Conversations with Adult Ballet Students #3: Fannie Siu

This is the third in the series of Conversations with Adult Ballet Students. Leave me a message if you would like to be profiled in a future edition.

這是《與成人芭蕾舞學生的對話》系列的第三章。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。

What does a female police officer and a ballerina have in common? Well, discipline and determination are the qualities that neither should lack. Introducing Fannie Siu, both a member of the Hong Kong Police—a Woman Constable at the Police Community Relations Office, and an adult ballet dancer. She likes to train at the dance studio in her free time. Let’s hear her unusual story of how she entered the world of ballet!

到底警花和芭蕾伶娜有甚麽共同之處?就是兩者都要有高度紀律和決心才能勝任,不可缺其一。今次爲大家介紹的成人芭蕾舞學生是邵瑞芬,她任職警員,駐守警民關係組,一有時間就會到舞蹈室練功。讓我們聽一下她與芭蕾奇遇的故事吧。

Fannie-Siu_Kitri_Photo

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

A: I never learned ballet as a kid!

你小時曾經學過芭蕾舞嗎是幾歲的時候

答:小時候,我從未學過芭蕾舞呢!

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

A: I started at the age of 19.

你成年後何時開始學芭蕾

答:直到19歲那年才開始學習芭蕾舞!

Q: What motivated you to do so?

A: In the beginning, I was actually taking karate class. But because of the lack of flexibility, I was unable to achieve what I wanted to achieve during free fight. Determined to reach my goal, I found out that ballet could help improve my flexibility. So I started going to ballet class. Once I stepped into the studio, I fell in love at first sight. Thinking back, this is quite a hilarious story! 

:學芭蕾的動機是甚麽?

答:說出來也覺攪笑•••當年正學習空手道,但由於柔韌度及靈活性不足,與對手打 free fight 時未如理想,決心改善的我在查問後得知學習芭蕾舞最能增加柔韌度,於是便開始踏進芭蕾舞的小小世界裡,而且一學便立即愛上了! 

Q: What do you find to be the biggest challenge or difficulty starting ballet as an adult?

A:  For an adult, the biggest challenges are flexibility and coordination. In addition, the learning process requires a great deal of hard work, patience and perseverance.

:對你來講,成人才開始學芭蕾舞,最大的挑戰是甚麽? 

答:對成人來說,身體的柔韌度及協調性會是學習芭蕾舞的最大考驗;而在學習的過程中,亦要有刻苦、耐性及堅持的心! 

Q: What does ballet bring to your life?

A: It allows me to understand and appreciate the art form. Although I don’t have the ideal physique for ballet, I have learned how to enjoy the process of the dancing. That’s why I have kept on dancing over the years and watching ballet performances. It is such a joy to surround myself in the world of ballet in my free time.

:芭蕾爲你的人生帶來了些甚麽?

答:使我能更了解及欣賞芭蕾舞!縱使我不是學習芭蕾舞的材料,但亦學懂如何享受跳舞的樂趣。所以多年以來仍有繼續跳舞及欣賞芭蕾舞表演,使我更能善用工餘時間,享受一點點的芭蕾人生!

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

A:  While I can’t claim any great achievements in my ballet life, I consider myself very lucky to be able to get into the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts (HKAPA) to major in ballet after having started as an adult and trained for only four years in my free time. I have to thank my first teacher, Ms. Shum Ying-ping, who turned me into a dancer. She is a former guest instructor at the Hong Kong Ballet Company. Under her professional guidance and patient tutelage, I was finally able to get admission into the HKAPA. A special thanks to Ms. Shum!

:直至目前爲止,你的芭蕾生涯中最大的成就是甚麽?

答:雖然在我的芭蕾舞生涯中並沒有甚麼大的成就,但以成年才開始學習芭蕾舞,只在短短四年的工餘時間學習,便能考入香港演藝學院主修芭蕾舞已算幸運!說起來其實這也不算是我的成就,應該是我的芭蕾舞啟蒙老師岑映萍女士的本事才真,她是前香港舞蹈團客席芭蕾舞導師,在她悉心及專業的指導下,我才能在短時間內考入演藝學院,所以在此我要特別感謝她呢!

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

A: My biggest gain was a group of friends whom I made during the four years of full-time studies. We stayed on as a closely knit group through thick and thin. I can’t even start to describe our friendship with words. Even today, after so many years, we still get together regularly and share a good time!

