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.
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?
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!
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