Harmony in Motion: Ms. Lang Ley’s Vision Behind Elevate Dance Academie
Ms. Lang Ley embarked on the journey of establishing Elevate Dance Academie, driven by a unique philosophy in dance education. She envisioned a space where her distinctive mindset could flourish. Her motivation was clear: to share and expand her innovative approach to dance education, setting Elevate apart from conventional dance schools.
However, the early days of Elevate were marked by formidable challenges. The inception in 2017 was swiftly followed by the arrival of Ms Lang Ley’s newborn in 2018, adding a layer of complexity to the venture. Just as the academy started gaining momentum in 2019, the unforeseen hurdle of the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the rhythm. Ms. Lang Ley reflects on the initial years, highlighting the intertwined personal commitment and the formidable impact of the pandemic as the primary obstacles encountered during the crucial formative period of Elevate Dance Academie.
Elevate’s Pivot to Virtual Rhythms and a Supportive Dance Family
Amidst the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Elevate Dance Academie adeptly pivoted its teaching methods to ensure continuity in dance education while prioritising the well-being of its students. As physical studios faced closure, Ms. Lang Ley swiftly embraced the virtual realm, transitioning to Zoom classes to keep her students engaged in dance and exercise.
Understanding the limitations of home spaces, the academy focused on floor work, conditioning, and static exercises, ensuring that students remained connected to their craft even within the confines of their homes. The tight-knit community fostered at Elevate played a crucial role in maintaining the well-being of students during these challenging times. The school’s boutique size facilitated a unique advantage—students, whether junior or senior, were familiar with one another, creating a support system that transcended the virtual divide.
This supportive atmosphere extended beyond dance routines, as students communicated and collaborated on exercises, fostering a sense of togetherness. The lockdown, lasting three months in Singapore, became an unexpected opportunity for Elevate’s dancers to reconnect with the fundamentals of their art, resulting in a return to the studio that showcased not only resilience but enhanced physical strength and toning. The success of this adaptability and the enduring support system within the dance family at Elevate Dance Academie exemplify the school’s commitment to the holistic development of its students.
Beyond the Spotlight: Elevate Dance Academie’s Lifelong Impact Beyond the Stage
At Elevate Dance Academie, the philosophy encapsulated by the tagline “Take It Beyond The Stage” goes beyond the confines of traditional dance education. Ms. Lang Ley believes that dance should not be a fleeting pursuit limited to the stage, but a tool for personal growth that extends into various aspects of life.
With a background in software engineering herself, Ms. Lang Ley emphasises the importance of academic excellence alongside dance training. The philosophy aims to convey that dance can be a secondary interest, not just a career path. The notion of balance between academics and dance is a core tenet at Elevate, demonstrated by the founder’s own journey.
This philosophy has borne fruit over the years, with numerous graduates of Elevate Dance Academie excelling not only in dance but also in diverse professional fields. The alumni, now in their 30s, include pharmacists, accountants, marketing managers, psychologists, and teachers, demonstrating that dance can be a lifelong passion complementing successful careers.
Elevate Dance Academie, through its unique philosophy, has cultivated a dance family that extends beyond the studio. The close-knit community fosters connections that endure even during challenging times like the pandemic. Ms. Lang Ley’s commitment to shaping individuals, instilling a love for dance that transcends age, and fostering a supportive dance family sets Elevate apart, making it not just a school but a lifelong sanctuary for those who share the passion for dance.
Elevate’s Selection of Ballet, Modern Theatre, and Jazz as the Academy’s Dance Foundations
Elevate Dance Academie’s repertoire, anchored in Classical Ballet, Modern Theatre, and Jazz, reflects a strategic choice driven by the belief that ballet serves as the cornerstone for all dance forms. Founder Ms Lang Ley underscores the importance of a robust foundation, asserting that ballet, often deemed the mother of dance, provides a universal base essential for any dance pursuit.
Modern Theatre and Jazz, the other primary genres, were chosen for their historical significance and the versatility they offer. Originating from dancers seeking liberation from the strictness of ballet, Modern Theatre emerged as a distinct genre with a well-developed technique. Ms. Lang Ley recognizes the value of modern dance in providing a balanced curriculum, enabling students to evolve into versatile dancers.
The academy’s commitment to versatility is evident in its approach to training. While ballet remains a focal point, students are exposed to a spectrum of dance forms like jazz, Broadway jazz, musical theatre, and even Latin tango. As students mature, they are encouraged to explore a “second dance,” broadening their dance vocabulary and fostering adaptability.
With a curriculum that spans classical ballet and the expansive umbrella of modern theatre, covering contemporary, jazz, lyrical, and musical theatre, Elevate ensures that its students are well-versed in diverse dance styles. Ms. Lang Ley’s dedication to providing a comprehensive dance education is evident in the success of her students who seamlessly transition into street dance genres, showcasing the effectiveness of Elevate Dance Academie’s time-honoured selection of dance genres.
Elevate’s Unforgettable Dance Video Production Amidst COVID Challenges
In the five years of Elevate Dance Academie’s existence, one standout memory, particularly in 2020 during the height of the COVID pandemic, encapsulates the resilience and unity within the dance family. Traditionally, the academy hosts a concert every even year, but with theatres closed due to the pandemic, founder Ms. Lang Ley devised a creative solution.
