My name is Shania Goh, 13, and I live in Singapore. I dance at School of Russian Ballet.Singapore.
Can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started dancing when I was 3 years old, and I gave my first performance at age 5. From the moment I went for my first summer intensive in 2016 to Vaganova Ballet Academy, I knew that ballet would always be a part of my life, no matter what. Since then, I started taking ballet more seriously, and I also started competing in 2019. I have won several awards and have performed over 14 times. I train about 15-30 hours per week with my wonderful coaches, and my goal is to be the principal dancer of Mariinsky theatre.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Definitely not. I have been bullied before by people I thought were my good friends. And dance is really competitive. It's also a little difficult for me to continue sometimes when there are dancers so much more talented than me, and body image issues are another I face. However, I would say that I found my passion for dance easily, and I hope that it will never change.
What personal limitations if any did you go through in your young career?
I'm very blessed that I didn't have any, except my parents went through some financial difficulties at one point, so I couldn't participate in Summer Intensives/competitions.
Has anybody ever tried to limit you on what you could do? If so how did you fight it?
I think no one can limit us except ourselves - we decide how much we want to work and how much we improve.
How do you conquer negative talk?
I always try to see if there is any truth in criticisms passed my way, and if so, I try to fix/correct that flaw in myself. If it isn't true, I will usually ignore it and try not to let it affect me.
What is your favorite quote?
"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." -Walt Disney
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I will be auditioning for some ballet schools overseas next year!