This was the first year that I was involved in the Culturama show. As I have been involved in the Dance Showcase for the last few years, it was not an entirely unfamiliar experience for me. However, I did have to adjust to a different style of management and a different type of process than what I am used to. In this way, I developed my ability to adapt to new situations and understand the process quickly.
Archive of ‘7 Learning Outcomes Reflections’ category
This year I have decided to be involved in the Dance Showcase committee again, this time as a co-chair instead of the chair. My focus will therefore mainly be shifting the responsibilities of chair to my co-chair Clarice, as she is in Grade 11 and will be able to carry on the legacy of the Dance Showcase next year when I have graduated from UWCSEA.
So far, we, along with our dance coordinator have planned the process for this year, building on my previous experiences from the past showcases and identifying areas of improvement.
I also plan to choreograph two dances with two other people, meaning that we will need to collaborate to divide our responsibilities and work together to choreograph and plan our dances.
In the past two sports seasons, I have participated in U19 Netball pre-season and I was in the A team for the last season.
In pre-season netball, I was able to develop my netball skills such as shooting, passing, communication and versatility with different players for the upcoming sports season.
During the season, I was nominated as team captain, which was a new experience for me. This showed my dedication and experience in the sport over the time that I have been playing it as well as the ability to collaborate with and encourage others in my team. This meant that I needed to have lots of self-discipline so that I would be able to motivate my teammates. This experience also encouraged me to improve my netball skills which resulted in a better performance on court. Additionally, I learned and emphasised the importance of teamwork and collaboration which are essential for a team sport such as netball.
Throughout my experience in Sonos, I have managed to improve my singing techniques not only within choral pieces but also in solo pieces. By practicing and performing a range of repertoire with different vocal arrangements, I have learned to harmonize and adjust my voice to better fit with pieces that we perform.
For example, during the Carols by Candlelight performance on the 7th of December 2018, I performed multiple songs with five other members of the Sonos group to an audience in the school’s open plaza. This was a new experience for me as it was unusual for me to perform in an open area. Additionally, I was performing with fewer members which was a challenge at first since I would not have the backing of many other people. This places a larger importance on my singing as part of the pieces. For the repertoire, the six of us took charge in arranging the pieces vocally which was an essential part of the performance. In doing this, I used the skills that I developed in Sonos to harmonize with the other members to establish a euphonic sound. This also required lots of collaboration as we needed to work together and listen carefully to each other to arrange our parts well.
For some of the songs in the performance, my group was joined by other singers, some of whom were teachers. Furthermore, during the performance we were asked to perform other carols which we had not prepared beforehand. It was initially a large challenge; however, we were able to adapt accordingly and perform well. I managed to sight-sing by reading the score and listening carefully to those who knew the songs, a skill that I have learned in Sonos.
In the Wavelengths Music Concert on the 12th of December 2018, I had a solo part in the starting section which was essential to the piece. In this, I was able to boost my confidence enough to overcome the challenge of performing solo. However, I believe that I can still increase my confidence in solo performances which will further improve my singing in the future.
So far, I have taken part in 5 Running Hour sessions. During these sessions, everyone is paired up with an intellectually or physically challenged person to either walk, jog or run around the national stadium track or pedestrian path from the national stadium to Marina Barrage. Each time, I have been paired up with a different person, mostly those that have a form of autism.
This is a different experience for me as I have not previously done local service with people before, but mostly with animals. Therefore, this was an unfamiliar environment that I learned to adapt to and in doing so, I developed the social skills necessary to interact with intellectually or physically challenged people. I have also developed friendships with some of them and so I can feel more connected to locals in Singapore with various personal challenges. In the photos below which was taken during the sessions, guides (non-challenged) and those with disabilities are all posing together which shows that the ability to adapt to the new environment to connect within the group.
By talking to those that I was helping, I have also increased my understanding of their situations and how they are affected by their disabilities. For example, I now understand more about their education and how different schools in Singapore are specially adapted to helping the intellectually and physically challenged. I also recognise the ethical issues that they face when finding employment as most of their options are limited to retail and service jobs. This contributes to my understanding of global issues as well since this isn’t only the case in Singapore.
