Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 AT STUDIO 23

10:00 p.m. 31st December 2008

We were at the studio; scrubbing the floors, assembling the fans, praying that the temporary door would turn up before the launch. (The temporary door came two hours before the launch. The real door came a month later.)

We were worried, excited and terrified.

10:00 p.m. 31st December 2009

We are in K.L. planning for 2010. We are training with our respective instructors, and are full of ideas to bully, I mean, inspire our students.

We are contented, relieved, and most of all, grateful. It has been a brilliant year.

JANUARY: Open for Business!

What if nobody shows up? What if the door doesn't fit properly? What if the ceiling fans don't come on time? What if the food isn't good? What if we trip over our own feet?

The place was packed. In fact, there were even some real volunteers for the workshops! The door didn't fit, so our carpenters made the doorframe bigger. The fans didn't come, but no one noticed. The food was good enough that there was none left by the time we got to the buffet table! We didn't trip. What more could we ask for? Yay for a great launch!

We then spent the whole month pinching ourselves every time we saw the studio signboard, and squealing excitedly in our heads every time a new student registered.

FEBRUARY: Shimmies and Shavings for a Good Cause!

On February 14th, Studio 23 celebrated Valentine's Day at the "Give Hope, Go Bald" event organized by the Sarawak Children's Cancer Society. Not only did Serina and her dance troupe perform, her "volunteers" took part in a special show of solidarity with the families of children dealing with cancer: a non-stop 4-minute shimmy session!

The next day, Albert and Georgette were among those who stepped up and had their heads shaved to raise money for the SCCS. Between the two of them, more than RM8,000 was collected – a big, big thanks to everyone who contributed!

MARCH: Belly Dance For Charity, Revisited

Serina and her dancers once again tied on their belly dance belts, this time for World Vision's 30-Hour Famine event, held on March 21st at the Association of Christian Churches Sarawak building. It was the first time the 30-Hour Famine camp was brought to Kuching. All we can say is, the next time it's organised here, go and join them!

APRIL: New Dance Classes!

We started April by opening up a bunch of new dance classes. Maybe we were doing something right J

Although, some didn't take the announcement seriously as it was dated April 1st.

MAY: Albert Strikes Gold!

On May 2nd, Albert made the trip to Manila to take part in the 2009 Pan-Asian Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu International. He competed in the Blue Belt Under-70kg division and – after a fun day of BJJ and reunions with friends - walked away with a gold medal.

This marked the first occasion in which Studio 23 (no, not the Filipino TV station...oh, the stories Albert could tell you...) was represented in a Jiu-Jitsu competition, with more to come!

JUNE: Studio 23’s American Adventure

The first two weeks of June saw Albert and Serina travel to America for two reasons: it was a celebration of a year of marriage, and Albert also took part in the 2009 Mundials (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Championships).

He lost a very close match, but forgot about it as soon as the Black Belts took to the mats. Albert was completely star-struck by the BJJ superstars that he stalks on YouTube. On more than one occasion, he had to stop himself from squealing like a schoolgirl. Yes. A manly schoolgirl.

JULY: Our First Belly Dance Hafla!

While we were away, our Belly Dance students kept themselves busy by preparing for Studio 23’s first official Belly Dance Hafla (party) on July 4th.

We're very proud of our multi-talented dancers: check out Emmelina's hand-made signage for our curtains!

Q: How many dancers does it take to pin up a drape?

A: Seven! 1 to do the work, 6 to choreograph.


AUGUST: An Event-Packed 31 Days!

With the exception of our November Dinner & Dance, there was no time in 2009 when we were busier than in August. We kicked it off with an outdoor Fizfit workout at Reservoir Park on August 2nd, following that up with a dance performance in front of a massive crowd at the Kuching Festival on August 8th. Yay for applause, Boo for Serina being asked onstage how many children she's had.

We wrapped up the month with a week at the Spring – finishing with a Belly Dance mini-concert, a Fizfit workout and a CMD demonstration. All told, there wasn’t a single weekend when we didn’t have something on the go. It was really fun, but really exhausting!

SEPTEMBER: Welcome, Emmelina!

The first addition to the Studio 23 coaching roster, Emmelina joined us as an assistant instructor for six months. One of Serina’s most experienced dancers and a natural performer, we’re very happy to have her on board!

OCTOBER: 5-6-7-8!

Rehearsals, rehearsals, rehearsals. For what, you ask? Well...

