Shirena Dato’ Hamzah
Founder and Principal
BA (Honours), LIST Tap, LIST Modern, RAD TC
Shirena Hamzah, whose repertoire include Ballet, Tap, Modern, Jazz, Lyrical and Musical Theatre, is a seasoned performer, having graced Malaysian stages and Television productions since the age of eight. By the age of 14, Shirena became a member of a local dance company called The Sayang Dancers, headed by veteran choreographer Farah Sulaiman, and began part-time work as a teaching assistant in Sayang Academy of Dancing.
Having completed her Advance levels in dance successfully by the age 16, she then proceeded to join the Philharmonic Society of Selangor and TAPP Company as a dancer, then later as a choreographer and Principal dancer in productions such as “Yesterday”, “Regards to Broadway”, and “Charity Dance Extravaganza” which was jointly staged by The Dance Society of Selangor.
She then left Malaysia to pursue a Bachelors Degree in Hawaii, where she studied dance in the Honolulu Dance Studio and Pacific Intercultural Academy of Performing Arts. There, she further strengthened her Tap, Jazz and Lyrical technique, and choreography skills in Tap and Musical Theatre. When she returned, she rejoined the Sayang Dancers for two musical productions, “Dance Hysteria” and “Broadway Babies”, after which she founded Dancesteps Studio where she began her career as a full time dance instructor.
Shirena is now dedicated to ensuring her students are given even more opportunities to perform and pursue a dance career. Apart from a number of shows in which she choreographed, performed, and sang in, including a small musical staged by Australia’s Polard Productions, “Fosse’s World” staged in the 2005 MyDance Festival, “In The Mood” staged by the Philharmonic Society of Selangor, and two productions staged by Six2Eight, a professional a capella group, Shirena has spent her time and energy producing annual recitals for Dancesteps Studio and also organizing international workshops and exchange programmes with instructors from New York City and Hawaii. She has also choreographed and coached dancers for international competitions in which her entries have picked-up top awards for excellence in dance styles and precision. She is currently studying Hula, and is in the process of setting up the first Hula Halau in Malaysia.
Shirena is currently a registered teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance and the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing. She currently holds the RAD Ballet Teaching Certificate and has been awarded the Licentiate Tap and Modern certificates.
Trained by veteran choreographer Farah Sulaiman, Clara specializes in Tap instruction. Having picked up the top award for precision in tap dance at the 2002 Hawaii International Dance Festival, Clara currently holds the ISTD Associate Diploma Tap certificate and teaches Tap fulltime at Dancesteps Studio. She is also a very strong Modern dancer and has formal classical training in her dance foundation studies.
Clara has performed with the Sayang Dancers in “Dance Hysteria” and “Broadway Babies”, and also worked in several stage and television productions with the company. In 2005, she became one of the lead dancers in the Philharmonic Society of Selangor’s “In The Mood” and in Shirena Hamzah’s “Fosse’s World” staged at the MyDance Festival at the KLPAC.
Too Cyn Dee
LRAD, ARAD, AISTD
Cyn Dee began her dance training at the age of nine at Sri Wilayah Ballet Centre where she successfully completed her Advanced dances in Ballet and Modern by the age of 17. During those years, she performed in ‘The Nutcracker’ staged by the Universal Ballet Company from Korea together with the Hong Kong Academy of Arts Company and also competed in various TDS competitions. In 1993, she went on to London to do a three-year Teacher Training Course at the Royal Academy of Dance. There, she obtained her Licentiate Diploma (LRAD), her Associate Diploma Modern ISTD and Associate National. She also danced and choreographed for various performances, collaborating with Central St. Martin’s School of Art and Design for ‘Design for Dance’.
Upon returning to Malaysia, Cyn Dee worked in TDS’ Pulse ’97, Danceworks (1998), Danceworks 2 (2000), MyDance Festival (2001 and 2005); and was the principal dancer for ‘The Slave Princess’ organized by TDS and Dance Classique, by Kuala Lumpur Dance Theatre in 1999, performing Les Sylphide, Paquita and Le Corsaire.
Raja Rozmin is a registered teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance. A former practising lawyer and natural dancer, Rozmin left the legal world after 7 years to pursue her love for dance full time. She cultivated her passion for dance at Dancesteps Studio where she is currently training at the Advanced 1 Ballet level and the Advanced 2 Modern Theatre and Associate Modern Theatre under Principal Shirena Hamzah’s guidance.
An established hip hop instructor, her vibrancy and enthusiasm is also evident in her modern and pre-primary ballet classes at Dancesteps.
Rozmin performed at the Short & Sweet Festival 2009, her first foray into the world of stage shows.
Selina teaches Classical Ballet in Dancesteps Studio and has completed her RAD Advance 2 Ballet and holds the RAD Ballet Teaching Certificate. A beautiful and graceful dancer, she won best soloist in the 2002 Hawaii International Dance Festival and also was awarded a gold medal in the small group category for musical theatre.
