Teens shine in vocal, dance contest

Tan (centre, in white) presenting the Champions Team 2019 trophy to the Berjaya Starbucks Coffee Company Sdn Bhd assistant public relations and digital manager Chloe Pan (fifth from right) and senior public relations and communications executive Lavinia Cassandra (fourth from right) at the Berjaya Teenstar Challenge 2019 in Petaling Jaya. — Photos: MUHAMAD SHAHRIL ROSLI/The Star

YOUNG talents were unearthed at the Berjaya TeenStar Challenge 2019 (BTSC 2019) held at Damansara Performing Arts Centre (DPAC).

The grand finale saw 147 finalists competing for the top three spots in the solo singing, cultural dancing and modern dancing categories.

This edition marked the fourth time the annual competition has been held.

Jess Kong Pei Yue and Jayden Lawrence Marsh, both 17, were picked as TeenStar of the Year for the female and male categories, respectively.

Despite only having one day to rehearse, Jess’s team J&Y representing SMJK Phor Tay, Penang, won second runner-up in the Cultural Dancing category; while she won the title of Best Dancer for Cultural Dancing.

Jess and her teammate Ong Zheng Yang performed several Chinese cultural dance styles, such as the fan dance.

“This competition provided us with a very different experience.

“Through our dance, we expressed different emotions, not just happiness. But I felt that we could have performed better, ” she said humbly.

Jayden was picked as Best Dancer for Modern Dancing while his team, Hensem Bois, from Sri Emas International School, Selangor, were champions in Modern Dancing.

He and his teammates performed a mix of modern dance elements such as popping, locking and hip hop. They had practised their routine for four months, somehow finding time between studies.

Despite winning several titles, Jayden said he was not about to rest on his laurels.

“Winning the BTSC 2019 awards does not mean we are the best. Wining this competition, does not mean we will win the next one. No one is perfect, we have to continue learning and improving, ” he added.

Nur Evelyn Eleanor Adrian Gan, from SMK Bukit Bandaraya, Kuala Lumpur, was the Solo Singing champion.

Semuja Dance Theatre representing SMK Undang Jelebu were the champions in the Cultural Dancing category while their teacher Amirul Izhwan Mohamad was chosen as Best Choreographer.

“I was speechless when we were announced as champions in the category.

“Competitions like this provide our students with good exposure, especially since they are from a rural area.

“They also learn discipline, teamwork and how to stay motivated, ” said Amirul who teaches geography.

He included Borneo dance elements in the dance titled Rentak Borneo and used props such as bamboo and baskets.

The finalists, selected from more than 300 shortlisted participants from the preliminaries, were split into four teams, representing Berjaya Starbucks Coffee Company (Team Starbucks), Kenny Rogers Roasters (Team KRR), Cosway (M) Sdn Bhd (Team Cosway) and Berjaya University College (Team Berjaya UC).

This year, the champion team was Team Starbucks.

Launched in January 2019, BTSC 2019 reached out to 200 schools in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Penang and Johor.

Approximately 1,000 teen star hopefuls turned up at the zone auditions held in April and May.

Prior to the preliminaries, free coaching workshops were provided to shortlisted participants.

The panel of judges included Mohd Yunus Ismail, Pengiran Khairul Qayyum, Suhaili Micheline, Becky Lee, Juliza Adzlizan, Tria Aziz, Amy Wang and Sarah Ismail as well as Education Ministry arts and co-curriculum division bakat seni unit deputy director Nor Hapipah Md Shah.

The prizes were co-sponsored by key partners, namely Starbucks, KRR, Cosway and Berjaya UC as well as supporting partners Berjaya Hotels and Resorts and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts.

The competition was also supported by Taylor’s International School, Puchong.

Present at the event were Berjaya Group founder and executive chairman Tan Sri Vincent Tan and Berjaya senior management and staff.

“Berjaya is proud to provide a platform where aspiring young performers can showcase and develop their creative talents in a supportive environment,

“Creative arts such as singing and dancing contribute to building creativity, critical thinking, communication, collaboration and self-confidence which helps young people develop into well-rounded individuals, ” Tan said.

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