Sunday, January 21, 2007
Star Article - dancing her way to stardom
Dancing her way to stardom
By PAUL CHOO
THE thought of performing in front of an audience had always fascinated Sasha Bashir, even at a young age.
While her peers were involved in other activities, she would constantly pester her parents to send her for dance classes.
That persistence has paid off as it paved the way to stardom for the ambitious 10-year-old.
The multi-talented lass, now a TV3 personality, reminisces how the pieces of the puzzle came together when she landed her first job as a back-up dancer for the Kit Kat Klub in the early 1990s.
Sasha: ‘Having to juggle between my daily school work and hours of dance rehearsals was not an easy task.’“I was so young at that time but as chance would have it, Linda Hashim (of Akademi Fantasia fame) became my dancing instructor when I enrolled in a dance school in Ampang,” said the 26-year-old.
“I must have left a good impression on her because a few years later, Linda called me up to see if I was interested in becoming a back-up dancer for the Kit Kat Klub, an entertainment and events company that was headed by Datin Seri Tiara Jacquelina.”
Despite a hectic schedule, Sasha, who was the former Explorace host, was determined to achieve her dreams.
“Having to juggle between my daily school work and hours of dance rehearsals was not an easy task. However, I knew that once I was in, there was no turning back,” Sasha, who is of Malay-Australian parentage, said.
Sasha admitted that her first job was truly unique in the sense that she was constantly surrounded by cameras and celebrities.
“I vividly remember dancing for artistes like Amy Mastura and Ning Baizura, to name a few, and constantly being under the bright spotlights of the studios,” she said.
“This may explain why I’m so comfortable now in front of cameras.”
Sasha also performed in other popular programmes such as Anugerah Juara Lagu, Anugerah Industri Musik, Anugerah Skrin and Sinaran Passport Kegemilangan.
This is obviously an impressive resume for someone who was only 15 at that time.
When at the Kit Kat Klub, she ventured into other fields, such as acting and singing, which opened up even more opportunities.
However, this resulted in her having to sacrifice her weekends for performances and rehearsals.
“It was rather sad when I had to temporarily leave it all behind when I furthered my studies at the Western Academy of Performing Arts, Australia,” she said.
It was deja vu because just like her early days, she had to struggle with studying and teaching dance and choreography to high school students as a part time job.
On top of that, she had taken a job as a waitress in a restaurant.
She returned to Malaysia after completing her studies with a renewed passion for the performing arts and soon landed leading roles in stage plays such as Lady Swettenham and My Bollywood Summer.
“That was when I met Sabera Shaikh, Masakini Theatre Company’s artistic director. I hold her and the others very close to my heart, as they have helped me blossom in the industry,” she added.
Sasha is also an avid painter. She recently contributed a painting themed Water Goddess to Sabera’s fundraising cause called “Banjir in the village.”
The fundraising bazaar will be held on Feb 3 and 4 at the Bangsar Village shopping complex to help victims of the recent floods.
Being a victim of the collapse of the Highland Towers, Sasha understands the pain the victims were going through and wanted to play a part in helping them.
When asked about the future, Sasha said she hoped to act in more movies and venture into singing.
And she also hoped to indulge further in her favourite hobby – blogging. Fans of Sasha can read more about her on her blog http://www.sashabashir.blogspot.com/.