Floor Techniques Crew Asia Finals experience in Tokyo, Japan
The 3 days which we spent in Japan was a wonderful experience, not just in terms of competing on the global stage, but also being able to meet dancers from all over Asia. We decided to write this diary to share our experiences as well as jot down these precious memories of the GATSBY Styling Dance Contest.
Day 1: Departure Day
6 Feb 2009 Thursday - 2230h
So the day has come where we will represent Singapore in the GATSBY Styling Dance contest. We hope to do Singapore proud, and at the same time, represent Floor Techniques Crew well in this global event. Our friends from Vortex Crew and Fuyo came to send us off in the airport, to give us a really encouraging morale booster ahead.
Day 2: Arrival in Tokyo, Japan and preparation for Asia Finals
27 Feb 2009 Friday - 0715h
Although we took SIA's newest A380 Airbus, we had to spend the night on the plane.We were quite tired, but looking forward to the Finals. Coincidentally, we took the same flight as the Indonesian team! The weather was pretty cold as well, like 5 degrees and we were absolutely freezing, though it was a nice departure from the hot and humid Singapore weather. We travelled by bus to do our hotel check-in before commencing with the day's activities. Some of us managed to get some precious sleep on the bus!
After checking into the hotel, we went to one of Tokyo's most famous hairstyling salons-Roots salon, for a haircut. This was a great experience! The level of service in Japan was on a different scale altogether-they explained to us how to style the hair, gave us useful tips, and most importantly, gave us a brand new hairstyle that we wouldn't have imagined! My hair was way too short for the stylist to do much, but Norbin and Say Liang both had stylish hairdos. The stylists used GATSBY Moving Rubber to give the three of us a really cool look and style!
With our new hairstyles, it was time to hit the streets in Shibuya for some shopping! We visited this b-boy shop which sold some really special b-boy stuff, and we also managed to snap up some bargains in downtown Shibuya.
The last activity before dinner was the briefing for tomorrow's Finals, though it felt like a press conference with the entire set up. We were really impressed by how professional the organization of the event was! Japanese TV broadcaster NHK was there to do a filming, in which we did a recorded interview with them, as well as popular dance TV programme Super Chample. Also, an Indonesian TV personnel was sent to Tokyo to cover this event.
During the briefing we were also introduced to one of the judges, renowned dancer Charisma Kantaro. We also met, for the first time, the other teams that will be competing with us tomorrow. The rest of the way was dinner and free time for us to rest for tomorrow's big day.
Day 3: GATSBY Styling Dance Contest Asia Finals
28 Feb 2009 Saturday - 0800h
We had a nice hearty breakfast at the hotel before we moved off to the day's venue, Shibuya O-East, a popular place for live bands and dance. The weather was cold but our spirits were not dampened-we were in a confident and buoyant mood for the challenge ahead.
The first activity for the day was the rehearsal and run-through on the actual stage. Everyone had around 15 minutes, and after that we moved to a separate dance studio for a final practice session.
We did 2 more recorded interviews, one with NHK, Japan's national TV and the other,The Star newspaper from Malaysia, one of Malaysia's biggest print media. We were really excited to introduce Floor Techniques Crew to other countries in Asia! After another hour of practise we moved back to Shibuya O-East for lunch, and final preparation before the Finals.
And the competition started. We were second to come on after the Malaysia team, Elecoldxhot which displayed an excellent performance despite being the first team to start the contest. There were only 2 b-boy teams among the 7 countries, us and Taiwan's KGS. The other teams, Korea's Pop On The Basic, Hong Kong's Bloos Dynamite, Japan's KoRock and Indonesia's Freedom Squad all put in some truly eye-catching displays with their own genre of dance. The show also had live performances by famous professional dance groups in Japan, as well as performances by the judges themselves, Charisma Kantaro, Shinji, Kato and Ketz.
We weren't really nervous during the results announcement. The competition was stiff, but we were quite confident with our own performance. Fortunately for us, we took home the "Best Grooving Award" which was basically for the team with the "Grooviest Dance Style", together with Elecoldxhot. We won GATSBY products and a limited edition NIKE sneaker each! The "Greatest GATSBY Award", for the champion, went to KoRock from Japan. The trio were simply outstanding on the day. With that, they won themselves a dance exchange tour to 2 Asia countries as well as around $4,000 in prize money. Bloos Dynamite came in second, winning the "GATSBY Award", while Pop On The Basic and Freedom Squad won with the "Technique Award". Champions KoRock, Bloos Dynamite, and KGS were given the "Styling Award"
We ended the event with a nice post event party, with food and drinks and plenty of photos and interaction with the other dancers. Despite the language barrier, we managed to put up some decent conversation. Dance, after all, is a universal language.
Day 4: Departure for Singapore
1st Mar 2009 Sunday/ 0800h
We departed from our hotel and left for Narita airport, to take our flight back to Singapore, bringing home some truly wonderful memories. From the Recruitment Roadshow in Cineleisure, to the Singapore Finals in ZOUK, and finally to Tokyo, Japan for the Asia Finals, this was a unique experience for Floor Techniques Crew. We performed in front of a global stage, learnt about dance cultures from different countries, met some really great people, and picked up valuable pointers from renowned dance people.
We're already looking forward to the next GATSBY Styling Dance Contest!