Off Stage

Dancer keeps cool with happy thoughts

Siti Aisyah Kamin (foreground centre) will perform in the dance production, Manusia - Siapakah Kita Di Bumi Ini.
Siti Aisyah Kamin (foreground centre) will perform in the dance production, Manusia - Siapakah Kita Di Bumi Ini.PHOTO: AZPIRASI PUBLICITY TEAM

Dancer Siti Aisyah Kamin, 25, who is a member of the contemporary dance group, Azpirasi, will perform in the production, Manusia - Siapakah Kita Di Bumi Ini, which loosely translates to "Who are we on this Earth?".

It is choreographed by the group's artistic director, Azmi Juhari, 52, who hopes to address how ignorant humans can be about their actions and impact on their earthly home.

What was your first performance like?

I have come a long way since my junior college days in 2008.


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My first performance was with my dance mates at the University Cultural Centre at the National University of Singapore. As the theme of the event was Masquerade, we had to dance in masks which we painted ourselves.

I am certain that I felt nervous, but all I can remember now was the excitement to be on stage with my friends. That's the thing about performing - pre-show anxiety sets in all the time, but it seeps away once I'm on stage.

Do you have any pre-show rituals?

I make sure I sleep well and hydrate myself. I eat chocolate to relieve stress. I always find time to stretch my muscles and loosen my limbs so my body is ready to absorb the soul and flow of the song.

My dance mate once gave me this simple yet effective piece of advice: Think of happy things and breathe.

What do you do when you make a mistake on stage? 

Breathe, keep calm and try my best to seamlessly blend in again.

What is the most memorable thing that has happened to you while you were on stage?

Dancing with my sister on stage. When we dance close to each other, the energy flows through, connecting us in a comforting way.

What is the harshest criticism you have received of your work and what did you do about it?

I was told I couldn't do a dance move even before I had the time to get used to the set of movements which the choreographer wanted.

I believe human bodies are shaped by their surroundings and nature.

I asked to be given time to experiment and try it out and was finally able to execute it.

I learnt the importance in taking ownership of my learning to track my progress, which will always have room for improvement.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 23, 2016, with the headline 'Dancer keeps cool with happy thoughts'. Subscribe