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Alisya Razman Adam began pursuing a career in dance after auditioning for ‘Carmen and Paquita’ at the age of 9. Pix by Rohanis Abdul Shukri

KUALA LUMPUR: DANCING has a way of bringing an innate sense of happiness for Alisya Razman Adam, who discovered the joy within early in life.

At the tender age of 9, she decided to pursue a career in dancing after auditioning for Carmen and Paquita, a ballet production held every year at Istana Budaya.

“I am at my happiest when I dance. It does not matter whether I am performing for an audience or dancing alone. It makes me feel good and I feel like I am part of something that makes life beautiful,” Alisya said.

This passion eventually grew and it became obvious that her future lay in dancing. At 20, Alisya went on to excel in her chosen field.

She is the only Malaysian among 30 applicants worldwide to be accepted into New York University’s (NYU) Tisch School of the Arts to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree this year.

Although she was offered a place to study economics at King’s College London, as well as Contemporary Dance at the London Contemporary Dance School, she chose NYU as it had been her dream since she was 14.

“I cannot imagine myself doing anything else,” she said.

In a way, Alisya’s career path was more or less laid out for her at a young age. She was introduced to ballet when she was 4.

“My mother signed me up for ballet class when we were in Canada. I think she wanted to expose me to dancing.

“I remember always crying in class. I was shy and felt out of place because I was the only Asian there. Eventually, I stopped going for classes, but picked up dancing again when I came back to Malaysia at the age of 9,” she said.

Since she was 13, she has bagged 11 dance awards from Hollywood, Los Angeles, Korea and Malaysia.

She is known to study with a book in hand while stretching and practicing the splits.

Alisya has performed at the World Championship of Performing Arts in Hollywood, American Dance Industry Awards, Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre and Andong Mask Dance Festival and Competition, Korea, to name a few.

“I have completed the Royal Academy of Dance Classical Ballet Advanced 2 and Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing Modern Theatre Advanced 2. After completing my A-levels, I began working as a teaching instructor at Sole to Soul Dance Studio,” she said.

In pursuit of her dream, she quit Tunku Kurshiah College at 14, a premier boarding school in Seremban, Negri Sembilan, because she was not allowed to attend dance classes.

“I figured out at a young age that no matter where you come from and what school you attend, if you plan to succeed, things will work out.”

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