NOVEMBER: Dinner & Dance!

The climax of our first year, our Dinner and Dance event was held on November 14th, at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching. It was a fantastic night; nothing further need be said!

Watch out though, when we get back from our vacation we'll be posting the very best pictures (of which there are a great many - we had to sort through well over a thousand images from several photographers!) from the night.

DECEMBER: Time to Celebrate!

At the end of a great year, there's nothing left to do but observe its passing and get ready to welcome the new one.

A huge thanks to everyone who gave us support, encouragement and advice. We look forward to seeing you back on the mats, or dance floor, as the case may be, in 2010!

We hope you've enjoyed a safe and blessed Christmas - and here's to an excellent New Year!

-Albert & Serina

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Well, after a lot of hard work and sleepless nights we've finally gone and finished the DVD of our dinner & dance event.

Here are some of the highlights you can find on the DVD:

1. All 19 performances showcased at the dinner & dance.
2. All the video presentations.
3. Bonus material featuring behind-the-scenes footage!

Get your copy at the studio!



The Studio will be closed from Thursday, December 24, 2009 to Sunday, January 3, 2010. We're back in action on the first Monday of the new year: January 4.

Have a safe and merry Christmas and New Year! Rest up, have fun and see you back at the studio next year!

Friday, December 11, 2009


Here's the trailer for our soon-to-be-released DVD. We don't have a set date yet but it's coming!

To reserve your copy, see us at the studio, or email us at

Friday, December 4, 2009


Hi everyone, here's a few announcements about changes we're putting in, which will take effect at the beginning of next year!

1. Ladies'-Only CMD Class!

Finally, it's here! We'll be kicking off the new year with our ladies'-only Crazy Monkey Defense class! Classes will be every Monday, 9 p.m. and the first class will be on January 4th, 2009.

Please note that you will need to pre-register for the program before beginning your training. You can do this by coming to the studio in person, or contacting Albert at +6017 613 9311. There is a limited number of spaces available in the program, so if you're interested, register quick!
Walk-ins are not permitted.

For more information on our program, click on over to our Facebook page, where there is a discussion on this topic.

2. Combat Sports Cross-Training Fees

If you are enrolled in either Combat Sports program at Studio 23 (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or Crazy Monkey Defense), then enrollment in the second program - or the program you attend less - will be at 50% off.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Flirting With Flamenco

It's time for another post by a guest blogger: welcome, Diana!

As readers of this blog know, this is my first posting for Studio23. And just a little info on me, I am a dance student at Studio23, and I learn a little of everything. Bellydance, Modern Jazz, Salsa and Flamenco...

Every dance is different and difficult in its own way, but personally for me Flamenco is the hardest of all. The percussive footwork, and intricate hand, arm and body movements are a little too much on a softie dancer like me! Well, blame that on traditional dance training I had since small :(

Anyway, after months of training under Serina, I think we've managed to look presentable enough on stage at the Dinner & Dance last Saturday. Considering the fact that we are only babies at Flamenco! Take a look at the following photos courtesy of Calvin Sim.

Looking good with Kayla :)

Okay I'm showing off here... cos I always get scolded for having the wrong posture!

And immediately the next day was our workshop with Kayla which was interesting and fun. Firstly, it's because Kayla has so much energy and her passion for Flamenco is AMAZING!! It's inspiring to meet someone who loves the art of Flamenco dance so much, and I found it quite a joy to watch her personal expressions and emotions change many times during her performances. Which of course I've yet to master because I normally have one expression on my face when I'm dancing ~ standard traditional dancer smile!

Workshop participants

So after a hectic weekend with the Dinner & Dance and Kayla's workshop, we decided to have a little celebration of our own. Did you think we Flamenco dancers wont know how to have a good time? Of course we had celebration in mind, especially after all those fierce stomping and emotion building in class! So Jambu it was for a nice Flamenco party with Tapas and Sangria's.....

Cheers !!

This is what happens to dancers who has had a little too much of Sangria's !!

All in all, we had a good night in Jambu. New friendships were forged amongst Level 1 and Level 2 students, we had a chance to perform to a small crowd of frequent patrons of Jambu but most of all, we had some good womenly bonding time and some good memories for you know, the memory bag :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Kayla and Diana performing at the 2009 Studio 23 Dinner and Dance!

