SEVENTEEN talented youngsters aged five and six are strutting their stuff in a rap dance performance to help the very charity that gave them a helping hand in nurturing their artistic flair.
The dancers are all beneficiaries of The Business Times Budding Artist Fund (BAF) and are taking part in next week's ChildAid concert. The event aims to raise $300,000 for both the BAF and The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund, which helps children from low-income families.
It is the first time that kids who have benefited from BAF have stepped into the spotlight to help raise funds.
They will dance to an original rap in their ChildAid performance. The concert features 17 acts in total, ranging from piano duets to jazz solo items.
ChildAid, a showcase of young musical talent which has been staged annually since 2005, is organised by The Straits Times and The Business Times newspapers, with the National University of Singapore (NUS) Centre for the Arts as the venue and production partner.
It will be held at the University Cultural Centre next Tuesday and Wednesday.
The fund for budding artists was adopted by The Business Times in 2005 after being initiated by The Arts House at the Old Parliament House in 2004 with the aim of developing the artistic talents of needy children aged from five to 12 years.
Arts House assistant director of social enterprise Johnson Kee says of the performance by the 17 children: 'We wanted to showcase how the funds raised during ChildAid will be used to develop the talents of children like them.
'It also provides a platform for our beneficiaries to showcase their talents. Such opportunities do help them to further develop their potential.'
The fund trains beneficiaries via programmes such as camps and workshops, and also conducts outreach programmes in schools and organisations like community development councils.
That was how five-year-old 'dance enthusiast' Kharthiga Dharshini, one of the 17 performers, was talent-spotted and roped into the BAF a few months ago.
She has attended over 20 weekly rehearsals for the ChildAid item, and says she has learnt a lot more about dance and the performing arts.
But the best part is 'knowing that I'll be helping other children learn what I've learnt and it makes me feel good'.
ChildAid raised $390,000 last year, with half of the proceeds, or $195,000, going to the BAF.
ChildAid will be held at the University Cultural Centre on Tuesday and Wednesday. Tickets at $15, $20 and $30 are available from Sistic (www.sistic.com.sg or call 6348-5555).