We are a community initiative by Maya Dance Theatre (MDT) started in June 2018 to create a co-existing space for persons with disabilities and art-makers. Drawing from MDT’s training, we develop dance techniques inspired from Bharatanatyam and contemporary dance. Our members also develop skills related to employment in the arts, such as costume management, administration and teaching at preschools.
In our practice, we believe in:
- Collaboration – Encouraging interaction across abilities through exchanging and co-creating with the members.
- Connection – We also reach out to international partners/collaborators and platforms where we connect through our passion.
These are applied in our ELEVATE training programme, funded by Tote Board and supported by SG Enable, enabling the team to keep reaching new heights. Watch the video below to learn more.
“When can I dance with you and become a professional dancer?”
This was the question which sparked the idea to create a semi-professional team of dancers of diverse abilities. For more than 20 years, Kavitha Krishnan (Artistic Director, MDT) and Shahrin Johry (Principal Dancer, MDT) have worked with persons with disabilities through dance and the arts. Taking it a step further, Shahrin created a dance piece Small Steps with the dancers, which was presented on a professional platform called Release by MDT.
The success of the piece sealed our conviction. We wanted to facilitate a space where people of all abilities have the opportunity to chase their dreams in the arts. Thus, DADC was born, led by Kavitha and Subastian Tan (Program Supervisor, DADC), alongside Imran Manaff (Company Manager, MDT) and Eva Tey (Principal Dancer, MDT). Our very first team was made up of 6 dancers living with Down Syndrome, some of whom were the dancers in Small Steps.
Today, we have 15 members in our team of both professionals and persons with disabilities. We are continuously expanding and inviting new persons to be in our space! Discover more about our team below.
Wanyi is a dancer who also aspires to be a fashion designer. She presented her debut professional solo in MDT’s Puffing Bodies (2019), and has since been actively supporting DADC in many ways.
Wanyi is working as an arts administrator in Apsara Asia Pte Ltd, and sometimes like to be referred to as Grace.
A proud self-advocate living with Down Syndrome, Jaspreet (or as we call her, Jas) is no stranger to the stage. Holding her own on multiple platforms, she has made speeches and performed internationally to share her story.
Jas is also involved in theatre with companies like Art:Dis. With seniors, she shares her folk dance to bring joy and laughter.
Hee Yuan Sheng
One of the founding members, Yuan Sheng has performed with DADC in our productions like SEEDS and Speaking With Hands. He has also danced for Saarang Festival in Chennai, India – our first international show.
Quiet but playful, he’s always full of surprises!
Affectionately known as Ju, she has been with the team since 2019. Exploring her love for stories, she is now a reliable host and storyteller for DADC’s events. Ju recently performed for SEEDS 2022, alongside Wanyi.
Ju has also been featured in StoryFest 2022 for her work with DADC in Sang Nila Has Arrived.
Arassi is one of DADC’s founding members. On top of being a dancer, she also supports the team by managing everyone’s costumes, alongside Eva and Jas.
Fun fact – she also has a strong interest in percussion and drama!
Megan is one of the younger members, but definitely shows us that age doesn’t matter. Confidently taking the stage with her dance moves, Megan even learnt from dance maestro Antonio Vargas for SEEDS 2021.
She is also a proud member of Singapore’s DanceSport Special Olympics team.
Subastian has seen the team through many projects since its inception, and most recently produced our dance film project, SEEDS 2022. A full-time dancer, he performs and trains alongside the rest of the DADC team.
He actually started with hip hop dance, developing his personal interest through Project Kinaesthesia.
Eva Tey graduated with a First Class Honours, (BA) Degree in Dance from Lasalle College of the Arts in 2014. One of our trainers and dancers, she shares her expertise with whoever steps through DADC’s doors.
Eva believes in using dance to heal, where movements can be a way to communicate and connect.
Since joining us in 2019, Jiaying has shown much development and is now a co-trainer of the team. She does administrative work in Apsara Asia Pte Ltd and supervises her colleagues in housekeeping of the space.
The camera is a familiar friend as she used to act in TV shows before.
One of our founding members, June has extensive performance experience. From international collaborations, to productions, to Arts Education Programmes, she’s done it all.
Here’s a striking fact – June represented Singapore in the Special Olympics Bowling team and won a bronze medal for the country!
Currently the youngest member in the team, Lecia joined us in 2022 right as Singapore was recovering from COVID. She recently was a part of SEEDS 2022, performing under Shahrin Johry.
Lavelle entered the team in 2021 with a heart full of passion for dance. After almost a year of training, she first performed with us for Esplanade’s Red Dot August. Since then, her confidence enabled her to represent DADC in shows like SMU Arts Festival ’21
She’s a K-pop lover too – how you like that?