By Benjamin Lim (19S03I), Ruchira Ramaswamy (20S03A), and V Shivani (20S06R)
Photographs courtesy of Geng Heqin (20S06S), Jia Junran (20S06H) and Syu Rui Ying (20S06M) of Raffles Photographic Society
Electrifying pop hits were blasting through the speakers as friends and family of Raffles Street Dance (RSD) members streamed excitedly into the PAC. It was as if the auditorium was alive—chatter filling the air, and people grooving along to the beats, tingling with anticipation for the showcase to commence. Twinkling yellow fairy lights and helium balloons that spelled out HOMEBOUND adorned the stage, adding to the ethereal and dazzling atmosphere. As the lights dimmed, signalling the start of the show, the audience’s excitement rose into screams and rapidly settled into a hush as the screen flickered to life.
The showcase opened with Homebound’s promotional video, which displayed scenes of the different dance items. The video was nothing short of breathtaking, with the cool costumes and scenery enhancing the captivating effect of the dances.
In an unconventional turn, a ‘vlog’ of three Y5s (now Y6s) documenting their RSD journey as freshers filled the screen. If you thought the showcase would just be a string of dance items, you’re wrong! In fact, RSD did the exact opposite by interspersing their showcase with skits that added bursts of flavour to the entire recital.
The storyline started off with these main characters’ enthusiasm contrasting starkly with the lethargy and passivity of the rest of the CCA. Dressed in bright hoodies, the members spread listlessly across the stage, with some preening and fangirling over K-pop idols, some sleeping soundly, and some cramming for next year’s SATs (yes, you read that right). After half heartedly strutting it out to the funky and boisterous beat of Lemon by N.E.R.D, Rihanna and Drake, RSD received the terrible blow of the night – their CCA was going to be shut down (before you panic, the writers would like to remind you that this is part of the fictional script).
In response, they threw together a fundraiser as a last ditch attempt to keep the CCA alive, featuring a sinuous routine by glitter-clad girls dancing to the rowdy tune of YES by Louisa and 2 Chainz under strobe lights. This hyped atmosphere was short-lived as the “audience” (played by RSD members on stage) were not only small, but also uncaring. With the girls fighting after the performance, the three original Y5s were left lost and depairing.
Blue lights flooded the stage and a melancholic electric guitar riff echoed as these three characters took center stage. Spotlights were not the only things clinging to each expressive move of the dancers—the audience was fixated, fully immersed in this vivid display of lighting, dance and emotions. Their bodies flowed effortlessly to the sound of Waves by Dean Lewis, and the soul-stirring ensemble pulled at our heartstrings. Soon after followed a piece to Walking The Wire by Imagine Dragons, the soaring chorus expressing regeneration as the members rallied their determination to push forward. This was a turning point in the storyline for our characters; a moment of revelation expressed through dance.
With a surge of vivacity, the rest of the members of RSD joined our main characters for the next song, Coming Home by Sheppard. With a celebratory, upbeat tune, this song had us all exhilarated as the dancers performed with ebullience. Beaming with bright smiles as they all reunited, the dancers had finally set foot on the path home. Home to their family of people who shared a passion for dance; home where they found comfort and joy once again.
To kick off the uproarious celebration of coming together as one family, dancers flooded the stage, clad in army-esque outfits to perform the high-energy routine to Uproar by Lil Wayne and Swizz Beatz. The “Street” in Raffles Street Dance was finally showcased, with one of the members even doing a jump-split.
And what would a RSD showcase be without the classic romantic ballad? This time, the couples danced to Photograph by Ed Sheeran, a timeless and moving piece. With the girls’ gowns billowing gracefully around their legs, the graceful leaps and lifts, this mellow moment was definitely something to savour.
As the stage came alive with pink and purple hues, five silhouettes sashayed on stage. One would expect another feminine routine, but as the slow and racy beat rolled out, the sleek lines of their stilettos and shoulders sent the audience into a frenzy, with hoots and whistles echoing throughout the PAC. The girls completely owned the spotlight as they strutted impressively to High Heels by JoJo, flipping their hair and serving all the sass and self-confidence.
Just when it seemed like nothing could top the previous item, lights dimmed and Brother by Kodaline began to play. One by one, as the RSD members danced onto the stage, their personal pre-recorded reflections regarding how RSD became less important to each individual was played over the instrumental portion of the song. With the song’s conclusion, they finally understood that RSD had also showed them the path back to each other.
RSD could not survive on the efforts of three people alone. Rather, RSD would only not only survive, but thrive, when like-minded people with an unrelenting passion for dance came together as one. During the final song On Our Way by The Royal Concept, the Y5s and Y6s all donned pastel-blue RSD shirts and danced together, with catchy moves and gestures that soon had the entire audience clapping along. As the final cadence approached, the Y5s jumped off the stage. Together with the Y6s, the RSD family ended off their showcase with a bang!
Through blood, sweat and tears, the RSD members, with assistance from their instructor Ms Steffi and their alumni, managed to perform to a multitude of songs that everyone could relate well to. Whilst their passion for dance may have brought them to RSD, it would be nothing but sheer effort and dedication that would allow them to make RSD bound something so much more—a place they could call home.
Lemon by N.E.R.D, Rihanna and Drake
(Choreographed by Zhiyi and May)
Yes by Louisa and 2 Chainz
(Choreographed by Amanda and Yu Ning)
Waves by Dean Lewis
(Choreographed by Tasha)
Walking The Wire by Imagine Dragons
(Choreographed by Tasha)
Coming Home by Sheppard
(Choreographed by Amanda and Joey)
Uproar by Lil Wayne, Swizz Beats
(Choreographed by Zhiyi)
Photograph by Ed Sheeran
(Choreographed by Joey)
High Heels by Jojo
(Choreographed by Channe)
Brother by Kodaline
(Choreographed by Channe)
On Our Way by The Royal Concept
(Choreographed by Ms Steffi (Instructor))