Once Upon A Dream: Raffles Street Dance Showcase 2023

Reading Time: 5 minutes

By Calyss Ng Kee (24A01A)

Does everyone dream? 

That was the question that Raffles Street Dance (RSD) sought to ask everyone on Wednesday night as a hushed atmosphere settled over the auditorium, charged with the anticipation of an expectant audience. Tensions were high – after all, it was the first post-pandemic showcase since 2019’s Homebound, and three whole years since the dancers had performed self-choreographed pieces for a live audience. 

True to its namesake, the showcase began with Intro: Reverie, a tranquil, emotional piece set to an instrumental rendition of The Night We Met by KPH. Taking a much more contemporary angle, the performance ended with them leaning against one another as if asleep, suspended in a dream of their own. 

Intro: Reverie

But dreams are not always a fantasy landscape – and our dancers were quick to show exactly that in their riveting performance of Eyes Shut 1,2,3, starting with Joker by Rory Webley andcreating bone-thrilling suspense through a story of being trapped in a nightmarish hell. 

Eyes Shut 1,2,3.

The dancers utilised other performance elements to their fullest, with chilling screams and sharp gunshots ringing through the auditorium as each dancer collapsed to the ground – before ending with an explosive performance of Control by Unknown Brain.

It’s not just a scary piece – much like how the Joker was bullied in the movie, there are often much deeper meanings to your dreams than what you see on the surface.

Athirah, 23S03C

It was an apt reflection of their anxiety and fears that came with the many challenges faced during their showcase preparation.“It was a very rocky start,” Y6 member Putri (23A01D), admitted. “Our songs kept getting rejected and we didn’t know how to choreograph to fit the theme and yet make it enjoyable for all.”

This sense of doubt and trepidation continued into the next act, Existential Vertigo. In contrast to the flashing red and black spotlights a moment prior, the now pale-blue lighting and melancholic piano notes of When I Was Older by Billie Eilish marked the beginning of a graceful performance that conveyed the dreamlike, out-of-body feeling that people experience upon waking up. 

Existential Vertigo.

As Existential Vertigo’s choreographer Dana (23S06J) revealed, the brainstorming process behind a choreography often involves considering the tempo and melody of the song, before creating moves to match certain lyrics – requiring both a good grasp of musicality and an understanding of the narrative being conveyed. 

This was especially true of the third act, Inception, which took inspiration from Christopher Nolan’s science fiction blockbuster. 


Our dance incorporated the idea of our dreams beginning, and how as time went by, we became more aware of ourselves.

June Lim, 23S03H

As they segued from My Strange Addiction by Billie Eilish to Sexy Nukim by Omega Sapien, the upbeat, fast-paced rhythm made it clear that the dancers were no longer trapped—rather, they moved with assertiveness, conveying yet another definition of one’s “dream”: not just a nightmare, but also one’s passions and aspirations.

Having broken free from their cage, it seemed inevitable that the next act would be a celebration. Titled S-Cape, it revolved around embracing one’s differences. As the dancers strutted confidently to the empowering lyrics of On The Floor by Jennifer Lopez and the popular Spanish dance hit Que Calor, cheers of triumph erupted from both the audience and the RSD members backstage.


The Y6s’ months of preparation had clearly paid off, making their last moments on stage all the sweeter. “This showcase was literally something that was once upon a dream for us,” confessed Putri. “Seeing it come to life seemed really magical to me.”

“I think being able to fully embrace this creative direction and reach our fullest potential was the biggest learning point for all of us,” commented Y6 dancer Alya (23A01E), smiling as she recalled a particularly comical memory of the teams creating parodies of each other’s acts while sharing choreographies. 

One thing, however, was clear: the past few months had been an exhausting but meaningful whirlwind of practices that created precious memories for all—with their hard work culminating in the finale, Outro: Revive

Outro: Reverie, the closing number.

For this number, the Year 5s joined the Year 6s on stage. As they clasped hands with their seniors and stepped forward, taking their seniors’ position at the front of the stage, it evoked a tender image: that of the baton being passed from one batch to the next. The final notes of You Are Enough by Sleeping at Last faded out to the thunderous applause of the audience, and Once Upon A Dream finally came to a close. 

Despite their chapter in this CCA coming to a close, the Y6s were happy to share their future hopes for the CCA. For Putri, this meant looking forward: “The showcases are actually a reflection of each batch, so I’m pretty excited to see what comes next after us, especially from our current juniors!” 

To other dancers, the audience and performance left the greatest impact on them: “I hope that the audience could really see the effort that we put in and that they enjoyed it as much as we enjoyed the process of putting it together,” June added. 

“We go INTERNATIONAL!” joked Alya, before turning to a more hopeful note: “I hope for external performances for RSD to give the members an experience beyond competitions, especially with regards to stage control so we can grow as choreographers and people.” 

RSD Batch ’23 and ’24.

For them, this memory would be once upon a dream, a process that had been tiring and yet seemed to elapse them much too quickly. But they could always return and seek to relive it again – and it was Y6 Zheng Eng (23S06K) who summed up the batch’s sentiments most succinctly: “Just invite me for future showcases.” 


Intro: Reverie
June Lim Huijie (Choreographer)
Kow Min, Dana Namali (Choreographer)
Lee Jaelyn (Choreographer)
Lim Ying Jia, Nicole (Choreographer)
Loh En Hui Vivien (Choreographer)
Ain Nur Serina Binte Mohammed Izwan
Goh Zheng Eng
Xu Zi Wen
Charissa Dharmaputri Lim
Putri Nur Dini Abdil Rahim

Eyes Shut 1,2,3
Athi Ramesh Athirah (Choreographer)
Lim Lee Ting (Choreographer)
Tang Yu Kai (Choreographer)
Alya Qistina Binte Razali
Pooja Sankar
Julia Wang Jiayu
Loke Zi Ying

Existential Vertigo
Kow Min, Dana Namali (Choreographer)
Loke Zi Ying (Choreographer)
Lee Jaelyn (Choreographer)
Tang Yu Kai
Lim Lee Ting
Goh Zheng Eng
Putri Nur Dini Abdil Rahim
June Lim Huijie

Lim Ying Jia, Nicole (Choreographer)
Loh En Hui Vivien (Choreographer)
June Lim Huijie (Choreographer)
Goh Zheng Eng
Ain Nur Serina Binte Mohammed Izwan
Xu Zi Wen
Charissa Dharmaputri Lim

Ain Nur Serina Binte Mohammed Izwan (Choreographer)
Charissa Dharmaputri Lim (Choreographer)
Alya Qistina Binte Razali (Choreographer)
Lee Jaelyn
Xu Zi Wen
Athi Ramesh Athirah
Putri Nur Dini Abdil Rahim

Outro: Revive (Batch of ‘22 and ‘23)
Choreographer: Ms Steffi
Adriana Binte Khairil
Calyss Ng Kee
Chong Ler Tong Megan
Claudia Lim Zhi Xi
Lee Jia Ying, Sonia
Noor Aadam Aarez Bin Mohd Noorzam
Seah Ann Sie
Gan Kah Shuen
Li Zhongheng
Wang Xinying
Chin Rei
Goh Qi Yu
Lee Min En
Wang Tianning
Felicia Lai Qian Hui
Joellen Leong

Raffles Street Dance Showcase 2023: Once Upon A Dream is available on Youtube here.

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