How Renowned Dancer Suhaili Micheline Puts Her Heart In Her Art
Suhaili Micheline has been a dancer all her life – driven, disciplined and dedicated to perfecting her art.
But it’s more than just putting on a good show. Suhaili’s prolific career has only served to reinforce her resolve to see more young people carrying the baton for the arts.
Inspiring the next generation of dancers
Perhaps she’s a master of multitasking, but it will always be a mystery how Suhaili divides her time between her many solo projects and her dedication to her students at the Aurora School of Dance.
“Ultimately, I want to help nurture young people and their families to learn about our arts and culture through participation in activities and performances in our own country.
“My responsibility isn't just to be an artiste. As a teacher to children and young adults, it’s about driving their passion with a purpose to make a difference to the community, the country and eventually, the world.” Suhaili says.
Joy from seeing others succeed
Suhaili’s first first full-length dance production in collaboration with Terry and the Cuz was entitled Flatland.
It took home the Best Group Performance Award at the Boh Cameronian Awards in 2014, subsequently earning Suhaili the title of Best Choreographer In Full-Length Work.
Here’s the clincher – she has this to say of her proudest moment in the whole affair:
“Seeing my team go on stage to receive the awards (I was on tour for a dance premier in Adelaide at the time), it was the best feeling ever, sharing your success with such an amazing team.”
Social impact beyond visual impact
From volunteering with the Street Feeders of KL to teaching Afghanistan refugee children how to plant with abandoned pots with Eats, Shoots & Roots, it’s clear that Suhaili’s achievements aren’t limited to the elusive world of dance.
During one volunteering stint, Suhaili taught a young boy with autism to dance for the first time, only to have his father thank her later on, saying ‘I never imagined my son would dance with a girl.’
“I believe each and every person is important and can contribute to the world.” Suhaili shares.
A mentor no student will forget
Compassionate but a stickler for high standards nonetheless, Suhaili maintains a critical eye on technique and precision when training her students for regional competitions.
She says finding the right balance of encouragement and motivation keeps them on their toes and helps them see the end goal.
“The best feeling I get is when I see them succeeding in different parts of the world and receive these random texts from them expressing their gratitude for the times I taught them,” Suhaili says.
Planning a better future for the arts
Suhaili’s love of dance is somewhat inseparable from her bigger dream of spreading the joy of the art beyond the doors of her dance studio.
“Of course, there’s the dream of having the world recognise my choreography – but it would be incredible if I could leave behind a beautiful space for artists to create works like how Mikhail Baryshnikov did with his centre in New York for artistes.
“The world still needs art to paint their emotions freely, and I look forward to proudly bringing more up-and-coming, diversified and successful dancers into the world.”
See also: Our Gen T listers on the value of time
Photography: Kah Mun
Creative Direction: Allan Casal
Watches: IWC Schaffhausen
Hair: Eric Chang from Hairco using Shiseido Professional
Makeup: Chin Mun Liow using Clé de Peau Beauté