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 sequinned 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.”
Outfit: Lee’s own