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Your Story | Dancer Ryan Martawibawa

‘Your Story’ is a collaboration between SquareFixed Photography (@squarefixedphotography), alongside various creative individuals in Singapore, in hope to spread more awareness of the local art scene and to inspire more individuals on their creative journey.

This week’s feature is Ryan Martawibawa, a Singapore-based dancer specialising in Contemporary and Hip Hop dance. We did an outdoor shoot at Kallang Wave Mall located at Singapore Sport Hub. We managed to find a little corner just outside Kallang Wave Mall, and Ryan started to immerse himself in the rhythm of music with some of his cool dancing stunts and moves. Let's get to know more about Ryan with an interview below.

How did you start your journey with dance?

When I was 16, I watched my friends perform in our school's dance production and I thought, "hey, that looks fun." And so, i joined my school's dance club the following year.

What are some of the genres you do?

I started with contemporary/jazz dance since that was mostly what was taught in my school's classes, and it was a style that my body naturally picked up. But over the past couple of years, I've begun training in other styles like hip hop.

Most memorable thing that happened when teaching dance?

Whenever I get to see my students improve and gain confidence, it's really heartwarming to witness because of how much they have grown.

Does dance help improve your confidence?

Oh most definitely. Nobody starts off being amazing at dance. Sure, there are others who are more naturally inclined to certain dance styles, but taking dance classes and picking up choreography is a learned skill. And so dancers have to learn to be okay with looking and feeling awkward sometimes, but that's part of the process. Eventually, you will understand which moves look and feel good on your body, but the best and most confident dancers in my opinion are the ones that are not afraid to look stupid or make mistakes, because that's how the grow the most.

Have you considered doing full-time dancing and why?

I've thought about it many times, but to be a successful full-time dancer requires a lot of self discipline, in many areas, and unfortunately, that is something I know I don't have. So, at the moment, I think it's best if I keep it as a part-time gig. But who knows, maybe one day I'll stop being lazy lol.

What do you want to achieve with dance in the future?

Right now, dance just brings joy into my life. It's a love of mine that keeps me somewhat fit and is also cathartic, and I'm pretty content if that's all I get out of it. Becoming a better dancer is a secondary goal that also motivates me, but with where I'm at in life right now, that's all I need.

Do you have any advice for people who want to pursue dance as a full-time career?

If you have the drive and love that's needed for a career in dance, go for it. It's super rewarding and will build you into a person with a strong character. But just because it's not a 9-to-5 office job, don't expect it to be easy! You still have to get on that grind and put in your hours. If you do decide to make dance a full-time job or have already done so, I wish you all the best!

Do check out Dancer Ryan Martawibawa's Instagram (@ryjoma) for more of his dance performances. All photographs are taken by SquareFixed (@squarefixedphotography).

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