Dance Through Life with All That Jazz's Vicky Lee Ward
All That Jazz Dance Academy’s Director Vicky Lee Ward’s career as a dancer, choreographer and teacher has taken her around the world. Born in Malaysia, Vicky grew up in Vancouver, Canada and was trained professionally as a dancer at London’s Urdang Academy, New York’s Broadway Dance Center, and Los Angeles’ The Edge and Millennium Dance Complex.
Her extensive training with some of the world’s most renowned teachers and choreographers in the UK and North America helped to establish her strong foundation in various dance genres. A fully qualified teacher with the UK’s highly established Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD), Vicky has spent the past decade teaching Ballet and Jazz dance in Vancouver, London, New York and Singapore.
With the recent opening of a second dance studio at Winstedt Road, All That Jazz continues to provide high-quality dance education to students of all ages in Singapore.
Vicky shares more about her background and aspirations for All That Jazz Dance Academy.
How did your dance journey begin and how did it evolve into owning a dance school?
I started dancing when I was 7 years old and haven’t stopped since!
Opening a dance school was a dream of mine since I was young. I remember my father telling me when I was a little girl that someday I, too, can start a dance school just like the one I was attending. The idea stayed with me and as dance became increasingly prominent in my life, my desire to one day own a dance school became stronger.
Apart from teaching, I was also very passionate about choreography and spent four years in New York and Los Angeles taking classes, master classes, workshops and auditions to learn from as many choreographers as possible. Some of them were renowned celebrity choreographers like Mia Michaels, Wade Robson, Luam, and Napoleon & Tabitha D’umo.
What’s your favourite thing about teaching dance?
I love seeing my students progress and being able to experience their journey with them as they grow and develop, not just physically, but mentally as well. It could be something as small as a young ballerina being able to finally skip or a student having the courage to conquer her fear of being on stage or executing a difficult step.
I also love inspiring my students to pursue dance as a career and take pleasure in guiding and nurturing them to help get them where they want to go. It’s truly rewarding!
What was your vision when you started All That Jazz Dance Academy and how has it grown over the years?
I started the academy because I wanted to share my passion for dance with anyone who was willing to learn. I wanted to provide a safe and comfortable space for students to learn dance.
I truly believe that dance is more than just an extra-curricular activity. Apart from being super fun, dance transforms lives. It builds character, discipline, and confidence. Students make life-long friends with their fellow classmates while learning the skills to work as a team and perform on stage.
My days in a dance school were my fondest memories while growing up. The performances, recitals, exams, open houses, showcases and competitions were so much fun!
All That Jazz Dance Academy has grown significantly over the last three years. We now have dancers from two-year-olds to adults, all united by their love for dance. I’m sometimes amazed at how far we have come in such a short period of time and for that, I’m truly grateful.
What made you decide to open a second dance studio in Singapore?
We opened our new Winstedt Road dance studio because the one at Forum Shopping Mall was getting pretty full. We needed more studio space to start new classes for our popular days and timings.
We picked the space at 10 Winstedt Road for many reasons, including the spacious studios, the lush greenery, the cozy feel of the Winstedt community and the convenience of the location as it’s close to Newton MRT station.
How is the new studio different from the one at Forum?
The Winstedt Road dance studio is much bigger. We have a reception and lounge area for parents, an office space for our staff as well as three dance studios. The facilities are similar to those at the Forum except the dance studios are much bigger, the waiting lounge is big and cozy and we have lots of new dance classes offered at Winstedt.
With this new dance studio, I hope to continue to inspire more dance students by providing a positive experience in our studios with our excellent teachers and staff.
What’s your biggest dream for All That Jazz Dance Academy?
I hope to collaborate with more dance colleges or universities, as well as the entertainment industry, to provide my students with more opportunities to pursue dance at a professional level.
New students of our Singapore dance academy can now enjoy a special trial class offer. Click here to learn more and sign up.