Conversations with Roosevelt

Last of the SDD interview posts!

This round, featuring the MANLY girls of Roosevelt! You must be thinking… how are these girls manly?

Like A.O.C., the girls are from Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s hip hop dance club – New Revolving Age (NRA). Although they’re the sister crew to the boys, their style is so different. I think how NRA operates is quite different from NUS Dance Blast! – I know that NRA members attend classes that are taught by their seniors. In Blast, we only have one class a week taught by a single instructor (Pat).

The girls were put together by their seniors/instructors last year. Each of them started out with very different dance styles such as contemporary, Chinese dance and street jazz. It’s only with constant hard work and commitment, a crew starts to dance together as one.

Roosevelt started training intensively in February, usually about twice a week then it became 3…4… and soon, they were seeing everyone everyday.

Roosevelt first competed in SDD Vol.4 last year. I think this year, the girls showed a better standing and came out stronger.

Last year, the girls hit hard with an androgynous look. This year, they used a more feminine version of their “manly” look. In their words, last year they were “men”, this yearly, they are “manly”. Their look is quite distinctive too. The costumes were specially tailored and DIY-ed further to get the look they were looking for. The three buns are aerodynamic – it helps them dance faster!

I always don’t get how some people can dance with hair flying around. Hair-reography is tough. I always need my hair tied up.

Some of the choreography were done by themselves and some parts were by their seniors. The girls shared that they’re a very loving crew and seldom come across issues between themselves. They learn how to settle their differences very quickly and move on. I would have thought female dynamics are harder to work with! It always seems like the male crews last longer than female crews.

You can see throughout their interview, they’re constantly giggling and laughing!

 

Photographs are used with permission from Overide Photography. Please check out the Facebook Page for more pictures!

I was not paid to blog about Singapore Dance Delight Vol 5. This series is an invitation by Omy.sg to blog about this dance competition as a blog challenge. Two bloggers will win a sponsored trip to Japan which includes: flight, 3 nights accommodation and entry to Japan Dance Delight.

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Conversations with Elders

I was actually a student of Temasek Polytechnic (TP) … for a grand total of maybe 3 days. When I was 16, I thought that perhaps, the diploma route was for me despite already being in another JC so I secretly applied for TP in the early part of the year. And got accepted way later.

My point is.. I could have been dancing with The Elders!

They’re all members of TP’s hip hop dance club, Temasek Polytechnic Dance Ensemble and have graduated into the alumni club – with the same initials but known as The Passionate Dancing Elders. How apt indeed.

The crew has a mixed range of ages, the eldest Elder has just finished National Service (Singapore’s conscripted army) and the youngest has yet to enlist which makes them between 20 to 23.

The Elders shared that Ben (the youngest Elder, left most) is the one who brought the crew together. He was itching to join SDD since Vol. 3 but never got around to it. This year, he decided it was THE YEAR. The Elders got together in Dec 2013 and started intensive training in Jan 2014.

The choreography is done by all five of them, it was really cute to see them using coins to personalise their blocking (more in the YouTube video). Doing the choreography together makes them feel like they own the steps and everyone of them feel for the steps.

The usual choreographic process is to come up with the steps, do the blocking then visuals. The Elders took it another round, they do the flow, blocking visuals then fill in the steps – this is sage advice from An An (one of the judges for SDD prelims).

The Elders are also a critical bunch of dancers – they mentioned that they are very OCD and perfectionist. I think it’s representative in their item and music choice too. Because they had such demanding criteria in their music choice, it took them quite a while before they could settle on song choice.

The Elders has been one of my top crews so far and I’m rooting for them this Volume.

Fun fact: The crew ordered their costumes online – leather pants and this floral jacket but they ALL tore their leather pants 2 days before the Prelims. I like their look – it’s fresh and vibrant.

The Elders will be tweaking their item for the Finals. Here’s my video interview with The Elders

Photographs are used with permission from Overide Photography. Please check out the Facebook Page for more pictures!

I was not paid to blog about Singapore Dance Delight Vol 5. This series is an invitation by Omy.sg to blog about this dance competition as a blog challenge. Two bloggers will win a sponsored trip to Japan which includes: flight, 3 nights accommodation and entry to Japan Dance Delight.

Conversations with A.O.C boys!

