Super 24, conceptualized by O School, brings a new dimension to dance showcase competitions in Singapore.
It’s a dance competition like no other. Twenty-four dancers had to perform a strictly 90-second routine within an eight-by-eight meter square with judges watching on all four sides.
“Super 24 is designed to allow participants to experience teamwork and unity,” says Kenny Low, director of O School, the dance school and social enterprise that conceptualized the competition. “The tight space for the 24 dancers to work within and the four-sided judging platform illustrates the story of Singapore’s ability to turn the presented constraints into advantages by tapping on the important resource they had. And when the dancers coordinate and complement each other within the square, magic happens.”
The judges look out for teamwork, choreography, musicality and skills displayed by the competitors. The team that best exemplifies adaptability, creativity and unity will win the competition and title of “Super 24”.
Challenging as it may sound, Super 24 attracted some 1,000 dancers to showcase their groove on Jun. 8 at Suntec’s Convention Halls. In collaboration with the National Youth Council, the competition was highly anticipated by the dance community. Tickets to this competition were sold out four days before the event and the competition hall was filled with 3,000 dance enthusiasts grooving together with the dance teams.
The audiences were also treated to guest performances by international dance teams Quick Crew, winner of Norway’s Got Talent and Mortal Combat, three-time Japan Dance Delight champions. Jazz-funk band Fungki Munkees also entertained the crowd together with local dance team, Lion City Lockers.
Besides the 19 teams participating in the open category (which consists of dancers from tertiary institution dance clubs and dance hobbyists), the competition also attracted the participation of 21 schools in the secondary school category.
“We observed that while many teams set out to gain top results in the contest, they eventually realized that the journey was more valuable than the outcome,” Low says. “It’s inspiring to see the creativity, resilience and energy emerging from such a stressful competition. It’s also heartening to hear that the youths learned to value the journey and relationships with their teammates more than the outcome of the competition.”
The young dancers took to social media with their thoughts and feelings about Super 24. Natalie (@nataliegohome) of North Vista Secondary School posted on Instagram after the competition, “Those 3 km runs that seemed endless, the muscle aches and the blood and sweat you guys put through for today’s achievement has all paid off.” Ivy (@v_vivy) of D3, the winner of the open category, also said on Instagram, “We are only the champion because we bent over, drench in sweat, at the point of exhaustion when nobody is looking.”
Following the dance competition, O School took the dancers back to their schools to inspire their fellow schoolmates.
“The post-event roadshows are designed to allow the participating school teams to showcase their piece to their school,” Low comments. “It also aims to introduce the mechanics and the values of the competition to the rest of the school.”
Once the rest of the student body sees what the dance team could do, they would hopefully develop interest in the audience and evoke their appreciation for dance.
“We aim to develop Super 24 to be a contest garnering wide interest and participation from mainstream schools. We had 21 schools participating in the secondary category this year, we hope to reach 100 schools in five years.”
This story first appeared in City News Weekly’s July 26-27 issue commemorating City Harvest Church’s 25th anniversary.