Super 24, a new dance competition brought together urban dancers from all backgrounds in a rousing show of raw talent.
By Jason Lee
Loud booming music, a large crowd cheering, faces covered in sweat, hearts pounding with adrenaline, eyes wide open, breathless.
Super 24, held on July 19, was a dance competition like no other: 90 seconds, 24 dancers, an 8×8 meter square stage and four judges made for some intense action. This competition, designed with strict rules and judging criteria, aimed to set new standards and redefine team-based dance performances.
Held on a Sunday afternoon at ITE West, a crowd of 2,000 turned up, creating a great buzz and excitement as they cheered the 20 teams in the competition. The event, organized by South West Community Development Council and performing arts center O School, was graced by guest-of-honor Dr Amy Kor, Mayor of South West CDC. Super 24 also coincided with Dance Lah!, a South West CDC dance workshop.
In just two years, Super 24 has attracted a large number of experienced and established dance groups, among them defending champions Temasek Poly’s The Passionate Dance Elders and Ngee Ann Poly’s New Revolving Age (NRA).
In the open category, a total of 336 dancers participated in the contest, representing six tertiary institutes. Benjamin Yeo (The Pop Dance Revelation) and Macrus Leong (The Passionate Dance Elders) told City News that the attraction lay in the unique format of the competition: the requirement for 24 dancers in a team (instead of the usual three to eight-person flexible format) provided a different challenge to their dance clubs.
City Harvest Church’s Dance Ministry also took part in the contest, with the team calling itself The Disciples. Team leader Theresa Yee said that the challenge of the competition allowed the team members to bond and integrate on a higher level. Being judged from the four different sides of the dance square also tested the limits of the creativity of the choreographers, Theresa Yee and Loh Yong Chye. The Disciples put up a great display, and though they did not emerge champions, the experience was worth the numerous hours invested by the dancers.
Ronnie Chen, the crew leader from NRA Legacy whose members consists of graduates from Ngee Ann Polytechnic, said that it was extremely tough for them to train due to the different schedules and working commitments of members. However, it was a project for which everyone decided to make adjustments and sacrifices, in order to immortalize those 90 seconds and create a legacy to inspire other dancers. During training, one of the team members actually suffered neck injury and had to be bedridden for a period of time. This turn of event required Ronnie Chen to take over his place in the contest. The hard work paid off: with a marginal lead of 0.5 points, NRA Legacy edged out The Passionate Dancing Elders in the final round and was crowned 2013 Super 24.