Every year in VJC, JC1s get a break from lessons to celebrate Feeling Fab, a day of bonding with their classes. But not everybody gets to go to the same place — there are, in fact a myriad of activities, and different classes get allocated to different places. In this special, VPress takes a look at three activities — the waltz, bowling and dragon boat.
Love Is In The Air
Rachel Lim, 17S31
To be honest, our class had really mixed feelings about our Feeling Fab activity. Unlike the other more “fortunate” classes, we were to stay back in the school compounds for our activity. What’s more, we didn’t really know what to expect from our activity, Waltz. Some of us had probably searched Waltz dance videos online, and could conjure up their impressions of the Waltz Dance. Others probably didn’t bother, just having the notion it was some kind of fancy dance, similar to the Friendship dance during orientation. All in all, most of us had the idea that it required a male and a female to dance together. Thus… it involved some substantial physical contact and proximity between the two parties, which made some of us quite flustered inside and nervous, while looking forward to it secretly.
As we arrived outside our designated location in E block Level 2, we then met 17S33, the other class doing Waltz, and our dance instructor. All was well until our first problem cropped up: the girl to boy ratio was too large! Hence, some some girls had to double up as “guys”. I was one of the first called up as I am vertically blessed, as a 175cm tall Asian girl! The males and “guys” were to act as leaders, those who initiated dance moves, interesting. The females then were to act as “followers”. We started off, arranging ourselves in pairs in a straight line. After every two to three dance moves taught, the leaders would then move down the line and thus everyone would constantly have different partners.
Initially, I personally felt a little nervous having to interact with the students from 17S33. However my worries were allayed as they were all very friendly and easy-going. In my case, every time when there was a change of partners, we would be asking for each other’s names and even CCAs as a form of introduction. Thus we could warm up to each other more easily and perform the synchronised dance moves more efficiently.
We were eventually told to execute a dance move which involved the “leaders” to put their hand slightly under the follower’s shoulder, while facing each other. The dance instructor had admonished, “Not anywhere else!” The class burst into laughter. There was another move which required the leaders to place an arm around the follower’s hip, while being side to side. That also yielded considerable giggles from the student audience.
Another highlight I would say, was watching our CT Mr Heman Kwok perform the Waltz dance himself. We would then be enthusiastically cheering him on, be it to get him to do a demonstration with the dance instructor or whilst he was dancing with another female teacher. And yeah, our CT had some cool dance moves! We even came up with a cheer of sorts… “He, Heman, Herman, Hooman, that’s 31’s man…” cheered the class! At that moment, doing our class cheer in front of the other class, I was feeling a sense of class pride.
In conclusion, as cliché as it may sound, the Waltz dance experience was a lot more fun and fulfilling than I expected. Initially, some girls and guys probably felt awkward with one another, however eventually everyone was cool with each other and were enjoying themselves. Needless to say, this was a great class bonding experience — laughing together as we screwed up the order and execution of dance moves, as well as encouraging each other, sharing positive vibes in the process. Disappointingly, this four-hour beginner’s Waltz crash course felt very short and ended sooner than we thought. However, no worries folks — this Waltz lesson might still turn out to be useful later on. Save it for prom eh, guys? Show off your cool dance moves!
The Gutter Loves Me
Ng Jia Yeong, 17S64
Bowling sounds simple enough. What could go wrong in a game where one hurls a ball towards a cluster of pins at the end of a lane? As it turns out, while many of us frequent bowling alleys in our socialising sessions, bowling the correct way involves holding the ball in the right position and starting from a certain point behind the line.
Bowling requires precision and prediction of the ball’s path along the lane. This fact that seems obvious but is overlooked by many. In fact, even amongst the more experienced players, “GUTTER BALL” and “OPEN” were sometimes displayed on the digital scoreboard — “gutter ball” meaning the bowling ball travelled into either of the two trenches on both sides of the lane, failing to hit any pins, and “open” meaning not all ten pins were knocked down after two tries. Nevertheless, the participants enjoyed their time in Kovan Forte Bowl tremendously — shouts of encouragement, praise and elation were quite commonly heard throughout the session.
Compared to the other sports the Victorians played during Feeling Fab, bowling seems like the least physically demanding (or in Singlish terms “slackest”) one, and with good reason. Taking place in an air-conditioned venue, few participants felt the discomfort of sweat. In fact, a few of the teachers who accompanied the students even played their own game of bowling, occupying a lane to themselves! This showed how even though tutors may seem distant to us students, they do know how to have fun and let their hair down once in a while.
One of the most interesting experiences was a rather exclusive one: the Victorians were allowed to witness the inside workings of a bowling alley, where students were greeted by conveyor belts galore and saw chaotic churning of bowling pins and balls — literally behind the scenes of bowling!
With the “BEEP” of the alarm at the reception counter came the disappointed groans of the players (both young and not-so-young). However much they enjoyed bowling with friends, they unfortunately had only booked the venue for the morning and were required to leave — but not before taking a few photographs! After all, what is a class outing without a group photo?
Row, Row, Row Your Boat
Juhi Agrawal, 17S37 & Niyanta Chowdhury, 17S46
Out of the 35 classes in our J1 cohort, 9 lucky classes received the chance to take part in Dragon Boating for Feeling Fab 2017. Students alighted their buses excitedly at Kallang Water Sports Centre, only to be greeted by enthusiastic and welcoming trainers.
It all started off with a regular safety briefing and workshop by the Head Trainer, who briefed the novice dragon boaters on basic rowing techniques and commands. With peeled ears, students noted the basics of dragon boating, and at the end of the short 15 minute briefing, a student from 17A12 was called upon to revise the commands and techniques taught with the classes up front! After which, students were finally called upon class by class to wear their own vests, grab their paddles and step into their boats. Uniquely, our class CTs were also invited to sit at the back and join us for the boat ride!
As each of class started with synchronised rowing, our instructors led us through the mechanics of a boat and role of the players in a team. Interestingly, in a team of 20, only up to a maximum of 6-8 have to apply maximum force to thrust the boat forward, after which, the rest only build up on the momentum. Amidst our class bonding and intense rowing, our instructors introduced us to the anticipated aspect of dragon boating — splashing water on other boats and rowing away! Some classes even used containers inside their boats to drench members of another boat! Water splashing fights got intense but we were at our peak excitement level.
Students rowed all the way to the Singapore Flyer to take some pictures with the Flyer in the backdrop. The 9 boats came together for a mass panorama to capture the experience at dragon boating in a snapshot. Before ending off the day, all the 9 classes raced each other the last 500m to Kallang Water Sports Centre.
Our instructors were encouraging — albeit a little intense according to 17S46. Their coach gave them valuable life advice and but something interesting that stuck with them was, “COUNT, USE YOUR VOICES UNTIL THE RESIDENTS IN THAT CONDO CAN HEAR THE ECHO!” while pointing to a distant building, receiving shocked looks from every student in the class (split into two boats). He emphasised on teamwork and perhaps was a little disappointed at the the lack of reception from the class but nevertheless let them have their fun.
To end off the experience as a whole, Jordan Ang, from 17A12, came up to share his learning points. He shared on the significance of teamwork — as an integral element in not only making difficult tasks seemingly easier, but also fun. Indeed, the journey ahead for all of us is similar to the race it’s tough. But, the right companions make the process a whole lot easier and memorable. And so, as Victorians would like to put it — Nil Sine Labore.