Understanding Challenges, Get to Know the Artists: Chaiiwi

In this 21C era,

Dialogue, learning, and change can happen in many forms across digital mediums. Here is a raw and genuine conversation with emerging local emerging creative voices based in Perth. This was a facilitated exchange with Chaiiwi.

In this edition, founder Shauna had the chance to speak with Chaiiwi face to face.


Meet Toni, aka Chaiiwi! As a child seated at the back of her sister's dance class at the mere age of 6, the bubbly spirit was raring to go. The music weaved in and out around the atmosphere it was irresistible to start dancing. "This one sure is a dancer", the teacher said. Different dance schools had different communities and culture. Sure sometimes it may get competitive, but it sure did not get in her way. She recounts a time when she was tasked to go into the first position, but her thighs could not touch, and she had to grasp the paper between her legs for the entire lesson. A similar experience happened to me at the Kanchana ballet school; my knees were odd and never seemed to be able to straighten. Chaiiwi has this unique gift of perspective and opening up other pathways to response, and she helped me realise the importance of awareness and mindfulness. She shares that it is through Self-development and time that as she matured, she realised that a natural response to critique such as "going back to the drawing board" at a young age was one that allowed her a second chance, to start anew. This realisation allowed her to make peace with it finally.  There is so much one can learn from Chaiiwi! This is just the beginning of Chaiiwi.

As we compile more insights, a list of all the words we have learnt together this semester would also be collected and available on the platform for a trilingual 听写 + flashcard list, free teaching resources for all.

Shauna Goh