by Kristal Ng (16S07C) and Huang Jiawen (16S06G)
Photos by Chang Po Chun (16S03K) and Hoong Li-Ann (16A03A)
It was going to be a dark and stormy night – looming gray clouds threatened a heavy thunderstorm. But even then, the weather could not keep the stars from coming out that night. Decked out in stunning gowns and tailored suits, excited Year 6s milled around in the lobby of the ShangriLa Hotel. The night was about to be a truly picture perfect one in the warm glow of lucent Christmas lights– capturing the essence of style, glamour and class, despite being the last significant event for the class of 2015.
When it was time to get the show underway at 7pm, the large mass of seniors finally entered the ballroom accompanied by music to the likes of AVICII and Naughty Boy. The ballroom was buzzing with the Year 6s’ nervous anticipation, but also their palpable sense of post-As relief, as they got ready to par-tay.
Grad Night started off on the right foot, as the Dance King and Queen nominees vied to win the title with their unique performances. First up was Choong Ting Wei (15S06Q), who, along with his entourage of friends, channeled his inner K-Pop fan by breaking out into sultry moves worthy of making him a ‘9th SNSD member’, dancing along to popular Korean hits such as Apink’s “Nonono” and Girl’s Day’s “Expectation”.
The next contestant was David Wang (15S05A) who, in a solo act, executed an impressive hiphop number involving complicated popping and locking techniques. Following his exit, Eunice Huang (15S06R) rocked out to the upbeat dance-along song, “Downtown” by Macklemore while Yvette Lin (15S03A), a self-professed ‘noob dancer’ danced adorably along to a medley of popular songs, showing that there is nothing more important than having the love for dance.
As the votes for Dance King and Queen were being sent in, the first 2 rounds of the Lucky Draw commenced, featuring lucrative prizes such as Starbucks gift cards as well as H&M vouchers.
Afterwards, it was time for the Prom King and Queen nominees to strut their stuff on stage. Damian Chong (15S03J) strummed a heartfelt rendition of “Tear in my Heart” by Twenty One Pilots on his ukelele– his performance bolstered by clap-alongs from the audience. Hiak Jun Jie (15S03J) danced the Macarena, and even pulled his buddies out from the crowd to join him on stage, in a heartening show of camaraderie.
Meanwhile, Prom King nominee Shant Sin (15S03K) and Prom Queen nominee Richelle Ang (15S06B) dueted Ed Sheeran’s ever popular “Thinking Out Loud”, crooning the lyrics as best they could, encouraged by the cheers of their batchmates. 34th Council Vice-President Chan Mae Yee (15S06R) showed her playful side of her personality by dancing along to Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies”, with fellow councillors Vivek and Russell as her backup dancers. Seah Ying Lin (15S07B) enacted an elaborate puppet-esque show, which humorously depicted her struggle with school and ended with her emerging victorious.
The dance group from Street Dance, aptly coined “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” (featuring one female dancer and seven male dancers), then took to the stage as an act of their appreciation for the graduating Year 6s. The Lucky Draw Finals also saw the giveaway of big-ticket prizes such as USS Season Passes and the top prize of a two-person hotel stay at Shangri-La Hotel itself to the shrieks of delight to the lucky winners.
Finally, the pageant results were released after much anticipation.
Choong Ting Wei and Eunice Huang emerged as Dance King and Queen respectively while Hiak Jun Jie and Chan Mae Yee were crowned Prom King and Prom Queen.
As the night drew to a close, a video montage of the Year 6s’ 2 years in Raffles was played on screen, depicting the most memorable moments of school life, all the way from Orientation Kaleidos to Mega Mugging Madness 2015. It was followed by a version of the batch song specially arrangement by the Year 5 Student Councillors, featuring well-wishes from their fellow schoolmates– a touching tribute as well as a bittersweet goodbye.
All throughout the night, the Year 6s, eager to take a poignant reminder of their final year together, visited the special photo booths set up in the ballroom foyer which printed out photos instantaneously. At the end of it all, everyone left with smiles on their faces – after all, life in RJ is less like a single snapshot, and more like a collection of experiences and relationships which will live on in our heads and hearts forever.