every dancer counts
Super 24, also known as S24, one of the most anticipated annual dance competitions by dancers of all genres returns this year with a special feature of ballroom dancing.
The S24, known for its unique and specific requirements of dancing in a 8 by 8 metre square stage with only 24 dancers. Is both breath-taking and daunting in its own right, with four judges on each side, scrutinising each and every dancer, where “where no area will be left uncovered, no action unnoticed. In this competition, every dancer counts.”
For the first time in local history, the gents and ladies of the Dancer’s Dream Team set the floor ablaze with their latin heels and introduced ballroom dancing to the Super 24 judges and audience through their interpretation of the Paso Doble.
Curious about their journey? Find out more in our congratulatory interview with Lorencia and the Dancer’s Dream Team below!
1. What spurred you and the team to take part in this competition
Lorencia: It was really more of a spontaneous and crazy decision because…why not? Ever since its first year, my juniors and dancemates from TPDE (Temasek Poly Dance Ensemble) have always been part of it and I will find myself just watching and waiting for updates from the different teams. So amazed by what dancers can come up with. I also really like the idea of having 24 dancers on a 8m x 8m stage with 4 judges on each side. A completely different challenge. I wanted to bring Latin dance to different dance platforms and to share our craft. I wanted my dancers to watch and learn from the other groups.
Last year, my students were not ready to take part in competitions as they are all so young and so new to Latin dance. This year, the timing was right, so I made the decision at the end of May to form a team. We are representing a studio, so my little kids cannot be in the primary/secondary school category. In the open category, dancers have to be below 35 years old…..and when I saw that, I jumped right into it because I really wanted to dance haha. Picked up the phone and gathered a few of my old and retired dance friends, my sister and some of the dancers I’ve been working with. Everything happened really fast.
2. What were your thoughts behind the costume and choreography?
Lorencia: Costume was easy as I wanted to keep the basic look and colour representation of Paso Doble – Black and Red. Knowing that the dance mat and stage will be in black, we spiced it up with the adult’s costume and tweaked it a little.
Choreography – Within the short 60 seconds in the qualifiers round, we need to showcase what Paso Doble is about. Not much time can be wasted for drama or slow intensity. I worked with my 15 kids to their best ability to show their strengths and basics of Paso Doble. For the adults, it was actually really fun. We came together on the first rehearsal, worked on different formation changes and all of us had pockets of time within the dance for self-expression. There were a lot of experimenting. Then, we adults worked into the kids’ choreography.
3. Do share with us some challenges of an extremely diverse team, from the young ones to very experienced performers and instructors such as yourself (Lorencia)
Lorencia: I will be lying if I said putting this together was easy. The most challenging thing for our team was actually having everybody come together for training. Working adults can only make it in the evening and all of us had crazy hectic schedules, and my 15 children cannot train late on a weekday because of school. Adults only had 2 short rehearsals. The team only had 1 complete full rehearsal with all adults and kids 1 day before the competition. But I guess this really made us worked productively in a very short period of time.
The tagline of this Super24 Competition is – Every dancer counts. It does not matter whether you are 5 or 35, we need to dance as equals on that stage. The young ones do not have much experience on a stage like this and they were very nervous about their formation changes (there is basically 4 sides of audience). The adults have to dance their best but not overpower any of our team mates as this is no longer competitive Latin dancing where you and your partner fight to shine on the floor. This is all about teamwork. This is dancing in a team – which can be a challenge for Latin dancers.
Instructor wise – Because I was overlooking the team most of the time and did not get to dance together as much, I was just hoping that I don’t make any mistakes. 😛 It is such an experience dancing with your students as equal and I knew that I can not let my dancers down.
4. How would you describe the overall experience?
Exhilarating. Memorable. Breaking boundaries.
5. Any words of encouragement for other ballroom groups to follow likewise?
Lorencia: Dance is dance, no matter what genre. Keeping an open mind is very important and just do it!
6. Will you be returning to S24 in the following year?
Lorencia: This will be a question to consider only next year. A lot of things can change within a year. If time permits, we will definitely give it another shot, before we (I) turn 35.
7. Any final words?
Lorencia: A big shout out to my team members and students for taking up this challenge and bringing Latin Dance to the stage of S24. There will be more exciting things to come and I hope that the Latin & Ballroom dancers in the Singapore community will come together to try new things and continue to push boundaries.