memorise the dance steps.”
theSun also had the opportunity to talk to two students who attended classes under Stoppie at 1Dance Studio.
About a year ago, 16-year-old Bryan Ang joined the class after being encouraged by his friends, and has enjoyed it ever since.
He shares: “Obviously in the beginning there were difficulties, but I just had to work hard. I had my friends who helped me improve, and I am proud of where I am now.
“You shouldn’t feel bad for yourself for starting from the bottom. I believe that anyone can dance, as long as you put effort into it, and have fun!”
Meanwhile, 16-year-old Chloe is still searching for the dance style that suits her most. She first learned to dance at home by watching videos online prior to joining the dance studio, and she is considering dance as a potential career.
She says: “At first, I just wanted to have fun. But now, I am considering it as a career choice. But of course, I will work towards getting better at dancing first.”