Shall We Dance?

Published on 29 September 2015

Want to shake and groove but don’t know where to start? Read on.

TEXT BY DAPHNE ONG

You don’t have to be a ballerina or Step Up fan to bust a few moves. Nor do you have to be a dance critic to appreciate rhythm and movement. Dance is for everyone and here’s an opportunity for you to join in the footloose fun.

From 8 to 24 October, keep in step with the inaugural Got to Move, a nationwide dance movement to celebrate the diversity of dance in Singapore. Numerous dancers and dance groups will bring the vibrancy of dance to all parts of the island in an extravaganza of performances, workshops and other activities — all absolutely free! Presented by the National Arts Council, Got to Move reflects the growing interest in dance among Singaporeans in recent years, as shown by higher attendance rates at performances and the emergence of more dance groups.

ISLAND MOVEMENT

The bulk of activities takes place under Got to Move ISLANDWIDE, a showcase of huge and diverse range of performances and dance-related activities rolling out all over Singapore, in both the city area and heartlands alike.

Whether you like to just watch or work up a sweat by being in the thick of action, there will be something to engage you, whatever your participation level. The programmes in Got to Move ISLANDWIDE include open classes and studios, experiential dance workshops and master classes, educational talks and conferences, interactive games and other riveting activities. As the movement’s tagline goes, ‘Everyone can move. So can you.’

All items in the programme lineup were selected from an open call to the dance community and the general public. Of the numerous applications to the open call, 41 dance groups, schools, interest groups, associations and individual practitioners were chosen to develop and present their ideas and programmes.

The dizzying variety of dance types in the programme include almost everything from ballroom to ballet, hip-hop to dance fitness, pole dance to Bollywood and traditional to contemporary. Innovative items bring in new and sometimes unexpected ways to get people interested in dance. There are quirky items like ‘Dance for Your Prata’ where participants stand to win a prata lunch by strutting their stuff.

Flamenco Sin Fronteras and the Singapore Association of Mental Health will be working together to put up flamenco performances via flashmobs at various locations. This open-to-public event gives participants a chance to learn flashmob moves as well as some flamenco basics through free introductory workshops. The programme culminates in Singapore’s largest Flamenco Flashmob, which will involve various community groups and the public as performers on 11 and 18 October.

Another offbeat selection is ‘Space Monkeys’, by local choreographer Daniel Kok, also known as diskodanny, in collaboration with the Berlin-based Post Theater. A mash-up of a mass dance event and installation art, participants from different sectors of Singapore are invited to form teams at a dance-off. This community participation and dance-installation project highlights the attributes of participation and observation.

Some of the events and workshops aim to bring the therapeutic benefits of dance to more people. One of these is the Autism Movement Therapy Workshop for children with special needs. Says Gracie Chua, managing director of workshop organiser Wings to Wings Dance Development Centre, “We felt these children would benefit both mentally and physically from this session. Also, we wanted an activity where parents could learn how to relate to their child’s condition through bonding with their child.”

NOT STRICTLY BALLROOM From tango to ballet and yes, ballroom, many dance forms will be on display.
KEEPING IN BEAT Got to Move is a great opportunity for young and old to appreciate different dance forms.
TINY DANCERS Got to Move reflects the growing appreciation for dance, with many building on their interest from a young age.

DAY TO DANCE

The culmination of dance festivities takes place on 24 October with Got to Move NOW. Dedicated to putting dance in the spotlight, this is a day for everyone to discover and try out different dance forms.

The event kicks off 4pm at The Promontory at Marina Bay, leading with high-energy segments like free K-pop fitness and belly-dance taster classes followed by a string of traditional and contemporary dance performances. The lineup is interspersed with a sprinkling of vibrant segments like a dance-inspired fashion show, special appearances by the celebrity cast of Ah Boys to Men, and mini contests with attractive prizes. If you have a case of happy feet, standby for the mass dance, set to an original Got to Move tune. Learn the steps at the training session and be an active part of the event.

Other forms like ballet, urban, Malay dance and contemporary dance are also featured in the course of the evening. The night closes with a hopping after-party complete with thumping live music and open dance floor where everyone is welcome to jive and shimmy the night away.

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