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August 24, 2017 Thursday | Last updated on 23/08/2017 10:23AM (Singapore)
 
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Home / Features / Danceworks! 2017: High on Dance, Not Drugs  
Published: 04 Aug 2017 10:19AM (Singapore)
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Danceworks! 2017: High on Dance, Not Drugs
In an impressive display of costumes and an elaborate show of slick, well-choreographed dance moves, the energetic youths blew the audience away yet again at the 19th edition of Danceworks! 2017 on 29 July 2017. Home Team News caught up with the champions of the Junior Category, Palm View Primary Modern Dance.
 
By Muhamad Khair

At only 11 years old, these kids commanded the dance floor while they grooved to the beat of their dance routine.

It All Comes Down to the Drug-Free Message

Decked out in bedazzling caps and their monochromatic outfits, the Palm View Primary Modern Dancers were certainly dressed to impress. The concept behind their dance was inspired by how drugs can break friendships and eventually destroy one’s life.

The 11 year-olds from Palm View Primary Modern Dance striking different poses for the camera. PHOTO: Aizil A. Rahim

Last year, the team managed to clinch the distinction award at the Singapore Youth Festival (SYF) despite only coming together in 2015. But coming out tops again at Danceworks! 2017 was no easy feat.

“At first, our concept wasn’t strong enough, so we had to re-think some of our dance moves and tighten the routine” said Alyson Goh, a dancer from Palm View Primary Modern Dance.

“We made sure that our dance had a clear message - to tell others not to do drugs” the team added.

The team’s choreographer, Chan Jia Jun, also received the ‘Best Choreography’ award. Fondly known to them as “Coach JJ”, the dancers and their choreographer shared a close-knit relationship.

The Palm View Primary Modern Dancers and their trophy, awarded by Parliamentary Secretary of Home Affairs and Health Mr Amrin Amin. They bagged $3,000 as champions in the Junior category. PHOTO: Aizil A. Rahim

“I am very happy for them. They pushed through with their routine amid all the challenges. I wanted to represent their energy and positivity in the choreography, and I’m glad that it was well-received by the judges”, said the 28-year-old dance coach.

Supporting Youth in Their Endeavours

Danceworks! which is in its 18th installment this year, is known to be a heated dance competition among youths. For years, Danceworks! has shown youths that dance is the alternative recreational activity to drugs.

With many bright young stars performing on the Danceworks! stage every year, the event attracts a diverse crowd of supporters comprising parents and friends who come in droves to support the movement.

The supporters didn’t show up empty handed, with some bringing along blow horns, whistles and even a lighted banner to show their support.

It was a proud moment for many parents to see their children dancing on stage. PHOTO: Aizil A. Rahim

Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs and Health Mr Amrin Amin was also there to support the event and join in the festivities. “Continue dancing your way to a drug-free Singapore. Everyone has their part to play to keep Singapore drug-free!” encouraged Mr Amrin.

Mr Amrin (middle) took part in the mass dance segment and snapped photos with the participants to show his support for the event. PHOTO: Aizil A. Rahim

Dancing Towards a Drug-Free Singapore

Muhammad Shamir, 13, who came to support his friends, shared that Danceworks! is a good way to get involved in the movement to keep Singapore drug-free.

“I came initially to support my friends, but coming here made me realise the importance of the anti-drug message. Dance is an empowering way to show how we are better off without drugs” said the 13-year-old student.

Emcee Chew Soowei interacting with some of the participants on stage after their performance. PHOTO: Aizil A. Rahim

As the Danceworks! emcee since 2008, Chew Soowei has seen different batches of youth year on year. Watching recurring participants mature over the years is something that has instilled a sense a pride in her, she said. This was her ninth year as host of the competition.

“Danceworks! is something that these youths will grow up with and remember. It’s good to have a platform where they can mix around with good company and promote an anti-drug lifestyle,said the 38 year-old.

Home Team News congratulates all the winners from Danceworks! 2017, especially to Palm View Primary Modern Dance for being champions in their category!

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