Ca­try Lee

Model and mod­ern dance adept

Prestige Hong Kong - 40 under 40 - - Contents -

Any list of movers and shak­ers must in­clude some­one who, lit­er­ally, moves and shakes — such as Ca­try Lee, a mod­ern and con­tem­po­rary pro­fes­sional dancer who’s worked with just about ev­ery Can­topop star you can think of. Lee’s gen­er­ally that guy on the left wear­ing an over-the-top stage cos­tume, lift­ing his part­ner in a se­quined vest or car­ry­ing the star of the show on to the podium in a com­plex and ac­ro­batic rou­tine.

By day, he also teaches at a stu­dio call id­ance in Kowloon and his so­cial media are re­plete with clips of re­hearsals and prac­tices. “My first dance les­son was in jazz,” says Lee, who teaches both pro­fes­sion­als and am­a­teurs with the fer­vour of a born dancer. “All kinds of jazz — hip hop, pop jazz and street jazz.”

Reel­ing back to when it all be­gan, he re­mem­bers fondly, “I was quite young, I was in a cof­fee shop where there was a dance stu­dio at the far end. I peeked in­side, through the glass, cup­ping my eyes into this new world of happy peo­ple, al­ways mov­ing.

“It looked like they were play­ing non­stop and there was so much laugh­ter in be­tween … I just knew I wanted to join them. I saw the peo­ple in the class and I bravely went up and said, ‘I wanna try.’ Ev­ery­thing great be­gins with, ‘I want to try it’ — and look, I’m in the dance in­dus­try!”

So, which star that Lee’s worked with is his favourite? “I like them all, of course,” he says, diplo­mat­i­cally, but when pressed he con­fesses, “Well, OK, then it’s Kelly Chen. She’s my fave, be­cause she’s been my idol since I was a teenager.”

And his fun­ni­est mem­ory on stage? “I re­mem­ber when the Hong Kong girl group called Hotcha were per­form­ing in con­cert and I was on stage left. My boot flew off when I was do­ing a high kick.” He bursts out laugh­ing. “I was in pure shock, but I just had to keep go­ing and fin­ish the per­for­mance. Af­ter­wards I was so em­bar­rassed, but you know the rule — the show must go on!”

In spite of that, Lee says he never gets ner­vous on stage. “I like the peo­ple, I like the crowds, I love the cheers and the spotlight, they help me be my­self and per­form,” he says. “I feel so com­fort­able, I was meant for the stage.”

M“y boot flew off stage dur­ing a high kick ... I was so em­bar­rassed, but you know the rule — the show must go on!”

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