HOME IN FOCUS: CELEBRATING THEIR ABILITIES

Dance instructor's aide has all the right moves

MS GOH YU XIANG, 24 Instructor aide at APSN Tanglin School

When she was still in primary school, Ms Goh would dance along to music played on the home computer with her elder sister. Little did she know that it was a sign of her future career.

She has since moved on to more complicated Latin ballroom dance moves such as the cha cha, samba, jive and, her favourite, pasodoble.

She has been working at APSN Tanglin School as an instructor aidein vocational training for the past three years. Together with colleague Hay Qing Hui, 25, her responsibilities include assisting head instructor Andy Ang, 47, during weekly dance classes and accompanying students to dance competitions and public performances.

Both alumni of the school, Ms Goh and Mr Hay have mild intellectual disability and learnt ballroom dancing from Mr Ang when they were in Secondary 3.

"I've known them for 10 years and they are more confident now than when they were students. Yu Xiang learns very fast and even manages to pick up the guys' steps within a day to be able to guide the female students," says Mr Ang.

He recognised her strength and recommended her readily to the principal when the school was seeking to fill the position of an instructor aide in 2014.

FAST LEARNER

Yu Xiang learns very fast and even manages to pick up the guys' steps within a day to be able to guide the female students.

MR ANDY ANG, head instructor, on Ms Goh Yu Xiang.

The aides cut out paper footprints and paste the steps on the floor to help students follow and remember the steps, remind them about posture, and try to get them to focus in class.

Difficult dance moves do not faze Ms Goh as she believes that practice makes perfect. "If it's very hard, I will keep trying (the moves) at home behind a locked door, or else my mum will come in," she says.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 04, 2017, with the headline 'Dance instructor's aide has all the right moves'. Print Edition | Subscribe