:有没有甚麽意想不到的收

答:在那四年全日制芭蕾舞學校生涯中,能認識到一班志同道合的好朋友是我最大的收穫;那些年大家一起經歷的苦與樂,實在難以用筆墨來形容,但這些更能鞏固我們的友誼,至今我們仍常聚在一起,令人津津樂道!

Q: What have you lost or sacrificed in your pursuit of ballet?

A: For me, I never feel like I lost or sacrificed anything for ballet. I have only gained! But for my family, as I was the breadwinner at the time when I decided to become a full-time student, I did create financial burdens for my family members. I really appreciate their understanding and support during that period!

:有没有失去或犧牲了甚麽?

答:對我來說,芭蕾舞從沒使我失去甚麼或犧牲甚麼,這只有得著呢!但對我的家人來說,當年我也是家中經濟之柱,卻突然轉為四年全日制的學,的確增加了家人的經濟負擔,實在非常感謝他們的體諒及支持!

Q: What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done for ballet?

A:  Oh yes! Knowing that I was a late-starter, I wanted to take the last chance to get myself up to speed right before my entrance exam for the HKAPA. So I signed up for the day-time summer intensive even though I was holding a full-time job. This course required me to take half days off on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays during an entire summer. My boss didn’t approve. Without thinking twice, I just handed in my resignation letter, which shocked both my boss and my coworkers! In the end, some of my coworkers persuaded my boss to return my resignation letter and let me take a leave of absence. Others tried to talk me into taking back the resignation letter, as they understood that I needed to save money for my ballet studies—working three more months would help me save for my tuition. In the end, I got what I wished—I was able to continue working while taking the summer intensive! 

你爲了芭蕾而作出最瘋癫的事是…

答:哈! 有!在將近入讀演藝的時候,當時仍在工作中,但我想把握最後機會,因為我明知自己遲起步,所以參加了演藝學院日間的夏季密集課程,那要每逢一丶三丶五上午要請半日假去上課,當時老闆唔批,我連想都唔想就立即打了封辭職信遞給她,嚇呆了老闆及其他同事呢!最後,要其他同事勸告老闆批我放假及交返封辭職信俾我,亦有勸我收返封信,因為佢哋知我要儲錢入學,做多三個月都好吖,到最後都如我所願,工照返舞照跳! 

Q: Did you ever work as a professional dancer after graduation? Can you share your experience with us?

A: No, I started working in the police force right after graduation, so I never worked as a professional dancer. But I did work as a freelance dancer in my free time while pursuing my ballet degree, so that I could pay part of my tuition fee. At that time, I would dance for singers on TV shows and concerts.  In the weekends, I would teach kids ballet. But all of these were part-time jobs.

:畢業後曾經做過職業舞蹈員嗎?可否分享一下你的經驗? 

答:我在演藝畢業後就立即當警察,所以也沒有任何有關跳舞工作擔任過!不過,在入讀演藝學院的那段日子,我曾用課餘時間幫補學費;我會間中接 job 做,如幫歌手伴舞及跳演唱會等,每逢週末亦會教小朋友芭蕾舞課的,但全都是 part time 工作!

Q: Is it all worth it?

A: Sure! It’s all worth it, as long as I can enjoy the process of dancing ballet with all my heart!

:一切都值得嗎?

答:只要能用心享受跳芭蕾舞的過程及投入箇中跳舞的樂趣,那自然會發現一切也是值得的!

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

A: My goal is to continue dancing! This June, I will be participating in the Vaganova Ballet Academy International Seminar (Summer Course) in St. Petersburg, Russia,  as well as watch the performances of the Paris Opera Ballet in France. I hope that in the future, I’ll have more chances to visit various ballet schools, watch performances all over the world and share my passion with fellow ballet lovers!

作爲成人舞者,談談你的芭蕾夢想或目標好嗎?

答:繼續跳舞!在本年六月已計劃前往俄羅斯聖彼得堡參加 Vaganova Ballet Academy International Seminar (Summer Course) 及到法國欣賞 Paris Opera Ballet 的芭蕾舞演出;希望在往後的日子,仍有機會到訪世界各地,參觀及了解當地芭蕾舞學校及舞團的演出,一起感受各舞者對芭蕾舞的那份熱誠!

Fannie Siu_Siu Hak

Fannie Siu with her late beloved Ms Siu Hak, who was trying to figure out what pose she was striking in the middle of the road.

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