It's been a super hectic week leading up to our Dinner and Dance on the 14th. It was a lot of fun - when we had time to sit down and breathe! We'll be doing up a post about that soon, but we're still sorting through all the backstage video and waiting on the official footage from BCCK.

We've heard a lot of positive feedback about the night and would like to thank everyone who either attended or supported the event!

In the meantime, though, we've also been organising a series of Flamenco workshops featuring Kayla, Malaysia's top Flamenco dancer! For the last 2 nights she's been at the Studio, and tonight there will be a final workshop, followed by a Flamenco party! Don't miss this chance to hang out and dance with Kayla and the Studio 23 Flamenco dancers - there's no cover charge, so come one, come all!

See you there!

Location: Jambu restaurant
Time: 9.00 p.m. onwards

Thursday, November 5, 2009



Click on the pictures to view them in more detail.

SO, we're capping our first year of operations off with a dinner and dance party! Here's just a bit of what you can expect:

An 8-course Chinese set dinner. We've heard nothing but really good things about the food at BCCK, so we're really looking forward to this! (but of course, the dinner isn't the only reason you're going though, right?)

A full-on concert, showcasing Belly Dance, Jazz and Flamenco performances, and featuring the Studio 23 dancers and a one-night-only chance to watch Kayla, Serina's own Flamenco instructor from KL. It's an excellent chance to watch an experienced Flamenco dancer in action - and take advantage of the opportunity while it's here! It's been decided that we will not be doing something on this scale next year, so the next chance for you to watch a Studio 23 concert event will be in 2011.

If you're in Kuching and at all interested in dance, you won't want to miss out on this event!

DATE: Saturday, Nov 14, 2009.
TIME: 6:30 p.m.

RM70 per person. Tickets are available only at Studio 23.
For more information, please email or see Eileen at the studio.

Studio 23 on Red FM

Hello hello! I'm back! So Serina didn't ban me after the previous post. Hehehehe. ;p

Did you hear us on radio this morning?


As announced on Studio 23's Facebook page, Studio 23 was being interviewed by Red FM at 9am this morning. So have you figured out what 'Fizfit' is called in Mandarin? ;)

Us in our early morning face. Very early OK.

We arrived at RTM earlier than planned. On the way, we had fun trying to practice saying terms like Flamenco, gypsy, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, passionate etc. in Mandarin. Our Mandarin is quite rusty, and Serina claims hers to be 'kindergarten-level', which explains why she translated 'frustration' as 'xiao qi gui' (小气鬼) -- it means 'petty'. Hahahah! After that she decided to keep quiet in case she corrupted what little Chinese vocab we had left.


At 5 minutes to 9am, two very giggly dancers and one very serious studio manager were called into the recording room, which was behind 2 heavy doors! I remembered the time because we all chose to go to the washroom at the very last minute. Hahaha!


Looks can be deceiving. Serina looks more like she's in a heated debate rather than an interview. Heheheh! Obviously a fake shot. ;p She was a mute interviewee the whole time. ;p

The real voices behind the microphones?



Still the sleepy faces

Aunty Eileen said she didn't dare to look at us during the interview for fear that she would burst into laughter, because Serina and I were so giggly and full of physical action that we had to keep supressing our laughters behind our hands. Full of action because there were times when we didn't know how to answer, so Serina had to wave animatedly trying to explain to us what to answer.


Eventually we settled on note-passing, like in primary school. Hehehe... I wonder if the deejay was irritated at us for being so animated. Hahaha!

Look at our notes!

At one point, Serina suddenly nudged me and indicated for me to look at the window. There were some high school students (must be some lawatan sambil belajar thingy after PMR) standing there waving at us and trying to take pictures of us. Hahah!


They must think we're some kind of super star or something to be interviewed like that. Guess what? We both smiled and posed! Hahaha, I cannot believe we did that!

With the deejay

Here's a picture with the friendly deejay. She's a wonderful bilingual deejay who thankfully was fluent in both English and Mandarin and could put us all at ease. All in all, I had a very interesting and wonderful experience. It was so much fun I'm wishing I could trade my teaching degree for one in mass communication. ;p Maybe just for one day. ;p

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Ladies: if you're interested in joining the CMD program, but would prefer a women-only class, let us know!

You can expect to learn effective self-defense skills in a fun, relaxed and non-competitive environment - while getting a really good cardiovascular workout.

Up for it? Head over to the discussions board on our Facebook page (If the link won't work for you, you can still click over to our Facebook page via the fan box to the right of the screen) and post a reply!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

'I Do'

NOTE: This is our very first post by a guest-blogger...our newest dance instructor, Emmelina! Just in case you were, you know, wondering.

