06 June 2023
NTUC First Campus partners Singapore Artistes Association to empower children from underprivileged backgrounds through dance
For the first time, the annual Super Baby dance competition organised by the Singapore Artistes Association (SAA) featured a non-competitive performance by preschool children.
SAA partnered NTUC First Campus (NFC) to empower 24 children from underprivileged backgrounds, providing them with a platform to showcase their talent at Super Baby 2023, a competition event which was broadcast live on 4 June.
These children, aged 4 to 6 years old, are from the KidSTART Programme at NFC’s My First Skool. Since early May, the children have been learning and practising a specially choreographed dance every Saturday, training with two volunteer dance instructors from SAA. To ensure that distance was not a deterrent, NFC provided transport vouchers to KidSTART families so that the children could attend rehearsals.
Their efforts culminated on 4 June, where they performed in front of a live audience of about 700 people as the only non-competitive act of SAA’s Super Baby event. The event’s Guest-of-Honour, Mr Eric Chua, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth & Ministry of Social and Family Development, was among the audience, as were the children’s proud families.
“We are delighted to be part of this meaningful collaboration with the Singapore Artistes Association. This is a wonderful opportunity for the children to learn a new skill and form of self-expression. They also get to experience performing live, which is invaluable in building confidence,” said Ruth Chia, Assistant Director for Social Programmes at NTUC First Campus.
Children from the KidSTART Programme at NFC’s My First Skool performing at the event.
“We believe that every child is talented in his or her own unique way, and the role of parents and educators is to discover their hidden “wings” and support them in achieving their dreams. Through this partnership with NTUC First Campus, we hope that the young children can be confident in their talent, and their parents could support them to enable their talent to flourish,” said Ms Bonnie Liu from SAA, who is part of the organising committee of Super Baby 2023.
6-year-old Nur Aakila Alicia Binte Muhammad Aakil Abdullah, who attends Kindergarten 2 at My First Skool at 63 Telok Blangah Heights, loves acting and dancing in her free time. This has been her favourite pastime even before she started school at the age of 2. However, her parents did not send her for dance lessons as there was no opportunity to do so, and they are grateful that Nur Aakila now can pick up dance and perform on stage through this collaboration. Nur Aakila is the second of three children.
“We have never had the opportunity to send Nur Aakila for any classes although she loves acting and dancing. When she was chosen by her school to be part of this performance, I was very happy, because it will let her learn dancing, and also show us if she is really good at it,” said Nur Aakila’s mother Aznillah Ann Binte Abdul Malek. Aznillah said Nur Aakila looked forward to her lessons every Saturday, and would remind her father to take her for the class on Fridays.
Joachim (second from left, behind) enthusiastically performing with his team.
Tan Yong Le Joachim who attends Kindergarten 2 at My First Skool at Blk 51 Havelock Rd, is also one of the children who benefited from the collaboration. He enjoys dancing hip hop at home, but never had the chance to take formal dance classes.
“I am glad that Joachim finally has the chance to learn dance through this programme, which is also free of charge for us. If Joachim likes it, I will fully support him next time,” said Sunisa Paladon, Joachim’s mother.
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