TUEETOR CHATS with Evelyn Wong from The Graceful Swan
Ballet is almost synonymous with “gracefulness”. The word conjures images of beautiful dancers on tippy toes, moving in perfect harmony with the music. Evelyn Wong, founder of The Graceful Swan, is quite the perfect embodiment of such an imagery.
She is trained in classical ballet and highly experienced in performing and judging this art form. At The Graceful Swan, her approach to teaching dance takes cue from personal development training. Instead of expounding on memorising steps, she believes that dance can be a way to nurture a child’s well-being. “I hope that my students will achieve a greater level of joy, confidence and resilience through dance education,” she says.
Read on to learn more about The Graceful Swan and how they use a holistic approach to nurture their students in the art of ballet.
Hello Evelyn. What’s your story?
I found The Graceful Swan to nurture children to become more confident and joyful through dance. It’s to discover their dancing potential, give them a stronger foundation and opportunities to take them further in their learnings.
I grew up in classical ballet and I love learning. So, I furthered my studies in communication, dance, theatre, psychology, somatic, dance medicine and other holistic personal self development.
Due to the common Asian family concerns, I was dissuaded from pursuing the typical performing or teaching route at 16 to the dismay of my excellent mentors but I continued to be mentored by them. I focused more on performing, and later on, taught and judged.
The turning point in my career came when I suffered chronic injury and post-traumatic related challenges. For many years, I had to deal with daily pains. But, the journey led me to becoming more resilient, patient and to integrate more holistic learnings to support more students in developing confidence and performance excellence.
What excites you most about your industry?
Dance is such a creative and powerful form to educate, nurture and improve a child’s well-being and confidence! It has such immense long term cross benefits that supports their personal growth.
I come across students of different ages and learning abilities wanting to dance. That’s the essential! It is most rewarding when I see students connecting the dots of our teachings and improve drastically in a short time span.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
The best piece of advice I’ve ever received is to embrace our strengths, flaws and to keep progressing. The journey is about living, discovering and growing. There is no wrong decision, it just leads to a different situation to learn and grow from.
Who inspires you?
Mother Theresa for her infinite goodness. Children also inspire me. They have a spirited mentality to keep attempting what they cannot comprehend.
If you had to teach something different, what would it be?
Ahah! It will be behavioural mindset repatterning for more positive education for children.
How do you unwind?
I unwind by listening to music, regular meditation and stretch routines and chilling out with family and friends.
Recommend a book you think everyone should read and why.
The One Gift by Dr. Gary Young. It encompasses such great compassion, resilience, creativity and wonderful family values true to his real character. He is one who taught my mentor and I with great learnings.
Shameless plug for your business:
We are a performance excellence focused school, educating children beyond just the dance steps and competitions. Our focus is on knowing and understanding each student, then working on their learning and emotional strengths to improve on character building to create a more positive, dancing child.
We establish great rapport, hence creating long term relationships with our students and parents. Our students leave classes smiling and they are the ones requesting for additional classes. Parents often comment that they are surprised about their interest in taking many extra hours of ballet classes.
We embrace inclusive learning with holistic innovative approaches with a diversity of 24 countries. Our private students have received admissions and dance scholarships to top conservatoires, universities in the US, Europe, Australia, Russia and South Africa.
I’m confident that a child who is shy or disliked ballet due to previous experiences elsewhere will enjoy positive learning with us and want to dance again!
How can people connect with you?
They can connect with The Graceful Swan via Facebook or Instagram @thegracefulswansg for our latest news and sharing.