Facing unprecedented challenges, she organised a home dance video production, enlisting professional videographers, photographers, lighting engineers, and designers to create a comprehensive dance experience. The project, executed in December 2020, was not without its difficulties, navigating safety protocols and ensuring the well-being of the students amidst the pandemic.
Despite the obstacles, the Elevate community came together with remarkable cooperation. The younger dancers exhibited commendable discipline, adhering to safety measures, while the older students demonstrated tremendous support by overseeing logistics and helping ensure the safety and enjoyment of the production.
Two intense days of recording, starting from early morning to late at night, became a testament to the dedication of the entire dance family. The older girls, managing their own performances, went above and beyond to assist with the younger ones, contributing to a collaborative and memorable experience.
The resulting dance video not only showcased the students’ talent but also became a symbol of overcoming challenges during a tumultuous time. The project highlighted the strength of the Elevate community, illustrating how, even in the face of adversity, the collective spirit of the dance family prevailed, leaving an indelible mark on the academy’s journey.
Elevate Dance Academie’s Versatile Prowess Team of Educators
Elevate Dance Academie’s team is meticulously composed, embodying the philosophy that dance is a tool for holistic growth. Ms. Lang Ley ensures that her team members share this belief, and interestingly, most of her instructors are former students who have internalised the academy’s unique approach since their early training.
A distinctive criterion for Elevate’s teaching staff is the possession of a bachelor’s degree, not necessarily in dance. This requirement aims to bring diverse perspectives into the studio. The team of six to seven instructors boasts an array of qualifications—ranging from accounting and pharmacy to psychology and early childhood education. This diverse educational background enriches the teaching environment, aligning with Ms. Lang Ley’s emphasis on the versatility of skills beyond dance.
Versatility is a key attribute sought in Elevate’s instructors. Ms. Lang Ley insists on a minimum of ballet and modern training for all teachers, with additional expertise in jazz, contemporary, or other dance forms being highly valued. This commitment to versatility ensures that every teacher is equipped to impart a well-rounded dance education.
In essence, Elevate Dance Academie’s team of educators not only shares a profound belief in dance as a lifelong tool for personal growth but also embodies versatility—both academically and in dance genres. This unique blend of qualifications and skills defines the character of the team, creating an environment where students are nurtured not only as dancers but as well-rounded individuals.
Redefining the Dance Landscape
In a competitive industry where dance schools abound, Elevate Dance Academie distinguishes itself through a combination of strategic choices and a commitment to lifelong dance education. The selection of teachers stands out as a key differentiator—each instructor embodies the academy’s philosophy, possessing both academic and dance qualifications, fostering a diverse and enriching learning environment.
What truly sets Elevate apart is its steadfast belief in dance as a lifelong journey. The academy boasts one of the highest numbers of senior students in Singapore, particularly in the higher grade levels and vocational training. This accomplishment is a testament to Elevate’s dedication to providing advanced training and opportunities, making it a standout institution in the dance landscape.
Elevate Dance Academie’s commitment to inclusivity is evident in its significant enrollment of older students. While some schools may face challenges sustaining advanced classes due to limited enrolment, Elevate’s comprehensive approach ensures that there are tailored classes for these advanced students, creating a unique and vibrant dance community.
The academy’s growth may be relatively recent, influenced by external factors such as COVID, but its impact is resounding. Elevate’s distinctive profile, with a significant number of higher-level students, positions it as a trailblazer, offering a haven for those passionate about dance, regardless of age or level.
Global Rhythms: Elevate Dance Academie’s Exchange Programs
As Elevate Dance Academie continues to evolve and break new ground, one exciting initiative on the horizon is a dance exchange program set to take place in Tokyo this December. Ms. Lang Ley is passionate about extending dance education beyond the stage and views international exchange as a crucial aspect of a dancer’s growth in today’s global landscape which is why Elevate Dance Academie has consistently embraced international opportunities, participating in exchanges and competitions across renowned cities, including Vienna, London, Sydney, Brisbane, Taipei, Hong Kong, Jakarta, and Kuala Lumpur in the past.
This Tokyo exchange follows a previous one in June in Seoul, where the focus was on modern, jazz, and contemporary styles. However, the upcoming December exchange focuses on ballet intensives & techniques, and is tailored for the advanced ballet students of Elevate.
The exchange is not just an opportunity for the students but also an eye-opener for the teachers. Ms. Lang Ley emphasises the importance of benchmarking against global standards and gaining insights into the practices of dance schools worldwide. As Elevate Dance Academie heads to Tokyo, this initiative promises to be a captivating blend of cultural immersion, dance exploration, and a highlight and testament to the academy’s commitment to providing a well-rounded dance education. Stay tuned for the rhythmic tales from Tokyo as Elevate Dance Academie takes its next global dance stride.
Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs
For those aspiring entrepreneurs, Ms. Lang Ley offers these wise words:
“Do everything with passion and genuine love; especially in the education line. If earning is the priority, then the education industry will be a very challenging place to be.”