In terms of Running Hour itself, the positive effects of volunteering to help those with disabilities are clear. Not only does this service give them the opportunity to do exercise in a secure environment with people looking out for their safety, but it also gives them the chance to connect with other people who have disabilities and even people who don’t have disabilities. One thing to take into consideration is the mental health of the disabled, especially if topics are brought up during conversation that are particularly sensitive to them. However, I believe that the advantages to them outweigh the possible negative effects.
Throughout this volleyball season, I have developed my volleyball skills greatly through training and game play. These skills not only include volleyball techniques but also collaboration and communication skills within the team.
At the start of this season, my two main goals were to improve my setting technique to increase my accuracy during game play as well as my serving percentage as many of my serves did not land in.
During training, we practiced serving so that we could improve during game play. By taking advice from my coach, particularly about aiming very high above the net, I managed to improve my serving percentage. In the photos above, it can be seen that I am aiming quite high, showing that I have learned from my coach’s advice and applied it in game play.
Although I now have the correct technique, I believe that I can further advance my serving by putting in more power which is now one of my weaknesses that I intend to focus on.
From the video above, it is clear that I have improved on my setting technique and as a result, I am more confident with setting and my accuracy is quite high. Setting is now one of my strengths in volleyball although at the start of the year it was a possible challenge for me.
In the video, communication between the team is clearly evident. In volleyball, collaboration is extremely important. During games, there is a lot of communication to help the other players on the team know what to do. For example, shouting “free” lets the people at the net know to move backwards and be ready to take a ball that is coming over. As can be seen in the photo below, we also say “here” to help our teammates know where to pass the ball.
In addition, collaboration includes motivating team members. For example, we congratulate our teammates when they have a good serve, set, bump, block, tip or hit. This increases the moral of the team and improves play as well. These are therefore valuable contributions to the team.
Collaboration in volleyball isn’t only important during games but also in training. In my team, everybody has different strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, we can take advice from each other in order to improve our game play. For example, serving is one of my weaknesses; however, one of my teammates is a very good server. She was able to help me improve my technique by giving me tips. I was able to help one of my teammates as well by helping her to understand where she was meant to be positioned during game play.
LO2- Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills in the process.
Standing in front of a group to teach them something is always a challenge. A large amount of self-confidence and risk-taking is needed in this type of leadership, no matter whether the group is made of 2 or 20 people.
During the rehearsal of this year’s musical for high school students, Aida, on the 13th of September 2018, I took on the challenge of teaching 12 people in various grades the dance that my friend Georgia and I had choreographed for one of the songs. It was not an entirely new experience for me– last year I taught a group of 8 my choreography for an end result of a performance in the Middle and High School Dance Showcase. However, those were mostly Middle School students. There is an extra difficulty to teaching those older than you or closer to your age. Normally, it takes more assertiveness to let them know why they should pay attention to you, and why they should follow you. This was new to me.
In that rehearsal, I was tasked with becoming more assertive, more self-assured to take on this leadership role. In doing so, I increased my level of confidence in both my abilities as a dancer, choreographer and teacher, as well as a person.
Confidence is extremely important. Put simply, confidence equates to trust and reliability. Self-confidence helps you believe in yourself and gives you the courage to pursue your passions. This was my main takeaway from this rehearsal; it was a key moment in my journey to increase my confidence and become a better person in my own way as a result.
Below are some photos of myself teaching a dance the some of the other students in Aida.
Being involved in a student production also requires a lot of commitment and engagement during rehearsals. Due to the amount of effort that needs to be put in, there are many rehearsals, including weekend rehearsals that require taking out personal time to work towards the performance. Therefore, Aida is a long-term project requiring three seasons of regular commitment.
In a project that is long-term, there will inevitably be challenges along the way. One possible challenge that may appear is the task of balancing rehearsals with school work and other activities. In order to make sure that this does not become a large issue, I will most likely create a plan for splitting my time between everything that I have committed to doing.
Throughout the process, I will also have to adapt to new changes. For example, as a choreographer, I have to take into consideration the level of dance of the cast members. At first, for one of the songs, I realised that the choreography that I had created was too difficult for most of the cast and I therefore had to simplify it.
Additionally, one of the challenges we had to face so far was adapting to the new environment of the exam hall which was had to use since the auditorium was occupied. However, I believe that we were able to adapt well to the environment and were able to have a productive rehearsal.
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