Grooving to the beat together
26 Jan 2018
Teamwork makes the dream work and this is particularly meaningful and relevant for Tampines Secondary School’s Street Dance co-curricular activity (CCA) members.
The 65-member troupe does not only focus on their development in dance moves. They also explore various collaborative aspects and develop friendships as they understand each other better. This is important because it helps to connect to one another during dance performances.
On usual practice days, the students would split into smaller groups of about eight to 10 during their practice sessions, and orchestrate their moves for various sections of a performance. They would later re-group and work to piece together an entire gig.
Ms Fadilah Abdul, the CCA’s teacher-in-charge, explained that this way of working does not just offer students a glimpse of the nuts and bolts of backstage work. It also challenges them to learn to work together to achieve the performance and this is a skill to learn beyond the classroom.
“Students can develop interpersonal skills and collaborative problem-solving abilities,” says Ms Fadilah. “They learn to receive feedback and they learn when to step up and take responsibility, and also to consider others’ point of view. This is a wonderful way to move issues forward because the students would have to find, define and solve problems together.”
Learning to work together
However, various factors can throw a spanner in the works.
New members usually join the CCA at Secondary 1 and they come from diverse backgrounds. Some are experienced dancers, having joined similar CCAs in primary school, while others do not have prior knowledge of dance.
With differing viewpoints, skill levels and experiences, initial tensions and teething problems in group work are not uncommon.
It does not spell the end of working effectively together though. Through these experiences, students learn to put aside their differences and focus on their common passion.
“There was one occasion where we couldn’t agree on our choreography and we were stuck at one part of it for some time. Finally, we sat down and talked through all our different opinions and came to a consensus,” recounts Secondary 4 student Muhammad Izzan Arif Muliyatno.
While collaboration may not always be a breeze, the dancers have emerged from the CCA with better understanding of both their passion and their peers.
“I’ve learned that dance is not just about producing a good performance, but also about what goes on in a team. We’ve learned to respect each other, to never give up and also have the courage to speak up when we need something to be done,” explains Secondary 4 student Nur Sabrina Suhami.
More than working harmoniously together, the students form lasting fellowship with friends who share the same passion.
“I can interact well with my peers and I can present my ideas to them. We get along well and we look out for each other,” shares Secondary 3 student Danielle Yeo.
“I love the bonds between dancers. When I meet dancers from other schools, I feel a connection with them and it doesn’t matter if we didn’t know each other beforehand - we hit it off right away,” adds Sabrina.