Thursday, October 23, 2014

Celine Jessandra writes: The Frenzy, The Crazy. Showtime! This is how we Entertain.

It's been a wonderful 8 years that lived up to the drama, the hype, the excitement that the world of entertainment brings. While certain moments still bring an ache to my heart, they were wonderful learning experiences, and I would not have wanted it any other way. 

Last Saturday night, the CJ Crew (aptly named by my friend Clare Tay - the Crew's first instructor and DanzPeople's instructor) took to the stage for the last time together at Esplanade Da:ns Festival's What Your Move. 

The theme this year was the The Yesteryears vs. The Present. It was apt and a beautiful closure to our 8 years together. The theme presented us with an opportunity to explore older K-Pop tunes that the older generation grew up with, which was truly nostalgic!

It was an annual event for us, and a stage special to us, that we held close to our hearts. The event allowed us to share our love for the arts with the public, introduce them to K-Pop dance, in hopes that it would ignite and inspire their interest, and get more people to share our joy in the art of dance. 

What's Your Move each year, has transformed into a gathering of new faces, as well as many familiar ones. From parents and families of our performers, to students who arrive in throngs. Everyone gets together during this time each year to not only show the CJ Team their support, but to also have a good time dancing together. 

In my years of doing the business, there has never been an event that has gone according to plan, and this year's Esplanade Performance was no exception. Everyone thought it was going to be challenging as my little one, now all grown up and leading the CJ Crew -  Jojo, was out of town, away on a secret but not so secret project. I thought differently. 

I felt this was a good time for everyone else to step up, and I was grateful and happy for everything that transpired. 

After an hour of doing rehearsals under the harsh summer sun, the crew was prepping and getting ready in their first outfit for the yesteryear item, when we received news of the rain, and that the wet weather plans will be activated and implemented instead. 

This was met with initial disappointment and also concern as we had new and younger members, who may not be adept at adjusting to new stages. However, I was conversing with Jojo via text, and told her that this may in fact, not be a bad thing after all. 

The changes meant that the hundred and one formations that we had in place for both our 7-minute routines had to be modified to suit the stage set up and the new venue. 

Instructions were given, outfits had to be tweaked as there was no time to change into the completely different outfit we had initially planned. We wanted to bring forth the feeling of yesteryear, and had initally dressed the performers in baggy jeans, shirts and bandanas. 

A lot of work goes into each event that we do. From costumes, to concepts for each dancer, to styling, all these have to be well-though out and implemented for Show Time. 

When it came to making adjustments, tensions were a tad high but I was happy because my leaders stepped up. I always hold back nowadays because I feel that they have been doing this long enough to figure things out on their own. The young ones were a tad apprehensive and it showed on their faces, but this was quickly allayed as the seniors confidently and swiftly put the changes into place.

The wonderful thing about the CJ Crew is the kindness and sensitivity they show towards one another. When one person isn't feeling okay, everyone else goes round to reassure, hug, or give the person a pat on the back. 

In addition to managing changes to the show this time around, the young ones had to send some CJ Love over to the old one all alone overseas, due to an incident. Proud to say, we practice what we preach: We Sing. We Dance. We Love.

In a blink of an eye, despite the long day, it was SHOW TIME.  

The Mad Scientist grinning.

Teaching Segment by Nigel
Teaching Segment by Joanna
The wonderful day ended on such a happy note! With more love being showered on the crew by their friends, fans, families and our students. We would sincerely like to thank everyone who took the time and effort to come down and support us. We hope you had fun dancing and watching the performances. 

The Crew with our 5 year old student Darius and his dad who came down to support us!

They always take forever to gather.
Leaving a spot for Jojo.

CJ Crew Esplanade Da:ns Festival 2014 - Past Performance:

CJ Crew Esplanade Da:ns Festival 2014 - Present Performance:

Check out our Instagram for more video views: 

All Photo and Video Credits: Sherlayne's Daddy and Mommy! (Thank you for being so amazing and supporting them in everything!)

Thank you Esplanade for having us!

The Stage always leaves everyone wanting more. The essence of a show, is in how you make your audiences feel. Oftentimes, the hard work and preparations that go into putting a show together, go unnoticed. We do this over and over again because we love it. The endless possibilities that each show brings, the creativity that spans from piecing together the art on stage, the smiles we bring to your faces, the ability to bring our art to life. 

All these and more, makes the stage worth working for. 

Helming, working closely and managing a group of teenagers and young adults, each of whom have different personalities, and being more artistic, bring with them a whole array of temperaments and emotions to the team - has not been easy. I am however, truly grateful to each and every one of them for allowing me and the school to be a part of their lives. They bring my visions and dreams to life and together, we will continue to Entertain. 

                                                                       Curtains Closed.

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