For some people, dancing comes naturally and can even be part of their very being. Jet Leang has been moving to the rhythm long before he can remember, and during his high school years he indulged in street dancing seriously. He was only 14 then and was already grooving with a crew.
Born and raised in Penang, Leang, like many others from traditional families, was pressured to make safer career choices. So he opted to study fashion design. Leang’s true calling would begin to reveal itself when he started to fall behind in his studies. He was spending too much time with his crew of dancers every other night rehearsing.
“I danced so much that my head of department from my college advised me to stop to pursue dancing seriously. I took her advice, and that led me to NAFA (Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts) in Singapore in 2010,” Leang laughs.
Leang spent three years in NAFA to pursue a diploma. There, he became embroiled in different dance styles—from ballet, contemporary and even Asian ethnic forms, quickly broadening his abilities and understanding of dance. This whole eye-opening experience inspired Jet.
Leang’s rite of passage was far from over. After working for ten years in Singapore, Leang’s thirst to expand his horizons led him to Amsterdam to study under Martine van Santen and Marion Booster. There, he spent three months in intensive training to sharpen his skills further.
Being based locally isn’t without its challenges. After moving back to Penang in 2018, Leang established the Jet Leang Dance Theatre, which operated in penangpac.
Nothing keeps Jet Leang from moving forward. He recently launched his latest dance showcase called Life, Food & Health, which catered to sold-out performances. In this performance, Jet focused on lifestyle themes that seek to explore how our actions and consumption can affect our bodies and the environment.