Singapore #Fitspo of the Week: Eden Ang

Strong is the new sexy and fitness is the new party. With society leaning towards health and fitness, Yahoo's #Fitspo of the Week series is dedicated to all inspirational men and women in Singapore leading active lifestyles. Know of any who deserve to be featured? Hit me up on CherylTay.sg and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (cheryltaysg).

Name: Eden Ang (IG: @eden_ang)
Age: 28
Height: 170cm
Weight: 65kg
Occupation: Entertainer / Artiste
Status: Single
Diet: Usually tries eat clean; recently cut down sugar intake
Training: Breakdances once a week, jogs almost daily, gyms 1-2 times a week; practises martial arts and B-boy conditioning

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What kind of sports did you do as a kid?
As a child I was forced into swimming due to childhood asthma. I was also made to try basketball, softball and soccer, all of which I wasn't very talented in. However, it was karate that really appealed to me. I’m a Karate second degree black belt holder and I competed internationally, as well as won multiple national championships titles.

When did you first go to the gym and why?
When I was about 10 years old, I invited myself to play on a treadmill, revved it up to full speed, jumped on it and smashed my face. After that I started going with my childhood friends who were twice my size to show them that I could lift more than them. Now I know how to use the gym correctly though. *laughs*

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When and how did you discover breakdancing?
I was 12 when I first watched the cool kids in school breakdance at school dances. I was intrigued by it but I was a nerd and not part of the cool kids at that time so I wasn't invited to join the "crew".

My first moves were a front handspring and coffee grinder (also called helicopter). I was self-taught so I injured myself a lot in the process and bled a lot as I used to train on concrete. It was difficult but addictive at the same time.

Aiming to achieve the impossible really motivates me so I kept trying. My first backflip allowed me to feel as though I was out of this universe, and for that moment I could "cheat death". This feeling is something I still enjoy till this day. A flip is 100 per cent or nothing – anything short of 100 per cent may cost my life and I really enjoy the thrill when I accomplish that. I also want to inspire people to believe that they can do it too.

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What do you like about breakdancing?
I love the freedom and challenging the potential of the human body. I focus on power moves as they are risky gravity-defying moves that thrill and really entertain a crowd. I've also done contemporary dance which helped me immensely with my flexibility and lines. Hip hop, salsa and popping are other genres I've done as well. All these contribute to my style as a Bboy.

When was your first breakdance competition and how did you do?
My first battle was on the concrete streets of Christchurch City, New Zealand. I was challenged in a Bboy battle which I badly lost, only to be asked to join the crew as a trainee afterward. I later learned they were the number one breakdance crew in the country. Till this day I represent the ‘Common Ground Crew’.

What's your biggest achievement in breakdance?
Personally my biggest achievement, apart from representing the ‘Common Ground Crew’, is being part of Universal Studios Rockafellas – a full time dance/Bboy performance team. I worked there for 2.5 years and enjoyed it immensely. The amount of joy my fellow members and I could bring to the audience daily was something I enjoyed wholeheartedly. It was through this that I realised – as humans, we all have the right to do what we love and we can live off it as long as we bless others through what we do.

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What are some misconceptions of breakdance?
“You break your bones dancing". It’s a joke many people tell me and it was funny the first 64 times but after a while we needed to tickle ourselves to fake our polite laughter. Though there are multiple theories on the origins of the name "break dance", I did some research and found that the most logical reason is that dancers used to dance to the bridge of jazz songs, which is also known as the "break" where the bass and drums drive and the horns and other instruments take a backseat. People enjoyed this part of the song and it later evolved into genres such as funk.

The older generation also see break dance as a negative dance form for delinquents. Though it was possible for delinquents to break dance, I feel to become excellent in this dance form, the delinquent will have to be very focused and in the process perhaps find his/her purpose in life. A halfhearted attitude toward this dance form quickly leads to injury. This dance form has also got me interested in the human movement and anatomy as well.

Being an artiste now, how do you balance exercise with work?
This is quite tricky. While I was a full time break dancer at universal with the Rockafellas, work was exercise and exercise was work. However these days I spend a lot of time in front of the computer editing videos and reading lines in front of a camera on set. Workouts usually take place at 2am, but I get it done. There is no excuse because in my industry, I am my own product and I do need to maintain and upgrade it.

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What are some of the misconceptions that society has about fitness now?
That girls who don’t eat are fit. I spend a lot of time with actresses and models and never once found the act of starving attractive. I personally prefer a healthy looking girl with meat on her bones. So be happy and eat, please. Smiles are the most attractive.

Are you satisfied with your body now?
Yes. I just lost 6kg in about two weeks for an adidas shoot. While it wasn’t the easiest, I am very honoured to represent a brand that encourages its community to stay fit. Knowing I am in control of my body is a really satisfying feeling. I do have certain goals of how I'd like to improve but that you will see in a next shoot.

Do you get any comments about your body?
All the time! “You're ugly”, “you're too short”, “you're too fat”, “you're too skinny”. I get this every day. I'm an artiste and we are target boards for criticism. However, I’ve set my mind to just focus on the positive comments.  

Why is it important to set aside time to exercise?                    
You are loved by many. So treasure yourself and take care of your body. To me, fitness is health. As an artiste I don't always get to decide how I look as I need to bulk and shrink according to the role and shoot I'm about to do. However, a healthy functional body to me is very important. That is the base of life.

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