The main objective of my blog is to inspire and be inspired. I love searching and finding inspiration in the simplest of things, in places unexpected and then writing stories about them provoking a chain reaction of inspiration, self-awareness, love, acceptance, spiritual awakening and empowerment! Sometimes those stories can be our very own, that is why I also love sharing my personal stories, experiences, triumphs, challenges, tears and laughter in hope to touching and enriching someone's life for the better.
What is your name & age? I'm Amanda, 21 years young when I hit June this year.
I believe that something magical and miraculous happens when we share our light with others. It just may very well brighten someone's darkness. I love the way spiritual activist and author Marianne Williamson puts it better. She states that "as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." It is through this personal belief that my monthly feature of And This Month's Interviewee is....emerged! My goal is to feature every month, a story in hopes that it touches and enriches someone's life for the better. We are not alone people, we all intertwine in the mysterious and magical energy of life!
What is your name & age? I'm Amanda, 21 years young when I hit June this year.
Are you married? Children? Nope, still single. Marriage is still a very far off idea - I still want to take over the world!
Where did you grow up? I grew up in a city called Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. I'm basically a spoiled urban child.
What is the extent of your family? Parents? Any siblings? I'm a mommy's girl quite close to my mom, and she's quite protective of me too. I have a little brother that's 9 years younger than me. He's now studying in middle school, and it feels weird seeing him in a more mature uniform nowadays. In my head he'll always be the cheeky 9 year old - I'm getting old!
As a little girl, what did you dream/aspire to be? I wanted to do something related to Disney - get myself animated as a cartoon, and tell a story. Every now and then it changed a bit: doctor, scientist, architect, dance teacher, artist, but right now I'm still doing a course that links to my childhood dreams. However, now that I know that animation comprises of many, many elements (voice acting, frame-by-frame drawing, storyboarding, scriptwriting, modelling, rigging, etc etc) I'm having second thoughts about being a dance teacher too - it could potentially work out as a part time income.
What were you like when you were a kid? I was quiet, tomboyish, an airhead, and quite opinionated. Nowadays I'm noisier, still opinionated and building castles in the sky, and I kept my tomboyish tendencies even though I wear skirts and dresses. It can be a good or a bad thing depending on the way you put it.
What was your favorite toy, game or pass-time as a child? I loved playing Crash Team Racing on my PS 1. I'm glad they have it on the PSN and now I still have the chance to live my childhood video game! I also glued my face to the TV screen and watched disney channel and cartoon network - back when I didn't care about the plot and I stayed for the bright visuals. I also vaguely recall a few science toy sets that kept me entertained - a microscope, telescope, test tubes, different chemicals (not explosives, I promise), and a little notebook which I write down science reports. Fun times...
How would you describe your childhood memories? They're quite distant, because I'm more focused on the now. There are aspects of it that do comfort me, but there are some that comprised of a few trying times I had to put up with. Because of how quiet I was, I didn't have many friends and was ostracised. And it's still this introverted tendency that makes me look like I'm setting up an artificial barrier with people. But other than that, I've got nothing much to complain about.
Ever had an imaginary friend as a child? If yes, please tell a little about it. She's not really an imaginary friend, but rather someone I imagine to be. I wanted to be a bit like Sabrina the Teenage Witch, so I created a character called Melody who could cast spells and ensure that there aren't consequences like what happens in Sabrina's life. I then came to know that Melody, the character I created, was a self-insert Mary Sue - the kind of characters you do not want your audience to put up with because they are unrealistically perfect (like Bella from Twilight.)
Did you enjoy your high school years? I sort of regret not coming out of my shell sooner. Migrating to Singapore and being out of my comfort zone made me put up even more barriers with people. But at least in the last year of school I was brave enough to choreograph and perform a tap dancing solo!
Did your dream/aspiration as a child changed in high school? If yes, how so? Nothing much has changed, really. I still dream of creating worlds to narrate my stories. It's just a matter of finding that suitable media to tell it.Amanda, you are such a superdeeduperdee awesome young lady. Thank you for reaching out to me. It was a pleasure interviewing you. I wish you the best in your endeavors! Gracias for sharing your story with us.
You referred to yourself as a spoiled urban child growing in Malaysia. What are the factors you considered made you a spoiled urban child?
Well, my family is rich, and I'm too used to the pampered life because of the extra hands of grandaunts and helpers in the house.
You sound conscious and clear when you state that Melody was rather a character you created instead of an imaginary friend. Looking back, do you think there is a possibility that perhaps you created this character in order to escape the reality of your world as it existed then?
It was definitely a form of escapism - my other close friend and I made it a hobby to create these characters and tell stories with them, because we considered our lives quite boring then. But I guess that's what it may feel like when you're a student that doesn't proactively engage in extra curricular activities and a bit isolated from cliques.
What do you consider the comfort zone left behind when migrating to Singapore during your high school years? Why were barriers built?
It may have been the general difference in attitude of Singaporean society, or it may have been my own attitude as well. I felt a bit excluded for being the newbie to the school, but it could also because I was very resistant to the idea of moving to Singapore, but I did manage to settle in now that I participate in different communities like my dance studio's.
Tell me about your blog Swinging Salsera, what is your goal for it and how did you come up with the name? I originally intended to use it as a dance progress blog for salsa and west coast swing (swing + salsa dancer = swinging salsera) but I guess it branched out to include local events, tips, and even other dance that I'm doing now like tap, contemporary, and the likes.
What story do you tell when you dance? I'm still looking for that voice that can tell stories - my previous performances have really been about bringing out an energetic performance to pump out the crowd and there isn't much of a story, but there's going to be a contempt item I'm doing this year that will tell the story of false hope in love with the song "In This Shirt" by The Irrepressibles. I'm quite excited to see how it plays out!
How do you wish the world to remember Amanda? I wish to be remembered as the one who tried everything. Life's this short before you return to ashes again, so it has to be Amanda the Swiss Army Knife, or Amanda the crazy artist who tried to do everything.
Where do you see yourself ten years from now? Ten years from now is relatively a very long time. I had plans to work in Disney back in high school, but I guess the bubble busted knowing that the industry is competitive. So I'm not sure, it's only planned out to 3 years from now. I also haven't even thought about whether or not I should be married by then.
What is your source of inspiration? It's a lot to do with environmental triggers. Right now, my dance studio is a good source of inspiration. I catch a whiff of conversation here and there and bam! I can suddenly think of how to create a character, put them into a fictitious setting, see how their story plays out, etc.
Amanda, I know you are young and all, but what would you say has been your greatest achievement thus far? My greatest achievement so far is to have the guts to audition for my dance scholarship. I would've comfortably stayed as just a salsa, swing and tap dancer if not for this move. I feel that with these new dance genres and techniques injected to me, they can help me be a better dancer theatrically too.
Okay, here is the bonus question I like to ask everyone: If we lived in a world where money was non-existent and all our commodities and personal necessities were provided to live a healthy and happy life, how would you spend the rest of your living days? I would spend the rest of my days travelling and busking everywhere. Seeing new things will definitely expand my creative vocabulary. I'll make sure that the rest of my family also goes along with the trip too :)
There you have it, the dancing spirit of Amanda over at