Conversations with Adult Ballet Students: #1 Wong Sin Ting

Ballet is tough. Tough on the body. Tough on the mind. It’s an art that belongs to the youth—if you wish to be a professional dancer, you’ve got to start young—and you generally finish your career young. But there is a group of adults who are so smitten with the beauty of this art form that they have started to learn it. For some, they started as a child and continue to take class in adulthood. What motivates them to pick up ballet in the first place, and to continue taking class despite the challenges? Follow me in my series of “Conversations with Adult Ballet Students.” My focus will be on adult ballet students in Hong Kong but will also include those in other countries. Leave me a message if you would like to be profiled in a future edition.

芭蕾舞是一門艱苦的藝術,對身體和意志都有極大的挑戰。它是一種属於年青人的藝術—如果你想成爲職業舞者,必須開始得早,但退休也早。不過,職業舞蹈圈以外,還存在着一羣熱心人,他們被芭蕾舞的美感深深地攝住,在成年後才開始學習芭蕾。有的呢,就從小開始學,到長大後仍不舍不棄,繼續鑽研。到底是甚麽驅使他們學習芭蕾呢?在筆者《與成人芭蕾舞學生的對話》系列中,讓我們認識一下香港—以及外國—的成人芭蕾舞學生,對於學舞的一些感想。如果你有興趣與我的讀者分享你的心聲和經歷,請給我留言。

Joining us for the first conversation is Wong Sin Ting. Sin Ting, or Kitty, works as a facilities manager and program officer in Hong Kong. Let’s hear what she has to say!

第一位被訪的是黃蒨亭。蒨亭在香港任職設施管理及籌辦活動的工作,看看她的分享吧!

Sin Ting Wong

Sin Ting Wong 黃蒨亭

Q: Did you ever take ballet lessons as a kid? When was that?

A: Yes, I did. When I was five.

問:你小時曾經學過芭蕾舞嗎?是幾歲的時候?

答:有,當時五歲。

Q: When did you start taking ballet class as an adult?

A: I have been learning ballet since I was a child and since then haven’t really stopped.

問:你成年後何時開始學芭蕾?

答:由細學到大,其實冇咩點斷過。

Q: What motivated you to learn ballet?

A: I’m inspired by the beauty of the movements. At the same time, taking class is a good workout. I can kill two birds with one stone!

問:學芭蕾的動機是甚麽?

答:因為動作優美,同時又可當做運動,一舉兩得。

Q: What do you find to be the biggest challenge or difficulty?

A: The biggest challenge is flexibility. Without a good degree of flexibility, it’s difficult to produce beautiful and elegant movements.

問:對你來講,成人芭蕾舞學生最大的挑戰是甚麽?

答:身體柔軟度。如身體柔軟度不足,很難將動作做得靚及優美。

Q:What does ballet bring to your life?

A:My life revolves around dancing. I love going to ballet performances, for example, I would go with my classmates to Taiwan for ballet shows as well as sightseeing. When I visit the UK, I would find a dance studio to take class and go to the Royal Opera House to watch performances by the Royal Ballet. I don’t read many books but all the books I have at home have to do with dancing.

問:芭蕾爲你的人生帶來了些甚麽?

答:我嘅生活都圍繞著跳舞,如為左睇芭蕾舞星的演出,與跳舞同學一齊去台灣旅行兼睇表演;去英國旅行都要去搵舞蹈室上堂及去Royal Opera House 睇Royal Ballet。我本身係一個唔多睇書嘅人,但我屋企有嘅書都係同跳舞有關嘅書籍。

Q: What is the greatest achievement in your ballet life so far?

A: Being recognized for my own choreography. For example, in 2013, my work “The Time is Now” was chosen to be showcased at the Hong Kong Dance Festival. In 2012, I got the silver award for my choreography for the Group Dance category at the 8th Young Ballet Stars Award organized by the Hong Kong Ballet Group.

問:直至目前爲止,你的芭蕾生涯中最大的成就是甚麽?

答:自己所編排的芭蕾舞作品獲得認同,如2013年所編排的“瞬間即逝”獲選參與2013年度香港舞蹈節演出、及2012年香港芭蕾舞學會第八屆芭蕾舞超新星大賞群舞組銀獎。

Q: What have you gained that was out of your expectation?

A: Well, to me, dancing isn’t just about making movements. It has trained me to persevere and stick to my goals with strong will power. It has also improved my bodily coordination and analytic skills. I feel that what I’ve gained from ballet has helped me become much more efficient when doing other things.

問:有没有甚麽意想不到的收獲?

答:有。跳舞唔單止只係“跳跳跳”咁簡單,訓練埋我嘅恆心、毅力、鬥志、手腳協調能力、思考分析等,令我做其他事情有事半功倍的感覺。

Q: What have you lost?

A: As I spend most of my free time in dancing, I’ve sacrificed the chances to hang out with other friends and go shopping and dining.

問:有没有失去或犧牲了甚麽?

答:有,因大部分時間用來跳舞,犧牲了同其他朋友去食飯同行街嘅機會。

Q: Is it all worth it?

A: Sure, because dancing is what I like to do most!

問:一切都值得嗎?

答:值得,因為跳舞是我最喜歡的東西。

Q:Have you ever dreamt of becoming a professional ballet dancer?

A: Well, I did dream to become a dancer, but when I was in secondary school, I realized that I didn’t have the right body to become one—I was not flexible enough, my legs were not straight enough, and I didn’t have a high arch. But I think that I might have other talents related to dancing, such as piano accompaniment or choreography.

問:曾經想過做專業芭蕾舞蹈員嗎?

答:其實都有夢想成爲芭蕾舞演員嘅,哈哈… 不過,中學時期放棄了這個想法,因為我自知唔夠鬆,腳唔夠直,又冇大腳背,唔係一個專業舞者應有嘅身型。但我會諗其實可能我係跳舞另一方面都會有才能,例如彈琴伴奏或者編舞。

Q: As an adult dancer, what is your goal or dream in ballet?

A: As I won’t be a professional dancer, I only hope to be able to continue to dance happily with my dance buddies. I have once had the desire to choreograph a full-length ballet to be performed on stage. Perhaps this can be considered my ballet dream, ha ha!

問:作爲成人舞者,談談你的芭蕾夢想或目標好嗎?

答:因為我不是想做一個專業芭蕾舞蹈員,所以只希望繼續跳舞,與志同道合的朋友一齊開開心心地跳舞。但是,我曾有想過編排一套full-length嘅芭蕾舞劇係舞台上演出,可能這個都算係芭蕾夢想,哈哈!

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3 thoughts on “Conversations with Adult Ballet Students: #1 Wong Sin Ting

  1. I enjoyed reading this brief interview and became curious about Kitty’s choreography. It would be great if we could watch her pieces. Inspiring to read this and looking forward for more.

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