Sabah schoolkids to represent Malaysia in global dance contest

The victorious Ngalay Yang’s Team from Sekolah Kebangsaan Luyang Kota Kinabalu

KOTA KINABALU: Thirteen-year-old Caelen Lester Mojiliu was not sure whether he should join a dance group in his school SK Luyang Kota Kinabalu here.

But the group was short on dancers when they were preparing for some big competitions in 2022 and this year.

The self-confessed introvert loved dancing anyway, particularly traditional dance, and thought he might as well give it a shot.

It turned to be one the best decisions Caelen made in his young life when the team notched first place in the Dance World Cup qualifiers held at the National Culture and Arts Complex here on Thursday.

His group, the Ngalay Yang’s Team, came out top as they beat four other schools in the Children Small Group National and Folklore Dance category.

They will now get to represent Malaysia on the world stage, competing in the same category in the international Dance World Cup in Braga, Portugal, from June 30 to July 4.

“Luckily, I listened to my parents and hopefully I get to go to Europe later this year to compete as well as to learn other cultures,” said the Year Six pupil, his face beaming with excitement.

Proud parents Lester Dominic Mojiliu and Lindsay Cindy Ligadu were ecstatic that their eldest son got to be part of something significant and potentially even bigger things at the global level.

Lester said the team needed to raise quite a high sum in order to be able to travel and take part in the competition in Braga.

“We will try our best to help the school raise the funds needed and hopefully others will too. These children deserve the exposure,” he said.

Other dancers in the group are Edric Elden Masaba Formon, Putra Aiden Abdullah, Mohammad Ashraf Anuar, Fieyeancy Angel Onievea Junip, Shanellda Jade Nurin, Nur Adeera Hasya Mohd Amir, Ezra Ejhez Ezwan Shah and Dhia Zahra Maisar Asmei.

Noohayati Awang, the group’s teacher-manager, said the team prepared long and hard for this event, putting in the training since August last year.

Along the way, she said, the group – comprising pupils from Years 4 to 6 – also took part in a number of local competitions including an open dance competition during the Duang Festival last month where they competed against adult dancers.

“We were confident of ourselves but we never expected to win the qualifiers,” she said.

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dance , school , SK Luyang Kota Kinabalu


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