Dancing with passion
AT 40 YEARS OLD, Joshua Jaralson Linang has an impressive dance and choreography resume. The native Sarawakian has been choreographing dance for more than ten years and has already created work for a long list of institutions and events.
Joshua started dancing at a very young age, beginning with traditional dance, where he trained under the Ministry of Social Development and Urbanisation (KPSU). He attended St Thomas where he was also very active in after school activities, especially their cultural club. By the time he was in Form 4, he formed his own dance troupe called ‘Spellbound’, later attending ballet and jazz classes after school to diversify his dance repertoire.
Besides participating, competing and winning several local and international dance competitions, Joshua has also choreographed dance sequences for beauty queens in various beauty pageants including Miss Malaysia Universe and Miss Malaysia World.
About his first foray into dance choreography, “I remember my first experience for a choreography job or show was for the Nestle Sarawak Annual Dinner in the 90s.”
His choreography style leans mostly towards modern dance, Jazz, ballet, contemporary, latin-samba, and fusion while his influences include Gene Kelly and Paula Abdul.
“The thing that I enjoy most in choreography is expressing my own dance ideas or emotions through song and lyrics as I find my most freedom there, as a result I will usually be happy with what I have choreographed,” he added.
The biggest challenges he has faced as a choreographer include competitors, dancers with attitude, fussy clients, “as well as when thinking about new and different ideas, as sometimes maybe too many other choreographers and dance groups have been using the same idea over and over again and I try my best to be innovative.”
Although he is the managing director of his own entertainment company, Showgate Entertainment, he still dances in his own shows. Founded in 2008, his entertainment company is based in Kuala Lumpur, and deals in dance choreography, beauty pageants, dancers, models, magicians and even pyrotechnic dance shows. His proudest achievement to date has been choreographing for a client for their events in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, Vietnam and Thailand.
According to Joshua, among the important skills one needs to become a good choreographer are basic skills in ballet or Jazz from any professional dance school.
When asked for advice for aspiring or budding choreographers, Joshua said: “Do more research, watch out for choreographers that come to your area who are providing courses. One important thing that they need to remember is, be original and even though it is unavoidable to copy other’s dance movements, do try to improvise on the steps and routines to make it your own.”
Joshua stresses that dancing is not as easy as it may look and can be considered one of the toughest things to do, even though he admits that some people are born lucky.
“In my opinion, a great dancer or a choreographer is someone who is very disciplined, committed and willing to learn and get scolded. These are traits I normally look for in a dancer, besides good attitude, physique, being versatile in dance styles, and a fast learner who can pick up steps easily,” he said, admitting that he himself is resourceful, ambitious and devoted to his craft.
His advice to aspiring dancers and choreographers is, “Stay strong, be motivated, and always think and act positively.”
In five to ten years’ time, Joshua sees himself as a successful businessman, who hopes to open his own theatre and a restaurant.
His upcoming projects include the Model of the World Malaysia early March next year and Miss Tourism World 2015.
After seven years in the entertainment industry, Joshua is bringing Showgate Entertainment home by opening a branch in Kuching by early next year.
For more information about Joshua or Showgate Entertainment, he can be contacted via email [email protected]; Facebook Joshua Jaralson Linang or Showgate Entertainment or contacted at 013-2553189. Their past performances can be viewed on their YouTube channel Showgate Entertainment.