Stories from Our Communities: Ms Sylvia McCully

For eight years, Ms Sylvia McCully taught ballet at the Extra Curricular Activities Centre, charging a nominal fee and reaching out to a wide segment of society. For her efforts, she became the first female recipient of the National Youth Service Award, which is annually given to young persons for their contributions to society. Ms Sylvia McCully is a pioneer of Singapore ballet. She was trained at the Royal Ballet School, London (1966–1970) and has performed and choreographed locally and regionally, including for 13 National Day Parades. In 1990, Ms McCully brought the Eurasian community to prominence by training the first ever Eurasian contingent at a National Day Parade. She founded the Sylvia McCully School of Dancing in 1980 at Thomson Plaza and has since taught more than 7,000 dance students.

Ms McCully was interviewed for the National Archives of Singapore’s Community-driven Oral History Project in 2018. “Stories from Our Communities” is a video series to mine these rich interviews for heartfelt anecdotes of an earlier era of Singapore.