It’s been a while since I trekked to the west, it was almost reminiscent of my university days… but I had a date with some pre-NS boys!

I’ve met these boys before but never actually spoke to them. These are the A.O.C (All Out Crew) boys who are competing in Singapore Dance Delight Vol. 5. The boys are all recent grads of Ngee Ann Polytechnic and are part of the hip hop dance club, New Revolving Age aka NRA! And with all recent poly grads – it means these boys are enlisting in National Service (Singapore’s conscripted army service) soon.

Hanging out these boys makes me feel real old.

I’ve actually done a concert with their seniors before back when I was dancing with NUS Dance Blast! full time.

This year, the boys choreographed the entire Prelims item on their own. No small feat because imagine having seven brains put together trying to agree with each other. It also helps that they’ve been dancing together for a year.

I though this year, their look was more edgy and cooler. Also, they really do live up to their entertaining selves, they gave me the best fodder to play with for my YouTube video interview. Please win SDD finals!! If I win, I get to travel with these (super) young and entertaining boys. I’ll even think about a few more videos…

Since it is Vol. 5 of SDD, the boys gave me five words to describe their style of dancing:
1. Lines
2. Control
3. Speed
4. Strength
5. Facial Expressions

The boys also shared that they’ll be partially changing their finals choreo. TOP SECRET: They’ll be changing the concept of their item too.

For my interviews, I decided to add a little more fun, check out the short interview with A.O.C. I apologise for the bad video quality because I didn’t realise the camcorder that I was using was pretty low quality. In my mind, camcorder = for taking videos = good quality.

NOT TRUE.

It’s also my first time editing a video, please be gentle on me!

 

Photographs are used with permission from Overide Photography. Please check out the Facebook Page for more pictures!

I was not paid to blog about Singapore Dance Delight Vol 5. This series is an invitation by Omy.sg to blog about this dance competition as a blog challenge. Two bloggers will win a sponsored trip to Japan which includes: flight, 3 nights accommodation and entry to Japan Dance Delight.

I was not paid to blog about Singapore Dance Delight Vol 5. This series is an invitation by Omy.sg to blog about this dance competition as a blog challenge. Two bloggers will win a sponsored trip to Japan which includes: flight, 3 nights accommodation and entry to Japan Dance Delight.

Singapore Dance Delight Vol. 5 Prelims Part 2

So if I could sum up my thoughts on the finalists based on SDD prelims this year:

 

  • Single gender crews seem to be the norm this year, we’re seeing a lot of all-guys or all-girls crew in the finals. I feel that it makes sense to me as well, how a guy move is very different from a girl.
  • Crews are putting in more effort into costumes! It’s more common to see a crew dressed in the same clothing from top to bottom (including shoes). And no – I didn’t peek at anything inside but I could ask…

 

  • Themed/conceptualised items are the in thing now – Amberria brought across this “royal” image, Sevengers were some sort of broadway. How can I forget Rivals to Brothers?
  • The girl power seems weaker as compared to last year. Of course last year we had hot favourites G’De Rellas and Bla.Que.Neez. In Vol. 5, the men are killing it.
  • It’s all about hip hop and swag. Did anyone even remember Vol 4 champions, Megamint were a jazz/hip hop fusion duo?

To recap, these are the 15 finalists that you’ll see on 10 May!

They are (from left to right)

Top row: Limited Edition, MarWins, Elders,
Second row: Freekzy Bots, A.O.C, BustaSoulz,
Third row: The Gentlemen Collective, WhateverWerkz, Pinoy Hip Hop
Fourth row: Sevengers LegitX, Amberria,
Fifth row: Roosevelt, FIX, Flair Origins

The judge’s line-up

An An

Part of Da Street Soulz (champ of SDD Vol. 3) and represented SG in JDD in 2012. An An was also selected by famous Japanese producers – Wrecking Crew Orchestra – to be part of a dance ensemble for FAKEST 2011 in Tokyo and Osaka. Also, Ocrew and Oschool instructor.

  • It is important to make the right choice of music. You can’t just flip through your playlist and select the music you like. The music has to direct your competition piece.
  • Don’t cramp too many styles within your piece. It’s like putting through the judges through mood swings.
  • Don’t be afraid to use the two weeks to make changes to your routine.