~Albert & Serina


Have you realized there's been a lot of weddings lately? Within 5 days, Studio 23 has been to two! Some of us at least. ;)


Let me rephrase. Studio 23 has been invited to perform at 2 weddings within the past 5 days.

#1 Ming & Angela's Wedding

Ming & Angela (Photo by Jong Saw Kang)

28/10/2009, Riverside - I heard this was a good day in the Chinese calendar to get married. This explains the three wedding cars I saw on my way to and from our rehearsal that day.

It was a really grand wedding. 90 tables they say?! But we were backstage the whole time, hehe, so don't ask me how the food tasted, or what the door gifts were, though I saw from my friend Saw Kang's (whose photos I stole for the purpose of this blog post) photos that it was a candle. Anyway, since we were invited to perform, here are some photos which I stole from Saw Kang, (and none from my camera, because Serina forbade me to post them up before our Dinner and Dance and spoil the surprise in store for y'all) ;p

Princess Diana

Mother hen, Serina

Hot mummy, Jass

Unfortunately, according to Saw Kang, he didn't see us until it was quite late, because he was busy easting without his specs. Hahaha, so no photos of the rest of us!

After performing 6 dances, the fatter ones were feeling skinny and hungry, so we decided to go for a round of McD's. Oh, did I tell you it has become a routine for us after almost every performance? :D Now you have the explanation of why we never lose that tummy, despite our complains.



Look at us pig out after working out on stage. Hehehe... McD should pay us to become their models and ambassadors to replace the clown, what's-his-name.

With our tummy filled, it was playtime.

Playing with food. Haha. Introducing...


...Serina by night!

Serina the walrus appeared for the second time after... (hold on while I browse for the picture of her first appearance)...


Getting better at it eh? ;p

And she trained 3 more... now with Ketchup!


Please clap lah. Do you know how many soggy fries it took for us to perfect this shot?

Last night Silvia Tzeng got frightened by this picture:


Hahaha... sorry I have to censor my face or else you guys will all have nightmares tonight. I'm asuming this is a child-friendly blog. :)

Which brings us to the second wedding, which was where Silvia saw this picture.

p/s: If you never hear from me here again, you will know what I have done to be banned from the blog. Hahaha! ;p

#2 Rosebelle & Alan's Wedding

The wedding march

31/10/2009, Hilton Kuching - It was a purple-themed wedding I was told.


The ladies of Table No. 26

Oops, we left Diana out. Here's another one. (Actually cuz I couldn't decide which picture to put ;p)

Unlike the previous wedding, this was our friend's wedding, who is also a student of Studio 23. As a gift to her, the Belly Dance Level 2 students performed 2 dances for their classmate, Rosebelle. :)


Not only that, we had a lot of fun on the dance floor. We did poco-poco and some other dances I couldn't identify, like the one in which everyone walk round and round the dance floor like a choo-choo train. Hahaha! But everyone was having so much fun! Next time when I get married I must have music like that as well!

Look at Rose after some red wine. Tsk tsk tsk.

One with the bride and groom

A toast for Rosebelle and Alan!

Cheers! Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaam Seng! and what was the one in Iban again?

Congratulations and may you have a blissful and fruitful marriage!

To the rest of you, when I get married next time, remember to perform for me also ok! You need to start practicing and training hard now, because...


I caught the bouquet!

So if you start training now, in five years' time you will all be super good dancers at my wedding! :DDDDDD

Saturday, October 31, 2009


No, it's not a place. Last week, Serina was asked to perform at Universiti Teknologi Mara's Lailatul Arabia night. Held at Merdeka Palace, when we got there we were definitely impressed with the work they put into doing up the place: it looked amazing!

The place was totally transformed - if you hadn't just stepped off the elevator, you wouldn't know where you were.

Our night there already off to a great start, we were treated to some very tasty food, and interesting student performances. Serina was set to go on as a special surprise highlight. She took the stage after the last group and really got the crowd going with an oriental dance to open, before finishing with a tabla solo. It was a really fun experience and we're happy to have been a part of it!

All the students had to perform a dance or skit with some kind of Arabic flavour...

...and put in a lot of effort to dress the part, too!

It had to happen sooner or later ... a night when the belly dancer showed up and found out she was underdressed!
Free counter and web stats