Flora Chan on Her Character’s Dark Side in “Never Dance Alone”

In TVB’s latest television drama Never Dance Alone <女人俱樂部>, Flora Chan (陳慧珊) portrays Diana Yung, the insular, competitive, and cocky CEO of D Dance Fitness, Hong Kong’s largest and most popular dance and aerobics academy. Diana was once part of the tight-knit M Club in her late teens; however, her arrogance eventually led to a nasty breakup with the other girls. Since breaking off from the group, Diana devoted most of her time and energy to compete with them.

Flora said, “One of the first things that the producers told me about the role is that she is not cute. That just made me even more interested to do the role, because in the past, TVB only offered me to do likeable characters. After digging deeper into this character, I’ve discovered that there are actually many aspects of her that is worthy of sympathy.”

Diana grew up with the girls of M Club, a group of friends who have an interest in aerobic dancing. However, Diana felt that she was getting ostracized from the group, which gave rise to many misunderstandings that forced Diana to leave.

“She doesn’t have many friends around her, and because she is lonely, her dark sides begin to show. She doesn’t like it when others are happier than her. She loves to compare herself with others. All of this is manifested from her loneliness.”

Impressed and satisfied with her villainous role, Flora said, “I really wanted to challenge this character. I’m not interested in the characters I used to portray back in the day. This character has many layers to her. It’s something that I really wanted to do.”

Present-day Diana is not only the CEO of D Dance Fitness, but also the academy’s spokesperson and model. She is an extremely professional dancer and often snubs M Club with her superior position in the industry.

To do the role justice, Flora lost fourteen pounds and spent many months to perfect the dance routines. “[Diana] is a very successful spokesperson so I had to train myself well for this drama. It also gave me an excuse to update myself about the modern dances of today. I spent a lot of effort on funky dance.”

Diana’s dance routines are sharper and faster compared to the dances performed by the throwback M Club members.  As a result, Flora also had to spend the most time dancing amongst her fellow Never Dance Alone costars. “I really want to thank TVB’s dance instructors for thinking so highly of me. TVB also gave me very fast-paced choreography, and I have also tried my best in them. I hope the ending result isn’t embarrassing to watch.”

Flora continued to add about her role, “[Diana] has accumulated a lot of unhappiness, and she is unwilling to broaden her own views of the world. Since the beginning, and until the end, Diana never lost to others, but she did lose to herself. This is also one of the messages that the drama is attempting to send – that friendship is valuable. You live for yourself, not for others so you can be happy.”

Source: TVB Weekly #878

This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.

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  1. Her role is interesting! I guess only roles that are different will get noticed more. I actually can’t remember a role flora did before that was interesting. So this one I’m liking it.

  2. Fantastic performance and she has some serious moves. I give her A+++ for effort alone. But like Fennie Yuen, she has aged the most.

    1. Indeed, Flora did very well. Even the annoying way she said please is perfected before filming. But I must say, they really prepared very well before filming start, this is only doable if the script is more than 50% completed way in advance and the producer give them the resources and time to prepare. So TVB, watch and learn from Eric Tsang and how he produced M Club.

      I’m liking this series more and more.

      1. Eric should definitely get credit, but how much credit is questionable…luckily though, he didn’t produce this series the way he used to do with movies (which was pretty much zero script and tons of ad lib dialogue)….actually, with Eric’s tremendously busy schedule, my guess is that co-producer Joe Chan probably did most of the actual “producing”…

        I will say though that this series is much, much, much, much better than most of TVB’s series from the recent decade in terms of quality and ‘sincerity’…it’s obvious that the entire production team (and this includes the actors/actresses) put alot of time and effort into making this series a good quality production as much as possible…now whether the investment will pay off or not remains to be seen…

      2. llwy12, Kidd,

        It was likely Eric Tsang’s vision and Joe Chan’s execution. However, Eric had recruited the main cast for the series, and likely custom tailored their roles.

        The level of attention in the characterizations truly stand out, which drives most of the story. By often juxtaposing the women’s teenage experiences with their current lives, it makes viewers more eager to find out what happened in the 20 years that have elapsed.

        The characters in “Never Dance Alone” are well-fleshed out and distinct from each other. They each have interesting stories to tell. Although Carman Lee is likeable in her role, I look forward to seeing the other actresses and finding out what led to their current plight. I wish Fennie Yuen had more screen time, as her character’s situation has many angles to explore. In the scenes that she has appeared in, Fennie acted well.

        I also find Rachel Lee’s story to be touching, however Rachel’s scowl and one-note expression often ruin her scenes.

        The flashbacks are poignant and can be easily related by most adults in which the simpler days of youth and pure friendship are to be missed. However, the plot development over the dance studio in the current time frame is a bit slow.

  3. i like the show and i like her role. it’s very interesting.

  4. i read somewhere that she wasnt happy about her role because she saw it as a ‘supporting role’ and often isolated herself from the others

  5. Flora accepted the role probably bc it was different. I remembered she turned down BR bc the role was similar to what she portrayed in the past.

