Managing Director of TutuToe Dance Academy
As a young man, Zen was deeply inspired after seeing the amount of freedom given to being a businessman.
In 2006, he began his business career by working for ADT security as a salesman. With little knowledge and experiences, he worked his way up. Zen was full in determination. He never thought of his job as just a way to pass by life but as one of the steps that will pave his path to success.
“I may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but I definitely work the hardest,” was one of Zen’s favorite motto. Visiting from door to door, he always found himself learning something new from every failure. Finally, his hard work has paid off. Within a year, his sales was already ranked as number one in Malaysia in 2007.
In 2010, he bought the agency company that he was working for. Through his hard work and effort, his agency company was awarded Top Rookie Agency 2011. However, Zen continued to improve and grew his company which led to his company earning first runner-up in Malaysia in 2012. Within the short amount of time, he grew his company from a one-man-band to a company with up to 10 employees. Looking back, he believes that the secret to his success was his determination to improve just a little by each day.
Because of Zen’s positive mindset, he was met with another wonderful opportunity. Inspired by his wife, Jess’s passion for teaching ballet, he came up with an idea. Together with the support from Jess Foo and Queennie Chng, who also aspires to become an excellent ballet instructor, Tutu Toe Dance Academy was born. The brand consists of three branches at Kota Damansara, Desa Park City and One Utama Shopping Centre. As a business owner and an employer, he believes that it is his responsibility to look after his employees. When he was young, he saw the lack of opportunities for many employees to experience growth in their career. Hence, he aspires to expand his brand to provide more space for growth to his employees. For this reason, Zen is not be planning to stop yet. In the span of a few years, the brand is expected to have its third branch located at One Utama Shopping Mall in April 2020.
Although Zen is not involved in teaching ballet; however, he definitely serves as the backbone of company who keeps it running and growing. As the company owner, it is also his duty to provide the best environment possible and growth opportunities for the students. He is always looking for opportunities for his students to perform and be exposed to different settings and venues. Because of him, the principals and teachers are also able to focus on teaching the students and lead students at national and international competitions.
Till today, his past experiences as a salesman served as a daily reminder for him to stay humble. Hence, Zen is not your typical boss who sits in the office and orders around. Most of the time, he would be seen working at the reception along with his admins. Parents and students are always delighted to have a chat with him. Moreover, with patience, he is often more than willing to teach his employees and share his experiences. Till today, he still strongly believes in consistent improvement as the key to success in business which led to where Tutu Toe is today.
Zen started from next to nothing to the person he is today, loving what he is doing and is not planning to settle down any sooner. To him, Tutu Toe Dance Academy should be indeed Where Dreams Come Alive.
Principal of TutuToe Dance Academy
Ms. Jess Foo first put on a pair of dancing shoes at a young age of ten and obtained mostly Distinction in all Grades Ballet Examination. With Ms Chau Ming Mei, a Hong Kongese Ballet teacher, as her mentor, she has completed her RAD Advance 2 under Royal Academy of Dance Board at Charming Dance Centre for around 18 years. In addition, she is also a Distinction holder in RAD Grade 8.
In 2014, she obtained her teaching qualification from The Commonwealth Society of Teachers of Dancing (CSTD) and is also an affiliated member of Royal Academy of Dance (RAD). In 2018, she also ventured into a new technique of dancing and gained herself CDA (Classical Dance Australia) and Vaganova Teaching Certificate (Vaganova Dance Society) which she was under Mr Vladimir, Mr Linus and Ms Ivy.
Her love for dance, which allowed her to express herself, sparked her interest in the graceful moves of ballet. Thus, she began her dancing career at the tender age of seventeen. Until now, she has more than 10 years teaching experience. Her passion for dancing has made her into a detailed and artistic person who strives for perfectionism. Throughout the years in her teaching career, she has led her award-winning students to win numerous outstanding awards including champion on soloist and troupe category at both local and international competitions. The most recognizable competitions consist of CSTD Malaysia Dance Competition, Asia Pacific Dance Competition, Taiwan Grand Prix, Get the Beat, Canaan Dance in Hong Kong and Malaysia, the Hong Kong Challenge Cup Dance Competition, Malaysia Grand Prix and Ballet Challenge. In 2019, her professional dance team was also awarded as the overall champion at the local Get the Beat Dance Competition and was invited to compete with participants from all around the world at the final competition. In addition, Ms Jess has not only gained distinctive teacher award but Tutu Toe Dance Academy was also recognized as a distinctive organization at the Hong Kong challenge cup dance competition.
Besides, she is a choreographer in different dance studios and kindergarten annual concerts. In fact, she has won many national awards for her outstanding choreography in many dance competition for soloist as well as group in her teaching career. Belief has taught her work ethics and discipline which she believes can only be born from passion and high self-esteem. There qualities play a crucial role in empowering individuals to reach their full potentials and achieve excellence. Hence, one of her motto is that “Great Dancers are not great because of their techniques, but they are great because of their passion”.
Along with Ms Jess’s patient guidance, our students have achieved 100% pass rates and most of the students achieved Distinction and Honors Plus in every examination. She believes in staying positive, energetic and encouraging while expecting our students to accomplish their own personal skills. Therefore, aside from taking examinations, she also strongly encourages students to take part in different dance competitions as well as summer school as important part of their physical and aesthetic education curriculum.
In a nutshell, equipped with both passion and skills, Ms. Jess is definitely one of the most qualified teachers you can find. Hence, she will guide her students to reach to their maximum potential and pursue a career in professional dance.
Principal of TutuToe Dance Academy
Ms. Queennie Chng is a registered teacher (TC) in Commonwealth Society of Teachers of Dancing (CSTD). She also obtained her Major Grade certificate in dancing from Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) at the age of 15. In the year of 2018, she gained a new qualification Teaching Certificate (Vaganova Dance Society) by St Petersburg and CDA (Classical Dance Australia) by John Byrne.
In the earlier year, she was successfully examined to the Gold Cross level of Freestyle Dance in National Association of Teachers of Dancing (NATD), awarded ‘The Most Outstanding Student’ in all the levels. As a result, she started to teach Modern Jazz in the year of 2010, the youngest teacher of the school. Throughout her dancing years, she has participated several of solo and group competitions in Line Dance and Modern Jazz. Her highest achievement in the recent year was 1st placing in Kickick Line Dance Competition and 4th placing in 3rd Malaysian Open Dance Fest 2011.
The Professional Dance Team of Tutu Toe Dance Academy lead by Ms.Queennie, consecutively acquired titles and awards from various Domestic and International competitions. In the year of 2015, it was her first attempt to send students for dance competition. It was a proud moment, where all of her soloists achieved outstanding results in all categories. She challenged herself again in a tougher category in the following year of 2016, as she choreographed a Troupe Dance, for a group of 21 students. Her outstanding choreography and perfect performance of the team, brought her a 1st place title in the CSTD Domestic Competition in the year of 2016.
In Ms. Queennie Chng, she believes that dancing is an art of expression, which is crucial to mental and physiological development in multiple aspect of life. By sharing the same passion with her students, she believes her students will learn the expressionism of performing arts with the proportionate development in mental and physical demand. As a passionate teacher, by maintaining high mental quality in herself, she sets good role model for her students to guide and inspire them to learn and achieve higher accomplishment in their life.