Direct School Admissions (DSA)

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Dance Your Way Into Prestigious Schools: AQ Dance Academy Shines in Singapore’s DSA Program

In an era where education extends beyond academic achievements, Singapore’s Direct School Admission (DSA) program offers students a unique pathway into prestigious secondary schools and junior colleges through their talents in sports, arts, and leadership. Among these, dance has emerged as a vibrant route, showcasing creativity and discipline. At the forefront of nurturing young talent, AQ Dance Academy, under the stewardship of Josephine Wang, stands out as a beacon of excellence, playing a pivotal role in empowering students to secure placements through the DSA dance route.

Founded on the belief that dance is a powerful medium for expression and personal growth, AQ Dance Academy has been instrumental in guiding aspiring dancers towards realizing their dreams. With a rich curriculum that spans various dance programs – from classical ballet to lyrical and contemporary in the Elite Performance program – the academy provides a holistic education that is both rigorous and inspiring.

The success stories of students from AQ Dance Academy speak volumes. Many have seamlessly transitioned into esteemed institutions through the DSA program, attributing their achievements to the academy’s comprehensive training and supportive environment. “The teachers at AQ were very patient and affirming throughout the entire process, which allowed me to gain confidence in my capabilities.,” shares Natalie Low, a DSA recipient. “The discipline, resilience, and creativity I’ve developed here were key in my DSA application.”

AQ Dance Academy’s approach goes beyond technical prowess. Emphasizing the importance of storytelling and emotional expression, the academy encourages students to find their unique voice, fostering a sense of identity and confidence that resonates deeply with DSA selection panels. This holistic development ensures that students are not only technically adept but also emotionally intelligent performers, setting them apart in the DSA process.

The faculty at AQ Dance Academy, handpicked by Josephine Wang, comprises of esteemed professionals with extensive experience on international stages, brings a wealth of knowledge and insight. Their mentorship supports students beyond dance instruction, offering insights into the DSA application process and strategies for successful auditions. “Our vision at AQ Dance Academy is to see our students excel in every aspect of their lives. The DSA program represents a fantastic opportunity for this, and we are here to guide our students every step of the way,” says Josephine Wang, reflecting her dedication to her students’ success.

As the DSA program continues to evolve, recognizing a broader spectrum of talents and intelligences, AQ Dance Academy remains at the cutting edge of dance education in Singapore. Its alumni’s achievements in securing DSA placements underscore the academy’s reputation as a cradle of young talent, where students are equipped not only to excel in dance but also to embrace challenges with grace and resilience.

For parents and students aspiring to leverage dance as a pathway to prestigious schools, AQ Dance Academy represents a choice par excellence. Through its unwavering commitment to excellence, the academy shines as a testament to the transformative power of dance, opening new horizons for young dancers across Singapore.

We Are Proud!

We are very proud of all our AQ students and listed in the links below are their success through the recent few years! 

Congratulations to AQ Dance Students who have been offered places to their choice secondary schools through the 2023 Direct School Admission (Dance).

These girls are:

  • Kylie Ho (TKGS & SACC)
  • Cristal Quek (SACC)

Congratulations to AQ Dance Students who have been offered places to their choice secondary schools through the 2022 Direct School Admission (Dance).

These girls are:

  • Ava Theseira (SOTA)
  • Lauren Akintewe (TKGS)

Congratulations to AQ Dance Students who have been offered places to their choice secondary schools through the 2021 Direct School Admission (Dance).

These girls are:

  • Shannon Chan (KC & SOTA)

Congratulations to AQ Dance Students who have been offered places to their choice secondary schools through the 2020 Direct School Admission (Dance).

These girls are:

  • Celine Lee (Dunman High School & SOTA)
  • Fayra Tay (SOTA)

Congratulations to AQ Dance Students who have been offered places to their choice secondary schools through the 2019 Direct School Admission (Dance).

These girls are:

  • Natalie Chan (TKGS)
  • Amber Chong (TKGS)
  • Pagan Toh (TKGS)

Congratulations to AQ Dance Students who have been offered places to their choice secondary schools through the 2018 Direct School Admission (Dance).

These girls are:

  • Emily Kam (SOTA)
  • Amelie Phua (SOTA)
  • Laetitia Lastennet (SOTA)
  • Phaedra Toh (Dunman High School)

Congratulations to AQ Dance Students who have been offered places to their choice secondary schools through the 2017 Direct School Admission (Dance).

These girls are:

  • Shannon Chong (SOTA)
  • Estee Goh (SOTA)
  • Tania Lye (Dunman High School)

Congratulations to AQ Dance Students who have been offered places to their choice secondary schools through the 2016 Direct School Admission (Dance).

These girls are:

  • Jesslyn Ho (SACC, KC)
  • Alyssa Ho (Temasek Secondary, TKGS)
  • Chua Hwee Lynn (Dunman High School)
  • Shermaine Tay (Nanyang Junior College)

Congratulations to AQ Dance Students who have been offered places to their choice secondary schools through the 2015 Direct School Admission (Dance).

These girls are:

  • Yeow Yu I (SOTA)
  • Natalie Low (SOTA)
  • Seet Xiu Li (Temasak Junior College)

Congratulations to AQ Dance Students who have been offered places to their choice secondary schools through the 2013 Direct School Admission (Dance).

