Sing Lim is Executive Creative Director and Instructor at Jitterbugs Singapore (www.swingapore.com).
The pioneer of Lindy Hop in her home country and credited with bringing swing dancing to the sunny island of Singapore, she is as passionate today about the dance as when she first started. Read her interview to find out how she started and what keeps the fire burning.
Besides running Jitterbugs Singapore, Sing is a dedicated mother to three children and a loving wife to her husband, also an avid swing-dancer. And yes, they met through the dance
JUYL : How did you get started in the dance ?
I was working in London in the summer of 1988 when a friend took me to a Ceroc
Club. Ceroc is a fun dance that is danced to pop music and is as addictive as
popcorn. It was at a Ceroc dance that I saw someone doing a tandem charleston.
Intrigued by this complex step, so I asked him to teach it to me and I was
surprised and frustrated that I couldn’t do it. He suggested that I should learn
Lindy Hop from Ryan Francois. I found a Lindy class near to my work but was
not impressed so I didn’t continue. It wasn’t till another few months later (oh, the
wasted time!) that I finally sought out Ryan at Jitterbugs Tufnell Park. As soon
as I saw him dance, I knew that was what I wanted to learn. And I took my first
lesson from him in December 1988.
JUYL : What was your most memorable or happy Lindy moment ?
There are two that come to mind: 1) Winning at the American Lindy Hop
Championship in NYC in 1992 as a Chinese girl from Singapore dancing a black
dance in NYC, representing London.
2) SEA Jam 2004 when Steven Mitchell led the Jitterbugs Stroll on Sentosa
beach. All those happy people dancing those strange steps in the sweltering
tropical evening, led by a sweating black guy in a hat, watched by a very cool old
black dude with no hair.
JUYL : Who had the greatest influence on your Lindy development ?
Along the way, the village raised this Lindy kid:
1) My first Lindy inspiration was Ryan Francois, whose fluid movement and
creativity showed me the spirit of the dance.
2) Frankie Manning who reminded me to be gracious and humble and always
3) Angela Andrews who made me believe in myself as a female figure head.
4) Frida Segerdahl for her inspiring application to the dance.
5) Brian Ang for reminding me I am still as student.
JUYL : To whom would you like to dedicate this award, and why ?
To Chan Meng who has been so supportive of me and my passion and pleasure
in Lindy Hop. He listens to me when I am demotivated and he drives me to the
airport when I hare off to dance camps. This award is dedicated to him because
I know he knows how much it means to me. A dedication also to the committee
that took the initiative to start the scholarship and for its belief and support in
the longevity of the Singapore Lindy scene. And a shout out to JUYL for its
independent enthusiasm and stimulation for the scene.
JUYL : What are your views on the present Lindy scene in Singapore ?
I wish it was bigger, after all these years. I’m so glad to see some really fantastic
dancers in our scene and I’m grateful for their energy and enthusiasm.
JUYL : What is your vision for Lindy Hop in Singapore ?
I hope I can personally continue to contribute and that it will continue to grow and
remain a strong presence not just in the SEA Swing scene but in the world-wide
JUYL : What message do you wish to send out to all readers ?
Remember how happy Lindy Hop makes you when you are dancing and put
aside the laziness or frustrations when you feel you are “plateauing”. Seek to
make it as fun for the person you are dancing with.