Curtin students’ Project Heartbeats to raise cultural awareness through dance

Project leader Ysabel Lim at last year’s 4th Annual JCLA Networking and Poster Presentation event.

Project leader Ysabel Lim at last year’s 4th Annual JCLA Networking and Poster Presentation event.

Miri – 19 August 2015 – Project Heartbeats, a dance project championed by students of Curtin University, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak) aims to create a deeper sense of cultural understanding through cultural dance among the younger generation.

The project involves a four-day cultural dance workshop open to 100 secondary school students in Miri aged 13 to 16 at the university’s Recreation & Event Centre from 20 to 23 September 2015.

The project is an initiative under the John Curtin Leadership Academy (JCLA), Curtin’s flagship student leadership and entrepreneurship development programme. Leading the project team is JCLA student ambassador and third-year chemical engineering student Ysabel Lim Bing Bing, with January Chan as advisor.

Chan is the co-founder and Artistic Director of The Dance Academy Kuching and is currently the Official Organiser for the Commonwealth Society of Teachers of Dancing (CSTD) Graded Examination in East Malaysia.

Throughout the workshop, the participants will have the opportunity to be coached by experienced instructors in traditional Malay, Chinese and Indian dances. They will learn each dance category as well as dances of their own cultures.

The workshop will conclude with a performance night on 26 September where the participants will perform dances learned at the workshop. It will also be the closing event for the university’s Open Day 2015 which will be held from 10 am that day.

Project Heartbeats cultural dance workshop a JCLA initiative.

Project Heartbeats cultural dance workshop a JCLA initiative.

The JCLA is a year-long leadership programme developed by Curtin University in honour of John Curtin, the fourteenth Prime Minister of Australia after whom the university is named, with the objectives of instilling in student leaders the three core values of Vision, Leadership and Community Service.

The programme aims to produce student leaders who can ensure the sustainability of campus clubs and societies, improve campus life for students and contribute meaningfully to the community. It also gives them the opportunity to get a head start in their careers.

Among the more notable projects by its student ambassadors are the Solar Panel Project at Long Makabar about 200 kilometres from Miri; ‘Project Don’t Dump Bario’ aimed at promoting sustainable waste disposal in the Bario Highlands; ‘A Closer Look into Kampong Speu – With a Desire to Give Back’ project aimed at raising awareness of poverty in Cambodia among Malaysians; and ‘The Forgotten Smiles’ project aimed at improving the dental health and hygiene of remote Penan communities.

For more information on Project Heartbeats, visit its Facebook page ‘Heartbeats: A JCLA Initiative’ or contact Ysabel Lim at 016-889 9988 or by emailing to ysabel.lim@outlook.com.

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