Visually impaired dancer teaches cancer survivors how to dance
Chingay 2020 will see choreography from two people whose passion for dance transcends disability and age
Though she is visually impaired, Ms Ramlah De Rose, 52, has never stopped pursuing her passion in dance.
"Dancing lets me express myself, it helps me forget my condition and disability," she said.
As a dancer, Ms Ramlah has difficulty following the instructor as she is not able to see the movements well. The blinding lights onstage also make it hard for her to see and stay within formation.
Despite the challenges, she never gave up .
Since May 2017, Ms Ramlah has been a trainer with Be Hype, Be Happy, a dance support group for which she holds dance classes.
"As a choreographer, I would visualise the whole performance first in terms of the positions and movements I want (the dancers) to do," she said.
The group, which serves as an enrichment programme for members of the Singapore Cancer Society, comprises cancer survivors and those still undergoing treatment.
"I firmly believe in the benefits of dancing. I hope to give these survivors something to look forward to and encourage them to stay involved in group activities," she said.
As a way to boost morale, the group decided to take part in this year's Chingay Parade.
"To tie in with this year's theme, Colours In Harmony, we will be dressed in shades of orange and green, joining performers from all walks of life during our segment," said Ms Ramlah.
"That is the spirit of Chingay, it brings different communities together."
Chingay 2020 will take place from Jan 31 till Feb 1 at the F1 Pit Building.
Dance is also close to Mr Tay Poh Soon's heart. The 63-year-old has been dancing for almost 46 years and has choreographed some of the performances at the National Day and Chingay parades since 1986.
He found a passion for Chinese dance and culture after watching Chinese opera with his mother while growing up.
He said: "My passion grew when I started dancing at 15. It was a transition, suddenly I was not just watching the dance moves onstage, I was performing them myself."
Mr Tay started choreographing school performances for Chingay around 1986. In the mid-90s, he was invited by the People's Association to be a choreographer and he has continued in the role ever since.
This year, Mr Tay will be choreographing the Chinese dance ensemble.
"There are around 30 people in the ensemble, all from different professions and (of different) ages, from Secondary 2 students to those in their 30s," he said.
"Chingay is like a reunion with old friends... My love for dance and getting to meet my friends are what keep me going."