15 Year-Old Hip Hop Dancer, Shahril Azlin bin Jaslin

Being 15, I feel more mature than before. You’re in Upper Secondary, you wear long pants and people look up to you like an older brother. It’s time for you to be a good example to your juniors.

I have my freedom even though I’m still a teenager. My mum usually lets me go wherever I want as long as I do really well in my studies. That’s what I have to give back to her.

I’m not really interested in Formula 1 and all that, but it surprises me that these big events can be held in Singapore even though the city may not be perfect for it.

I don’t really recognize the changes in Singapore, but I see new trends and fashion emerging. You can see the difference now. In the past, teenagers would usually go out and chill, but now they play sports and they dance.

I’ve been dancing since I was 10. I do hip hop street dance. I was at a dance competition and there was a group there that was around my age who inspired me. I started learning a few moves and over the years I’ve had some help from other dancers whom I respect.

Five years ago, there were very few teenagers or primary school kids who were interested in dancing, so dance became quite trendy.

When you’re starting in something new, you’ve got to have someone or something to inspire you. That’s when you’ll get interested in that thing.

You can’t really inspire everyone because nobody is perfect. You can’t expect everyone to be inspired. What I know is that when you dance, it’s not about impressing people; it’s about continuing dance for another generation so that the world of dance will not stop here.

I intend to be a dance choreographer. I actually just did a project on that! I learnt that you must have dance experience and you need to get a Masters in dance coaching if you want to do it professionally. If I could choreograph overseas I would really want to go there for the exposure. I can bring things from other countries back to Singapore and help my country to have new styles and flavors in dance.

Teenagers today know more than in the past. It’s not just about the Internet; it’s also about our surroundings. When you go to school, you get to know a lot of different people and their different interests. You tend to want to get to know these interests and see if they suit you too.

When I’m 16… hmmm… I don’t think too much about what I’ll be doing then, but I hope that over the years, not just when I’m 16, I can be a better person and be someone who people look up to. Some teenagers do wrong things nowadays, but I hope I don’t. I don’t want my thinking to be different from how it is now. I’ll get to watch NC16-rated films, too.

I have a lot of mottos in life but mainly it’s “Never get jealous of others.” Everyone has their own specialties, their own strengths and weaknesses. Your strengths should be used to motivate others.

Singapore is different from other countries. Even though we are just a tiny red dot with many different races and religions, we have peace. People see us as one Singapore.