Women of Our Future: Women in Performing Arts With Maya (Naphaswan Pratummes)
Interviewee: Maya (Naphaswan Pratummes)
Interviewer, Editor, Graphic Designer: Pat Sevikul
Hello, Maya here! I’m 19 years old, from Chiangmai, Thailand and I’m currently studying dance at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA). I’m also a part-time instructor at New Heights studio and Converge studio in Singapore.
How old were you when you first started dancing and how has dance impacted your life since then?
I started dancing ballet ever since I was 3 years old, followed by other genres, and have never stopped ever since. My life is dance and I’ve been growing, taking it seriously, and living with it throughout my whole life.
What I love most about dance is how I can use it to express myself, and how all dancers communicate and have fun with each other using music and dance.
What is the creative process of choreographing like? What is your inspiration
and where do you get it from?
When choreographing, I go along with how the music portrays itself and get creative with it. I do need time to explore many movements before I come up with a conclusion, while also thinking about the dance vocabularies that are being shown in the choreography.
Sometimes I get burnt out and get very tired of the constant creation every week, but if it happens, I find inspiration from Instagram or in open classes. This helps to refresh myself and find something new to create after.
What is your biggest motivation that drives you to continue dancing?
My biggest motivation that drives me to continue dancing is that I want to get better. I always feel like I can be better after seeing myself, and this helps me to always work on my own goals and achieve new heights.
Another motivation that helped me throughout my life is the support from the people around me and my followers on social media. Especially when I’m burnt out, I don’t feel like my dancing is good enough. But the support from my friends, family, and followers, gives me a really great feeling, knowing that there is someone looking up to you.
What challenges do you face as a dancer?
Since dance is my life, there has got to be challenges throughout the journey, and the biggest challenge for me are injuries. Knee injuries are one of the most common injuries for dancers, and I’ve only started having knee injuries at the start of 2020. I had to dance through my final assessments in pain at one point of time, but if you know how to handle it and apply safe dancing, it will get better.
What experiences and opportunities has it brought you? What has been your favorite moment and proudest achievement so far?
Dance has brought in so many opportunities for me and it has taught me a lot of lessons. I have to say that my proudest achievement so far is my presence in Singapore's dance scene. I’ve put in a lot of effort to improve myself, find connections, and be exposed to different dance cultures.
What are your thoughts on women in performing arts? Why do you think it is important that young girls have role models to look up to?
Women who are in the performing arts are very powerful and smart. Not only are they able to show their passion and power when performing, but they also know how to work and live with their career.
In a system where men are stereotypically stronger and have greater leadership, women show that they are able to thrive and have a career. It proves that gender doesn’t matter, and that there are opportunities out there, not only for men, but for all genders. This means young girls have people to look up to, knowing that it is possible for them to achieve their dreams.
Women who are in performing arts are very powerful and smart. Not only are they able to show their passion and power when performing, but they also know how to work and live with their career
- Maya (Naphaswan Pratummes)
What is the best part of teaching dance to other young girls?
The best part of teaching dance to younger girls is getting to know their goals and how much they want to be exposed to new things. Knowing how much potential they hold, I’m looking forward to seeing what’s going to come in the future.
What advice would you give to young girls hoping to pursue a career in the
Pursuing a career in the performing arts can be terrifying and unpredictable. But if you know what you want to create and do, don’t take your goals for granted. Work for it and prove that you are strong enough to survive in the scene.
If you know what you want to create and do, don't take your goals for granted. Work for it and prove that you are strong enough to survive in the scene.
- Maya (Naphaswan Pratummes)
Follow Maya on Instagram!