Saturday, 13 April 2013


To all performing arts students and alumni, we all know what each competition or performance means to us. Especially the nation-wide performance or competition, SYF Arts Presentation, which was used to be called SYF Central Judging. It's just a change of the name but to all of us, we know it's more than just arts presentation. It's competition among schools and a challenge to each performer.

I was a dancer and took part in SYF twice. It's always held at the same place, NUS University Cultural Centre (UCC) and now, each time the bus I was in drove past UCC, I would always recall those memories and glory that my teams had.

My first SYF was during Secondary 3. Back then, I was still new to this SYF Judging and all I know was I would be performing to a huge group of unfamiliar audiences. I remember our training timings were purely during CCAs time slot and nothing extra (You will know why I say all these later). We would cramp in the small studio to practice. If you ask me, I could no longer remember what was the dance piece and what was my role. The bonds between the dancers were not as strong either (as compared to JC). And I couldn't recall what we got for that year. So after researching online, we got Bronze. Memories for this first SYF was just way too vague.

The memories of the second SYF participation was much stronger! So after 2 years, in JC 1, I took part in SYF again. I remembered my first training was also the first time I met all the seniors and teachers-in-charge formally because we (all J1s) officially joined the Modern Dance club early February and due to time-constraint, we had to start the trainings ASAP. And that first time, I stayed till 8-9plus and this timing is nothing unusual for us. We would start training around 3-4pm and end only at that time. So you can imagine how tough it is for a student to get sufficient rest and study hard at the same time. It was all about priorities at that point of time.

But all of us enjoyed the process! Our teachers-in-charge took great care of us and often treat us to ice cream, yogurts and other delicious food as a reward. And often, they would drive us home or to the nearest MRT station etc. Seniors and juniors bonded quickly and we soon became like one big family. We would always stay back for long and tiring trainings, and often, had weekend trainings too. But we would do so with little complaints. This is the process that we became strong as one family. And that was also when I realized that SYF is important to all of us and how schools often compete with each other. 

Then came the critical moment. 4 years ago, around this period, I stepped into UCC again. It was the same environment but with a different team. A team that had more pride in everything we do; a team that is like family. I remembered how it was like on stage, all those mistakes that we did and how we tried to continue acting normally so that no one could spot those mistakes. When we ended our showcase, most of us cried. We felt that we screwed up our one and only chance, and we would not be able to reach our goal: Gold with Honours. We were super disappointed and when it was near the release of the results, we were all praying hard that we could at least get a Silver.

And guess what we got??? :D
We cried and cried.
Our teachers-in-charge even tried to scam us but we got our insider-information first :p

And that was also when I realized the competition among schools. I saw my friend at backstage after my school performed so out of concern, I asked my friend of the other school about her school's result and knowing that my school got Gold with Honours, she told me that they got Gold and she added "you happy now?". Woah, and I was damn shocked with her reply because I didn't tell her what my school got but she was there with her school during the release of results. It was damn competitive and prestigious schools often looked down on neighbourhood schools! 

So why a long post about SYF and my experiences?
Because like I said, now it's the SYF period and my school just participated SYF Arts Presentation 2 days ago. They didn't get Distinction and all my juniors are damn upset and disappointed in themselves now. Alumni are showing care and concern to the juniors and esp, my teacher-in-charge. He is a dedicated man and has watched 5-6 batches of dancers grow up. Though many times we disagree with his way of doing (politics), I am still proud to say that he is the best dance teacher-in-charge I have ever met. No one would have put in as much effort as he did to make this club flourish to one of the biggest and recognized clubs in the school :) Thank you, SUM.

And to my juniors, I would like to tell them to cheer up! It's the journey that matters, not the end result. You guys may not achieve your goal but you guys gained a supporting family! We, alumni, are all behind you! You all had done your best and we are proud of you guys! Never give up on dancing! :)

Before I end off, here are some dance videos :) Enjoy!

Batch 2012
The J2s now, in 2013.
They can really dance well right? :)
Team dynamic is strong!
Dance is choreographed by my fellow dance mate from my batch.

And here is my beloved 09 batch :)
Look at the difference in batch size!
It was only the batch after mine that made us a HUGE family <3 p="">


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