Ryo

Of Beat Buddy Boi fame – one of the most famous Japanese Hip Hop crews around! Beat Buddy Boi won the actual JDD Vol. 18 in 2011.

  • Good performance and energy from all dancers overall, however, the dancing and technique need to be polished further.
  • Needs more originality and groove.

Ryan

One of the most respected pioneers of the local dance scene! I’ve taken his classes before, he is an amazing instructor too. Creative Director of Oschool and the man behind so many varsity and Oschool productions.

  • There is a big difference between a competition and concert item. You cannot be entertaining but without dance skills. Ryan mentioned that with certain crews humorous actions, it looked like only the crew’s fans/friends were cheering. The idea is to make the audience who don’t know you laugh.
  • Costumes need to make sense. He used a particular analogy – it doesn’t make sense for a crew to wear kimonos if only one song is Japanese.
  • Again back to music, the songs chose need to fit the crew’s styles and direction.
  • Ryan stressed the importance of dance skills. If a concept/theme is used, the concept/theme is meant to enhance the item. The crew ultimately still got to dance well. I feel that sometimes, it’s so easy to get carried away and indulge in the concept. After all, it is Singapore DANCE delight.
  • Lastly, Ryan brought up a very good point about emotions. It’s so easy to portray emotions using faces but he threw a challenge to the competitors – try emoting via your actions and movements.

Indeed, actions speak louder than words. A friend of mine also said if a dancer can’t even get the dancing right, how do you then perform?

With the rest of the official bloggers!

This year, F&N created the F&N Groove Nation 2014 App on F&N’s Facebook Page. They enlisted DJ pSyk (aka Ben) to create the Singapore Dance Anthem. Tosh Zhang (of Ah Boys to Men – he used to be part of Radical Forze (a bboy crew btw), Fredy Kosman (Ocrew and Oschool instructor) and Terence Then (of Joyce & The Boys – SDD Vol 1 & 2 champ and Wah! Banana) choreographed the steps.

You can send in your video and your video will be screened at SDD finals.

Tickets for the finals are on sale now online: At this link.

Date: 10 May 2014
Time: 7 – 10pm
Venue: Kallang Theatre
Tickets price: $20/$15 (Free seating)

Last year, the organisers gave out colour-coded wristbands which are your batch’s entry. Not too sure if this will be the system again but it means GO EARLY!

I’ll be tweeting and instagram-ing SDD updates via Dance Lah so follow for real-time updates!

Twitter: instagram.com/dancelah
Instagram: instagram.com/dancelah

For the latest information on SDD, follow F&N too!

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FnNFuN
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/FnNFuN

 

Photographs are used with permission from Overide Photography. Please check out the Facebook Page for more pictures!

I was not paid to blog about Singapore Dance Delight Vol 5. This series is an invitation by Omy.sg to blog about this dance competition as a blog challenge. Two bloggers will win a sponsored trip to Japan which includes: flight, 3 nights accommodation and entry to Japan Dance Delight.

Singapore Dance Delight Vol. 5 Prelims Part 1

I’ve been following Singapore Dance Delight (SDD) since the very first edition when Joyce And The Boys won the very first SDD five years ago.

Back then, you can see how different the dance scene was five years ago and how we have progressed on! P.S. Check out the dance costumes and stage size.

Pictures courtesy of F&N Facebook Page.

 Fast forward 4 years later, I have the good fortune to be invited by F&N and Omy.sg to cover SDD as a blogger! I don’t hide that I’m a PR girl by day (you can Google/LinkedIn me quite easily) so it was a refreshing experience to be hosted as media instead of hosting people. All I can say is: It is REALLY different from the other side.

Here’s an infographic I created with the help of Easel.ly for the back story on SDD.

 

 

*Images used from dancedelight.sg 

Things changed a little since last year. From SDD Vol 4, regional dance delights were hosted. The top 3 crews at Regionals (Indonesia, Philippines, & Thailand) were funnelled to SDD finals along with SDD prelims finalists. Essentially SDD is the “hub” for ASEAN. For SDD Vol. 5, the same concept is happening with the exception of no Vietnam regionals.

SDD Prelims were held at Vivocity Amphitheatre this year. Only 800 audience were allowed entrance so I heard queues started way early in the morning. Somehow, I think dancers are probably the only people who don’t complain about queuing to watch dance competitions.