Phoebe Chiew is a registered teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance. She has been assisting and teaching since the age of 15. Starting dance when she was just 4, Phoebe has since gained a Distinction in Grade 8 Ballet, a Merit in Advanced Foundation Ballet, a Merit in Advance 1 Ballet and has completed the RAD Certificate of Ballet Teaching Studies. Phoebe has attended the Contemporary Dance Workshop with Alberto in 2008, Contemporary Dance Workshop in Short & Sweet Festival 2009 and the RAD Continuing Professional Development course in Birmingham, England in July 2011.
Mavis has been dancing since the tender age of 5, gaining a Distinction in Grade 8 Ballet, a Merit in Advanced Foundation Ballet and in addition, has been assisting and teaching since the age of 16. She is currently training in RAD Advanced 2 Ballet at Dancesteps Studio and undergoing the RAD Certificate of Ballet Teaching Studies. In addition, Mavis has attended the Contemporary Dance Workshop with Alberto in 2008, and the Contemporary Dance Workshop in Short & Sweet Festival 2009.
A student of dance since she was 3 years old, Nadia learned ballet under the tutelage of Lee Lee Lan of the Federal Academy of Ballet in Kuala Lumpur. At 25, she graduated from Middlesex University, London with a BA (Hons) in Dance Performance. In achieving her degree, she studied choreography as well as contemporary techniques such as Graham, Humprey, Cunningham, Limon and Cechetti ballet. She could count Mark Baldwin and Dr Alexandra Carter as her teachers. Now in her 30s, she has taken a role as a teacher with Dancesteps Studio. Previous experience includes teaching a 10-week workshop called Dance Program for Children at KLPAC in 2010.
Having a passion for the arts in his early stages, Syaffiq discovered his interest in dance when he picked up Breakdancing and Hip Hop back in his hometown Batu Pahat, Johor. As a self-learnt Breakdancer and of Hip Hop dance, Syaffiq had initially regarded dance as just another leisurely, after-school activity. Currently graduating from University of Malaya, Bachelor of Performing Arts (dance), Syaffiq exposed himself to contemporary dance training, along with other dance genres such as Malay and Indian traditional dance.
Since majoring dance in University, he has performed in various events such as Dancebox 2010, FestKUM 2010, MyDance Festival 2011, PeTA ASWARA 2012 and Short and Sweet Dance 2010-2012. Grabbing the title of Best Male Dancer in Short and Sweet Dance 2012 was the biggest achievement in his dance journey.
While his passion for Breakdance and Hip Hop remains center stage, Syaffiq seeks to further explore his own abilities and growth in dance as a performer, choreographer, and teacher.
Thong Hui Mian
Hui Mian has been teaching Tap and Ballet for nearly 16 years. She learned tap under Mrs Lee Lee Lan of the Federal Academy of Ballet in Kuala Lumpur, Ms Tham Siew Yin, the Principal of Plaza Dance Studio, Ms Liew Sween Ping who is now a teacher of Jean Wong in Hong Kong, and Mr Toh Kong Yu, also a teacher who had learned tap and performed in a Tap dance festival in U.S.A.
In 1998, Hui Mian actively traveled overseas to places such as Hong Kong, London and Jakarta to perform with Kuala Lumpur Dance Theatre of Federal Academy of Ballet which had been led by Mrs Lee Lee Lan. On top of that, she attended many tap courses locally and overseas. Hui Mian currently teaches Ballet in the Alice Smith School and Tap in Garden International School.
Ong Hooi Koon
An RAD registered teacher (UK) with more than 20 years of teaching experience. She is currently a Practical Teaching Supervisor for the trainee teachers under the Classical Ballet Teaching Studies (CBTS) programme. As well as ballet, she is highly qualified and experienced in various forms of movement exercises. She skillfully combines these to enable her students to develop body awareness and maximize their potential in a safe and scientifically proven manner.
Below are her additional qualifications:
- Certified Polestar Pilates Practitioner
- Certified Gyrotonic ®
- Certified Gyrokinesis ®
- Certified Rolfer ®
- Certified Rolf Movement Practitioner ® ( A Associacao Brasileira de Rolfing )
Peggy has learnt ballet since the age of 5 and has attained a Distinction in Grade 8 Award and a Merit in Advanced 1 under Royal Academy of Ballet (RAD). She is currently undertaking Advanced 2 training and Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies (CBTS). Peggy has been assisting in teaching ballet since the age of 16 and had started to handle her own classes in 2008. In addition, she has also attended courses focusing on Intermediate Foundation and Intermediate examination syllabus. Peggy’s passion for dance drives her to get involved in different kinds of dances. She has recently obtained a qualification in teaching Chinese Folk Dance under Beijing Dance Academy in China.