By Matthew Ting (21A13A), Chairperson
“5…6…7…8… RSD NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA EHHHHHHH!!!”
Arms outstretched towards the centre, palms stacked on top of one another’s, you, the team, cheer one last time. With hasty but firm footsteps, you approach the stage, your crewmates by your side. Taking one last glimpse at the comfort of the curtains on the side of the stage, you set your eyes on the audience. The lights dim, the bass of the soundtrack amplifying in the background, and the show begins. Welcome to Raffles Street Dance!
We invite you to one of the most exciting one-and-a-half-year long journeys with a promise of a good time. As a family of passionate dancers and often individuals that are often too loud, every batch of street dancers has something different to offer and their own special stories to share. Apart from our annual Street Showcase, we perform at multiple events (varying depending on the year), such as Teachers’ Day, Open House, and Founder’s Day.
This year, our batch’s debut function was an online performance for Teachers’ Day! Despite the pandemic, and the suspension of CCA sessions for us, our dancers stayed in contact with one another through other means. Our biggest takeaway from the pandemic is the spirit of flexibility and a test of our devotion to dance, where we have to find ways to keep our passion alive outside of (the lack of) physical CCA sessions.
Our CCA sessions are on Mondays and Wednesdays. Nearing performances, we step up our practice sessions and sometimes see one another’s faces almost daily in order to perfect our formation changes and clean up our steps at The Mirrors. Most of our practices are held at the Multi-Purpose Studio, though now, due to the COVID-19 restrictions, our temporary training ground is at the Performing Arts Centre with safe-distancing measures in place. But if you asked a street dancer, their true home would be at The Mirrors.
During the 2 hours of practice, we learn and strengthen our basics (such as our classic bounce routine) and genres (such as hip hop or choreography) after warm-ups and Physical Training (PT), led by our instructor Ms Stefanie Leong (Ms Steffi!). Basic dance sets aside, you get the chance to play with choreography and layer with your batchmates. You may even have exciting group challenges to choreograph to a certain song or theme. We also have frequent dance battles during practices to hype our members up and to build our confidence.
Being a street dancer is much more than just building technique; every member is an active leader in different ways. RSD is run by our very own dancers, for our dancers. Everything ranging from day-to-day tasks like conducting warm-ups to organising events like Showcase and auditions are all student initiated and run, under the supervision of our teachers and Ms Steffi. We also have different subcommittees in our CCA like Welfare and Social Media departments, with some dancers In-Charge (IC) of these subcommittees to lead and organise our CCA in all aspects. All events are also managed by specific event ICs, and dancers will have to take on active roles to spearhead the activities we want for ourselves.
Apart from merely learning dance moves, many of us are also accorded the opportunity to create our own choreography, stringing together our own steps and designing our own formations. Others have the opportunity to choose or even design costumes and sets, giving performances a creative and dimensional flair. An initiative that we will be pushing out soon, Hoomans of RSD, introduces each Raffles Street Dance member through a self-choreographed routine, ensuring that all our members get the chance to experience the process of choreographing.
Technicalities aside, being a RSD member is much more than perfecting your skills. The camaraderie of the batch, the determination to help those around you shine, and the thirst to soak in every moment of your short journey in this CCA, is what defines us. Of course, this journey isn’t all fun and games, especially in such unprecedented times, but CCA is what keeps all of us grounded. Raffles Street Dance is more than just a CCA for our batch: it is a team and we are a family.
We hope this short preview offers an enticing glimpse of what our CCA does, and we warmly welcome you to join this bunch of rowdy, but incredibly passionate and talented dancers. Does that little voice in your heart yearn to explore the dance floor? But at the same time, are you bothered and weighed down by the fear of having no experience? Good news! We welcome everyone to give Raffles Street Dance a try—as much as we recognise talent and flair, the most important trait of a dancer is their passion for the art. A pro-tip would be to bring your best attitude and always be willing to learn and explore! Auditions consist of learning and performing a short routine, and an incorporation of some freestyling. Absolutely no dancing experience is needed, see you at Auditions 2021!