These girls are:

  • Andrea Lee (TKGS)
  • Tan Wee Suan (Dunman High)

Congratulations to AQ Dance Students who have been offered places to their choice secondary schools through the 2013 Direct School Admission (Dance).

These girls are:

  • Oh Xu Wen (TKGS)
  • Isabel Phua (Nanyang Junior College)

Congratulations to AQ Dance Students who have been offered places to their choice secondary schools through the 2012 Direct School Admission (Dance). Many of these girls have also managed 2 or more school offers.

These girls are:

  • Candrea Wong (SOTA & TKGS)
  • Celeste Chua (SOTA & KC)
  • Magdalene Soh (SOTA, TKGS & SCGS)
  • Shannon Sim (SOTA)
  • Susanne Goh (SOTA)
  • Zeta Chua (SACC & KC)

Interview With Straits Times 2017

AQ Principal Ms Josephine was interviewed by Straits Times for an article published in The Sunday Times dated Sunday, March 12, 2017, about the DSA programme. The full interview, reflecting AQ’s stand on DSA is as follows:

1) What do you think about the DSA changes in the current education landscape, particularly the removal of general academic ability tests to focus on specific talents? Will this work, or create more stress, and why?

“In my opinion, the General Academic Ability Tests (GAT) gives Secondary schools an insight to the child’s academic ability and helps gauge if a child can cope with the academic standards of that particular school. By removing the GAT, it may give rise to a “mismatch” between the student and the school.

For example, if a child is very talented in dance and gets selected after going through the school’s audition, this child might eventually face possible academic challenges. There is a possibility that the child will be struggling to match the academic requirements of the school where the rest of the fellow peers got admitted by meeting the minimum required T-score of that school.

This may create more stress for the child in her secondary school years. On top of having to cope with school workload, the child still has to commit to the long hours of dance training in school. The school admission of a child with no considerations on the academic abilities might lead to an unfortunate wrong matching. We should review both the academics and talent and try to strike a balance.”

2) Roughly how many pupils have you helped with the DSA? An estimate is fine. Are you seeing more parents year on year sending kids for help to get through DSA, and how many per cent more each year?

“Every year, we will have a handful (about five) of our own existing students applying for schools through DSA. They are mostly shortlisted and selected and given offers from two or more schools. There is certainly a growing awareness amongst parents on the DSA program. We are receiving more enquiries in recent years from parents of non-existing students (some even with little or no dance background) on how we can help prepare their children for their upcoming DSA auditions.

In such cases, we explain to the Parents that there are no shortcuts to this art form. We cannot achieve optimal dance quality by simply attending a few hours of private lessons. Dance technique takes years to hone, and the successful candidates are often those who have done Ballet Exams, Performances and Competitions since five to six years of age. Thus, by their DSA audition in Primary Six, they would have at least six to seven years of regular dance training.”

3) How do you help the kids to do well at the DSA? In what areas? Elaborate.

“In past years, AQ Dance successfully rolled out a Direct School Admission (DSA) preparation program six months prior to the DSA application period exclusively for our students, boasting a remarkable 100% success rate. However, upon reflection and careful observation of our successful candidates in their respective school placements, we found that some students had to struggle academically, and it had an adverse effect to their self-esteems at that age. Some experienced burnt out and ended up disliking the art form and the school they are in. Through this experience we chose to discontinue the program that had the objective of training students solely for their DSA applications despite its financial benefits to us. We now prioritise the holistic happiness of our students.

Embracing a more balanced approach, AQ Dance has a comprehensive initiative aimed at nurturing the passions and talents of our dance enthusiasts. AQ’s Elite Scholars program, which identifies and nurtures talented dancers through a rigorous audition process, offering them a wealth of opportunities including annual competitions and performances.

Our commitment extends to students as young as five, offering them subsidized advanced dance training and the chance to represent AQ Dance at a variety of competitions and performances. This engagement is designed to enrich their personal portfolios while instilling invaluable life skills such as discipline, teamwork, and resilience—preparing them for the DSA and beyond.

Additionally, we provide specialized DSA Workshops tailored to equip our Primary 5 & 6 students with the skills needed for DSA preparation. This includes mastering dance choreography, participating in Dance Masterclasses, and developing essential skills in interview techniques, portfolio composition, and auditioning.

At AQ Dance, we’ve shifted our focus from solely DSA-driven preparation to supporting our students in whatever academic or artistic paths they choose. While we continue to assist those pursuing the DSA—with form submissions and testimonial writing—we believe in the collective responsibility of parents and schools to ensure the right fit for each child’s future.

Our ultimate aspiration is to witness our students thriving in their chosen educational settings, feeling fulfilled and acknowledged for their dedication to both their dance and academic pursuits.”

4) Do you think the changes would reduce competition and promote joy of learning? Elaborate.

“We are confident that the Ministry of Education (MOE – SINGAPORE) is making changes to the system in the students’ best interests. However, we should continue to further review if removing the GAT completely is truly beneficial in the overall assessment. The streamlining of the DSA application process, by way of the MOE proposed centralised system, will certainly make it easier and more transparent for all applicants.

There will always be individuals that will try to “work” any given system to ensure that they have the maximum possibility to achieve their school of choice. My personal thought on this is that while one may eventually get their desired choice, one may end up with a very unhappy and burnt-out child.”

Sunday Times – DSA Schemers (12th March 2017)