Sunny Low Dancers:
The connection is simple and clear. Natasha Low or Tasha, from the current K-Pop group SKarf, is the grand daughter of Sunny Low the undisputed king of dance in Singapore from the late 1950s. Sunny learnt the art from his father Low Poh San who had a dance studio at Tiong Bahru. Following his father's footsteps (pun intended) the present Sunny Low Dance Studio at The Riverwalk, 20 Upper Circular Road is his own making.
The senior Low was the first to introduce ballroom dancing in Singapore and since the dance studio was a shop-house, the family lived and taught dancing at the same venue. He participated in many dance competitions and later became the Singapore Professional Ballroom Champion in 1946, and from 1950 to 1953.
Sunny himself took up dancing at 14 and his younger sister Betty at 12. They both started out by helping at the dance studio. Both became household names in 1960's when they acquired the title Singapore’s Rock and Roll and Cha-Cha King and Queen in a dance competition. The win encouraged the siblings to form The Sunny Low Dancers which had performed regularly since on television, in theatres, cinemas and night clubs whenever they could.
From the 'Sunny Low' Website:
"Singapore's Father of Ballroom Dancing, Low Poh San with his wife Jenny Quek started the Pohsan Dance Studio in 1937. His children Sunny Low and Betty Low, crowned the King and Queen of Rock n Roll in 1957.
Sunny Low Dancers, household name in the seventies and eighties, were featured in Radio Television Singapore and Singapore Broadcasting Corporation.
His grandchildren and their wives, Alvyn and Lucy Low and Melvyn & Nancy Low were undefeated champions in Singapore and South East Asia. Today, the 4th Generation of Low family is very much in the business of Dance."
I had occasions to be backstage with the Sunny Low Dancers during shows in the 1960's at the National Theatre or other venues and had seen them perform. There was always heavy applause and support whenever they appeared as the Dancers were very professional and, more importantly, entertaining.
Back to the future and Natasha, daughter of one of Sunny's son Alvyn, is now a celebrity dancer herself having been cast in the KPop hall of fame as one of only four dancers in the group called SKarf (the first two letters are obviously Singapore and Korea).
Tasha's mother, Lucy Wang who is part of the Low family dancers, is an instructor too and according to an interview in late 2012 she misses Tasha during her training in Korea. Eighteen year young Tasha and Ferlyn Wong (20) another Singaporean were successful candidates from 3,000 hopefuls in an audition held here two years ago to select members for this KPop group. SKarf has two other band members, Koreans Jenny Lee Joo Young, 16, and Jeong Sol, 21.
Wow! Four generations of dancers, from Poh San to Sunny, then to Alvyn and now Natasha. These are the people who have formed permanent footprints on the ballroom floor, true blue Singaporeans who leave positive marks on our memory trail.
(This memory is dedicated to the late ALVYN LOW, Natasha's father, who had passed away on the 11th of January 2013. Larry Lai, friend Eddie and I paid our respects at the wake in Singapore on Sunday 13th January as we met Sunny, Lucy, Natasha and their families).