Pei Tong: Multicultural dancing pharmacist and philanthropist
Today we profile Pei Tong, a Liverpool-based community pharmacist with exceptional rhythmic body coordination (otherwise known as dancing skills). She also happens to be a Good Samaritan.
Originally from Malaysia, Pei completed her Masters in Pharmacy at the Liverpool John Moore’s University and fell so much in love with the city that she decided to stay. Over the years, she has undertaken a number of roles in community pharmacy and has continued, like many frontline health and care workers, to provide essential services to patients during the peaks and troughs of the current coronavirus crisis. Her ready smile, friendly disposition and outgoing nature make her a favourite with patients and colleagues alike.
However, Pei stands out from the crowd in an unusual way. She is an avid dancer and is skilled in a multitude of styles from around the globe. This arises not just from her innate abilities, but also from continuous practice and rehearsal. Having met like-minded dancers a few years ago, Pei and the other maestros formed Movema, a professional world dance company that operates in Liverpool and Bristol and also runs a performing arts school. The company has an active Facebook page and an impressive rating of 4.8 out of 5 from a following of several thousands. The team can be hired to provide workshops or entertainment at corporate events, public functions and educational settings. It also has a purpose beyond profit. Examples of this are the following:
- It is an active agent for cultural education and racial equality through its programs. It has been running dance clubs online throughout the lockdown and is an active participant at the annual Africa Oye festival at Liverpool, Sefton Park, where it offers dancing classes for the public. In recognition of this, it has been awarded the Merseyside Black History awards. It also visibly supports the BlackLivesMatter movement.
- It works with young people to develop their confidence through dance, both in online and physical workshops
- It has run fundraising projects to benefit asylum seekers and other displaced/homeless persons.
Asked about her involvement in dance and Movema, Pei has the following to say:
I started dancing when I was young, doing different styles of dance back in Malaysia, but as I moved across to different schools my opportunity to do dance waved in and out. I went on to study Pharmacy in the UK, during which I was introduced to Salsa and I loved it!
It was at a performance at LEAP festival run by MDI that I realised that dance is what I wanted to pursue, so I went on to do an HND at Liverpool City College. There I met Ithalia, and we connected over our similarities – we’d both returned to dance after studying other subjects!
Later, after the Head of Limon came to recruit at Liverpool Hope University, where Ithalia and I joined the workshops, we decided to join the Limon Professional Studies Programme in NYC. After returning from NYC we reconnected with Maria and Penny, having met them previously during Bollywood Moves, and we decided to bring our expertise together!
The four formed Movema about ten years ago. The gallery below shows Pei at some of Movema’s events.
Should you wish to connect with Pei or secure the services of the company, please check out the Movema website or Facebook page, both of which will provide contact details, photographs, videos and details of upcoming events.