Written by: Ernest Tan (19-E6), Wong Sean Yew (19-U4), Athena Lim (19-A4)
Designed by: Athena Lim (19-A4)
Cover Photograph: Jacey Teoh (18-E1)
In the second of the five-part lead-up series to College Day, we present to you a behind-the-scenes look at Eunoia Dance.
It is a late Tuesday afternoon when we promptly arrive at the Dance Studio, ready to observe Dance at work. We meet our interviewees, Vanessa Tan (18-O3), Chen Fei (19-E2), as well as the Dance President, Sarah Chong (18-E6) – all who seem to be sprightly and spirited, which is especially apt, given the title of their piece: The Spirit of Life.
We sit down to get their thoughts about the preparations for the College Day Performance, first to get to know the dance culture as a whole. It was heartening to know that the shared beliefs that they espouse is reminiscent of the aforementioned theme, with the strong emphasis on the human spirit and the support system. Both interviewees praised the accepting and inclusive culture, with the seniors willing to oblige and take on the more challenging parts of the dance when some members had technical struggles with the dance moves. As Sarah pointed out, “What makes me so proud about Dance is not our achievements, but rather how bonded we have become and how we’ve stuck together through everything”. In fact, when asked about her final performance, Vanessa also said that she would miss “the atmosphere” and the pleasant interactions she has had with her Dance mates. Both attributed the camaraderie to be central to the vibrant spirit of the performance and their CCA, with their favorite part of the piece being the one where they all converge, representing the united soul of the CCA.
It is also quite evident that the Dancers have faced many challenges, be it the sometimes ‘dreary’ environment, or the long hours – staying back beyond practice hours until 8.30 p.m. on some days. In particular, Chen Fei commented that the piece was “really emotionally and physically draining, requiring a lot of energy and focus”. The dancers attributed their success despite all these challenges, to the collective persevering spirit, which is also very much exemplified in their piece’s enduring motif.
It was also their ardent supporters in the form of their dance instructor and teachers-in-charge who have made this performance possible. The dance instructor, Mr Dan Kwoh, is someone whom the dancers are grateful for. Although the interviewees conceded that he could be demanding at times, they believe he only has their best interests at heart. After all, as the old adage goes, “no pain, no gain”. Their teachers-in-charge – Ms Juliana Wong, Ms Tan Fangxi, Ms Sandra Chan, and Mrs Uma Thiruselvam – also played no small role, showing the quintessentially Eunoian “Goodwill to All” by staying back for long periods of time and looking after their needs – a mean feat considering their already hectic schedules.
Dance and their community have put their blood, sweat and tears into this performance, to convey their message through their carefully choreographed movements that is designed to bring the audience emotional catharsis and spark introspection. This being the very last performance uniting these two cohorts, Dance is determined to make this a night for all to remember and most importantly, a finale befitting to the hard work they have invested. Here, Press urges everyone to support Dance this coming College Day and wishes them the best of luck!