Writing this because recently, I just came back from a short trip to Shanghai to attend a dance camp/workshop there over a period of a few days. I have learnt a lot from it and am very thankful for the opportunity to attend this camp which I would definitely not have if i did not attend ALP.
Well, I learnt many things technically dance-wise from this camp but I shall not talk about it here because it would certainly bore all the non-dancers reading this, so instead I will talk about the dancers here.
What I would like to talk about mainly is that because there are so many dancers here, the spectrum of great and bad dancers is really huge. In my time here, I got to dance with both groups. Because honestly I am not a great dancer in terms of dance skill, how I would rate dancers as good or bad is not based on skill but more based on attitude towards learning and dance in general. Aside from this workshop, I have taken many classes here and I have three studios that I want to talk about, lets call them studio A, B and C.
Studio A was the first one I went to and it was the first and the last class I went there. Honestly, it was not that the choreography was bad and I did not learn anything, but its more of the environment I was exposed to. The dancers dressed really well, too well in fact such that I realized they were looking into the mirror to check themselves out much more than they were looking at it to check out their moves. What was the most shocking to me was the way they idolized their instructor. Its like they paid good money for the class just to watch the instructor dance in real life. There was no interest in learning the dance at all or taking in any technique that the instructor taught. Dance is a very social thing and depends a lot on environment. If the environment is toxic as such, it would be difficult to improve and continue.
Studio B was the one that I just came back from Shanghai from. The dancers there are really good at dance. Literally everyone who attended the camp were better than me at dancing. But are they good dancers? Well, compared to people I dance with, no I would say they are not. Why is this so? Most of them are very individualistic and are way too concerned with their own dancing. They also were very absorbed in being individually great and I felt like they were not actually dancing and enjoying. Because it was a huge camp, the instructors that were invited were world-renowned instructors. Having been to classes taught by them in Singapore, I felt like the instructors were not having as much fun teaching the dancers in Singapore because the vibe was not very fun. These instructors were also very into the hip hop culture, which very much started because people simply wanted to enjoy music and not just concentrate on the dance moves. Maybe it was a language barrier as well since the instructors mostly spoke English while the students there spoke Chinese. But overall, my experience in Studio B was not great.
Studio C is the studio that I frequent weekly, sometimes twice a week. I bought this 10 class package right after the first class because I simply enjoyed lessons there. Why? It was not because the students there were great dancers technically. It was mainly because everyone had a really positive learning attitude and I have genuine fun every time I am there. There were many beginner dancers, but I could literally see them improving every lesson as we work hard together and sweat it out every session. It is a pity that my 10 class package has ended but I am very glad that I had this studio to go to in this less familiar land.
This 14 weeks in ALP was a time I set for myself to improve so that when I get back to Singapore I can share with the rest in my club about what I learnt here and also learn from them about what they gained while staying in Singapore. I want to make SUTD’s dance club Dance DerivativeZ a greater club and grow as a dancer and as a person in general with the rest. In my last 2 weeks here, I will consolidate all that I have learnt here and train hard.
Excited for more dance growth!