Every year when I watch SDD, I think it’s always amazing to see local talent. Sometimes we forget how fortunate we are in Singapore to have so many competitions, it’s through these platforms the dance standard gets pushed higher. Thank you F&N for presenting & Oschool for organising SDD!

Tickets for the finals are on sale now online: At this link.

Date: 10 May 2014
Time: 7 – 10pm
Venue: Kallang Theatre
Tickets price: $20/$15 (Free seating)

Last year, the organisers gave out colour-coded wristbands which are your batch’s entry. Not too sure if this will be the system again but it means GO EARLY!

I’ll be Tweeting and Instagram-ing SDD updates via Dance Lah so follow for real-time updates!

Twitter: instagram.com/dancelah
Instagram: instagram.com/dancelah

For the latest information on SDD, follow F&N too!

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FnNFuN
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/FnNFuN

 

Photographs are used with permission from Overide Photography. Please check out the Facebook Page for more pictures!

I was not paid to blog about Singapore Dance Delight Vol 5. This series is an invitation by Omy.sg to blog about this dance competition as a blog challenge. Two bloggers will win a sponsored trip to Japan which includes: flight, 3 nights accommodation and entry to Japan Dance Delight.

My first step at age seven

So a couple of people asked when/how did you start dancing?

“I was an early starter. I remember peeking through the louvres of the school hall’s sliding doors, admiring at the dancers’… long hair. I was fascinated at possibility of having swishy long hair I can whip around. Yes, I started dance so I can keep long hair…

Age eight/nine with the fabulous long hair I had yearned for

And so it began, the start of my Chinese Dance Thursdays.

I remember the first day at dance was a very painful experience. My mother bought me the standard uniform (of a pink leotard and short blue tights) and reminded me to listen to the teacher. I thought it would be fun. Maybe, we would even get to prance around pretending to be fairies and killing monsters…”

This post was first published on Dance Lah: Click here to read the full story

So its been…

A good coming to 4 months after dancing in Shut Up And Dance 2012. I’m still very reluctant to remove the sequinned cloth I sewed on for the Beyonce item because it took me eight hours to sew it on. No joke.

That also means I’m one little black dress less.

Sasha Fierce

Dancers are actors

I remember vividly, a choreographer of mine said that all dancers are actors but not all actors are dancers. A lot of times, a dance item is set in a particular scene, where you have to act out the character. Most of these items are with my dance items with Raffles Hall because the items tend to lean more on the entertainment value side.

I’ve had some crazy costumes and the best ones are those from rag I swear. I wear rags (literally) but I still feel like a star!

In year 2010 for rag, I was a scientist from the past. This costume was super duper hot, I think I lost 1kg from all the sweat but it was the best costume ever. My vest was made from haversack, the eyelet hooks were from tin cans and the ruffles were from some table cloth. My little tool bag had cool handmade tools such as a compass and ruler.

Of course, no Nike then.

Year 2010

I was the star of the show – a scientist

Continue reading “Dancers are actors”

Favourite Gmarket/ Qoo10 links

And so… I’ve been asked to share some Gmarket/ Qoo10 links that I’ve bought from previously so here they are.

Each Gmarket listing is typically a “store” with many listings that change prices from time to time according to discounts. I would suggest checking out the “store” to check out which listing is the cheapest because most of these listings are duplicates. However, some pricier items may not be listed on the discounted price listings.

1. Dance harem pants: Tomatoma

2. Wide selection of tops including some familiar UK pieces: Starblink

3. Korean tops and bottoms: Bebuying

4. Korean bags and lots of lingerie: Nana Beauty Shop

5. Lingerie and Body shapers: Great buy deals

I’ve just concluded another dance concert while juggling a full time job. It wasn’t easy because on top of work, I had 15 hours of dance and also, I needed to take a certain number of studio classes per week. I reach home beyond midnight 3 nights a week and wake up at 7.45am the next day. My knees were bruised at every rehearsal.

But it was all worth it.

I enjoyed the dancing and the company. It was crazy for a while but I’m really glad that I did it because I don’t know when will be the next time I can dance in a concert again.

So many thanks to give, I wouldn’t know where to start.