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Singapore – “Is life challenging? For sure, yes. The fact is, we don’t have a car or a maid as any typical family in Singapore would!” said Richard Tan in an exclusive to The Independent Singapore.

It is common for parents to want the best for their children. When a child shows interest and potential in a particular art or sport, parents strive to ensure that their children get the best out of that opportunity.

Meet Haylie Erin Tan, a 13-year old dancer and competitive swimmer who has been busy building up her portfolio in both careers.

She was a Cartoon Network Host for a Powerpuff Girls Segment in 2017, participated in Asia’s Got Talent in the same year, won numerous awards, obtained first place in swim and dance competitions and was casted as Marta (one of the Von Trapp children) in The London West End’s The Sound of Music, to name a few of her accomplishments at such a young age.

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Haylie started competitive swimming at the age of 6 then developed a love for theatre four years later. She managed to tackle and excel at both.

Haylie’s journey wouldn’t have been possible without the support of her parents. Her father, Richard Tan, shared what it takes to raise a child like Haylie.

Weeknights mean rushing home or meeting Haylie at the closest MRT station to take her her to classes, waiting and supporting her during lessons, going back home to homework and household chores and preparing her for the next day.

“There is simply no ‘me’ time for my wife and me,” shared Richard.

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The parents prioritise their children’s learning opportunities over their wishes or luxury spending.

They used to travel frequently for leisure, but that has turned into overseas trips for Haylie’s competitions.

For now, Haylie’s father has chosen to focus on her career and has put his on-hold, meaning declining certain job offers.

“Our focus has been to teach our children to pursue their dream relentlessly – ignore the naysayers and prove them wrong!” said Richard resolutely.

He added that the key is to do everything wholeheartedly despite how insignificant it may be.

“Be faithful in the little things – so she (Haylie) can be faithful in the bigger things.”

Haylie is currently a contestant for Asiana Airlines K-Pop Wildcard Challenge and has until 10 pm, July 29 (Monday) to garner as many likes on her YouTube audition video. The first prize is a full scholarship from Asiana Airlines to train in South Korea.

“My advice to Haylie was to give it all and go all out to make it happen,” said Richard.

So they did. The family can be seen out on the streets asking strangers to watch her video and giving it a like.

Haylie got to meet different types of people in the process – from the caring ones with smiles on their faces, to less pleasant ones.

“Haylie knows she has her family supporting her all the way to the best of our ability.”

Haylie was recently featured in SCAPE SG as the youngest talent in their Youth Stories.

When asked what her biggest challenge is so far, Haylie replied with:

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“The biggest challenge is when I feel discouraged by others from what they say or do. I am learning to focus and push the negativity aside and embrace a positive attitude. I am very passionate about dance and will give it my all to pursue this passion of mine. Stay positive and chase the dream!”

Watch her audition video below:

Many commented on how they met Haylie and her family in areas like Ang Mo Kio, the airport in Phuket, and different MRT stations. From there, they showed full support for the aspiring dancer and shared her cause. -/TISG

Photo: YT screengrab

Photo: YT screengrab

Photo: YT screengrab

Photo: YT screengrab

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