Super 24 2023: A Decade of Dance

Reading Time: 4 minutes

By Calyss Ng (24A01A)

The Singapore Indoor Stadium is best known for getting crowded during concerts, with thousands of fans often decked out in merchandise and clambering to get the best spot. 

On 12 August, however, it was slightly different. Rather than a single artist preparing backstage, the performers were in full view of the audience, with groups clustered together and varied outfits serving to differentiate one team from the other. 

For them, the competition would be the culmination of months of hard work and sacrifice, and one of the biggest stages that many of them had ever performed on. 

Tensions reached a palpable high when the emcees walked on stage—an eight-by-eight metre black square, demarcated by a clear white line. “The rules are simple,” they explained. 

Ninety seconds, twenty-four dancers, and judges on every side. No more, no less. 

That was the key point of Super 24, one of the biggest dance competitions in the region since its conception in 2013. Since then, it has grown from strength to strength, eventually encompassing over 1500 dancers across secondary, tertiary and open levels. 

An aerial view of the Super 24 stage | @O School (Official) on Youtube

One of Super 24’s biggest strengths lay in its diversity: the genres of dance that each team performed often varied greatly, from contemporary to hip-hop to fusion. Some pieces were even based on ethnic and folk dances, with competitors donning cultural attire to represent their craft and heritage.

Open Finals: Xin Yi Dance Company | @O School (Official) on Youtube

Participating teams were not only limited to Singapore—famous dance crews like The Zoo from Thailand and Philippines’ TPM were present alongside homegrown names such as Singapore Management University’s hip-hop dance club Eurhythmix, and National University of Singapore’s Dance Blast. 

In addition, this year’s competition was bound to be the biggest yet, as Super 24 was celebrating its tenth anniversary. A star-studded lineup of judges were to be present for each round of the competition; they were names so well-known in the dance world that raucous cheers flooded the stadium as the judges began their individual performance showcases. 

Some notable showcases included Dylan Mayoral, a British choreographer who had worked with worldwide superstars such as Dua Lipa and BTS, and Che Yubina, previously known by her stage moniker Cheshir Ha and for creating the choreography to ‘MONEY’ by Lisa.

Open Qualifiers Judge Che Yubina | @byhqimin on Instagram

The atmosphere only turned more electrifying as the judges finished their powerful freestyle items—now, it was time for the competition to truly begin. 

As the teams went up, they were buoyed by the enthusiastic screams of their friends and family in the audience. Many teams chose to use their thirty seconds of preparation on stage to do a team cheer, coming together in one final hug or grasping hands before moving to their starting positions. There seemed to be a shared knowledge amongst them: no matter what happened on stage, the past few months of sheer hard work had made them an indomitable, unbreakable team. 

Even after each performance concluded, the dancers waited in bated breath, adrenaline still pumping in their veins as they waited for the judges to reveal their scores. The four sides of the stage would also light up green if they didn’t cross the square boundary, and red if even a single dancer did. 

But no matter the result, what was heartening was that every performance ended with hugs, smiles lingering on everyone’s faces as they left the stage. 

For me, someone who was viewing this competition live for the very first time, what surprised me was this: besides the audience, the people that cheered loudest were the competitors themselves. 

Whenever a team landed a particularly difficult stunt, or showed moments of dazzling synchronicity, it was quickly followed by gasps of awe and admiration from their competing rivals. Other fellow dancers, who truly understood how difficult it was to pull off a certain move, best appreciate the thought that went into each piece. 

Open Finals: TPM representing the Philippines | @RPprods on Instagram

It was no surprise then that when Malaysian dance crew Zeppo Youngsterz took the crown home that night, they were met with words of congratulations from the other dancers. In fact, the competition had been close between two fan favourites: Zeppo Youngsterz, who are renowned for their Silat-inspired routines, and the second runner-up, TPM, had won over many hearts with their emotional yet powerful performance of ‘pov’ by Ariana Grande. 

Though some spectators and dancers may have been disappointed that their favourite team did not win, nothing could ruin the celebratory atmosphere in the air, as the emcees and winners took their final bows on stage and waved farewell to the audience.

Zeppo Youngsterz, champions of Super 24 2023  | @zeppoyoungsterz on Instagram

After all, while Super 24 originated as a competition, it remains at its core a celebration of dance. For a country like Singapore, whose street dance scene has only flourished and gained more visibility in the past decade, finally being put on the map regionally with regards to this complex and delicate craft is remarkable.

For countless dancers of different backgrounds and ages to share such a platform, it is truly a labour of passion which enables one to say without a doubt that the team behind Super 24 has successfully lived up to their motto: ‘Every Dancer Counts’.

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