    I really think TVB in a way hindered their artists with repetitive roles, so I understand why some artists are selective.

      1. BR = Born Rich, in the end Anita Yuen took over her role.

  6. even though flora’s character is a villain I really enjoyed her character and I feel bad for her yung dan dan character. even though she was arrogant the other girls were pretty mean to her too.

  7. very well said. I think Flora really understands her character well and portrayed her character well. The only thing I would criticize on is the heavy makeup :S

    I’m not sure I feel sorry for her character though. If she wasn’t arrogant to begin with, then she wouldn’t have lost her friends..but if that’s the case, there wouldn’t be much of a storyline 😉

    1. I agree, she brought it upon herself by being mean to Julie first, so I don’t feel sorry for her at all.

      1. Her “so called” friends drugged her with laxatives and made her poop on stage in front of everyone. She didn’t drug Julie, she just didn’t like her. I am sure you had people you didn’t like going to school. After last night’s episode, I can understand why she has a chip on her shoulder at the modern times. Heck, if your closest friends drugged you and betrayed you, you would hate them too.

      2. She reaped what she sowed. She promised the girls they will be performing but she backstabbed them to the teacher and got to dance instead. Of course the laxatives is really overkill but Dan Dan is not exactly an angel.

      3. To be honest, both sides were at wrong but Dan Dan started it first and continually deprecate Julie, out of jealousy in my view.

        I agree with Funn, the laxatives just before the performance is an overkill though.

      4. @Funn Lim – I don’t think any teenagers at high school age are exactly angels. Girls always get into arguments with each other even if they are the best of friends which is normal. A new girl comes along, and the group pushed Flora’s character to the side, any girl would feel left out and betrayed. Yes, I know Flora’s character is arrogant anyways and her personality is not the most likable, but she was friends first with the other girls, and they knew her personality was like that and they still became friends.
        @ Puff – Sounds like a pre-schooler – “He started first” that might fly when you are say 4 years old, but at high school, the other girls should know better that drugging someone even if it is laxatives is totally wrong. I get why the other girls are mad, I get why they are upset, the part that I don’t understand why you all think it is ok for the “Friends” to drug the girls is what is so surprising to me. Any drugging of any person is wrong no matter what type of drugs it is.

      5. “A new girl comes along, and the group pushed Flora’s character to the side, any girl would feel left out and betrayed”

        I thought we were watching the same thing. Dan Dan started the whole rivalry first. She was always arrogant, and liked to boss around but when Chu Lei appeared, she became vindictive. The way she talked down to Chu Lei itself is indicative of her behaviour and the girls were right to ignore her and in the end push her out. Why be friends with someone who makes a new friend feel so small and bad about herself?

      6. But why should six girls gang up on one to embarrass her in front of her entire grade? Then they returned the next year and poked fun at her.

        Kids can be immature, but no one deserves to be bullied and embarrassed in front of others like that.

  8. it seems shes not happy about being back at tvb. shes very different from what shes used to be. now in interviews she seems stiff and unhappy about everything.

    1. flora being unhappy in interview?? she is just saying bad things about the role.

      1. No i dont mean here. But on Scoop she doesnt seems to happy to talk about being back on tvb. And also on that dinner-program with anthony wong, she just doesnt seem happy to me. Not like back in the days, when she was starring in many tvb-series with Bowie lam.

  9. Haven’t seen her in the series yet, but I’ve always like her acting. And her singing is preety good too. Forgot the title of the series where she was paired with Gallon Loh in a body switch storyline. Ms Diana or something. Well that is one of my fav and I wouldn’t mind watching again. And the one with Lawrence Ng in a restaurant in some kind of island, with Raymond Lam and Miriam Yeung. Those days the quality of drama is very much better than now.

  10. The sad part is there are a lot of women like flora’s character I real life. They’re miserable & nasty.

  11. I wouldn’t say her character is a villain just a selfish character, not exactly villainous.

  12. I think they’ve overdone her make-up in this show… but perhaps thats how they want to portray her killer-CEO antagonist? super heavy eyeliner? 😛

    Personally, I’ve always liked Flora’s dramas – especially Season 5 of Files of Justice (i think that was her debut drama); healing hands I/II and TITS.

    She seems to often play very strong women in shows (esp lawyers!); but it also appears reality that she’s holding up strong as well… I suppose it can’t be easy supporting the family, having your husband go bankrupt, and having a young daughter as well….

  13. WOW, Flora looks so different, granted i haven’t seen much of her recent work, but compare to what i last saw, TITS 1, she looks amazing now. Wonder if she had work done or simply aging well.

  14. just finished up to ep10. i like her PLeasssseeee. so funny. loving this series because of the great cast but am hoping for a faster pace.

  15. “… that friendship is valuable. You live for yourself, not for others so you can be happy.” VERY WELL SAID! *Big thumbs Up*

  16. I love Flora in this drama. It’s realy different from her other roles before. She dances so well. She is still the best actress !!

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