O School Ltd, a performing arts centre, is a Social Enterprise set up in 2006 and supported by MCYS ComCare Enterprise Fund O School has 3 social objectives: 1. To generate funds for low income Singapore youths to complete their secondary school education via City College 2. To provide training and employment opportunities for talented youths 3. To celebrate youth potential and talents via O School events The services that O School provides include: Dance classes and courses Schools Corporate Showbiz What is O? Original, yet Outstanding, going Out-of-the-box … We're anything but ordinary.
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Diverse dance classes, intimidating for beginners
If you always wanted to look as cool as those music video dancers, pick up some skills at O School, a dance school at *SCAPE which offers classes of every stripe. Learn how to groove to hip-hop beats, master a pirouette in lyrical jazz classes or learn K-pop moves that might just get you discovered by talent scouts.
As someone with a busy schedule, I’m a fan of the low-commitment Open Classes (from $14 per class), which mean you can sign up for any class you want – just look up the schedule and drop by for a 60-minute crash course in choreography for say, Reggae.
Fair warning, these classes can be intimidating, especially when you’re a beginner and the whole room seems packed with expert dancers who pull off insane choreography without breaking a sweat. And in crowded classes, those at the back of the room might lag behind as they can’t even get a clear view of the instructor, who is teaching the routine at breakneck speed.
But even if you’re the type who can’t master Dance Central Wii, there’s still hope. Opt for the eight-week courses that take you from basics such as counting beats all the way to full choreography. With more personalised attention, you might realize those So You Think You Can Dance dreams yet.
Having attended a class from O school when it was still in its old location in Lavander, I'd say that the place hasn't changed much, only the location. While the teachers are skilled, the class size is too big for specialised attention and comments to help a dancer improve. Since I was a beginner to dance, attending the beginner class was a big mistake - the Beginner class in O school only means that the class would contain experienced dancers who are learning the dance style for the first time. This meant that the class progressed quickly, and with little time to be at the majority of the class' standards, I was lagging behind badly. Even though there were points in the class where I learnt interesting skills and the backgrounds to dance, these were few and far between. Most of the time were spent rushing through a choreography that spanned over a period of weeks.
The better dancers would also hog up the front of the class which would make it extremely difficult for one to see themselves and improve on their moves if they were further back in the class. The better dancers always tended to block the less experienced one which made the teacher in the front believe that everyone was catching up smoothly.
Even though I was lagging behind, I had almost no attention given to me. I felt that attending the class and getting the certificate of the class didn't really qualify me as a dancer. Although I had spent time through two modules, I was still not as good as the rest - I barely learnt anything except for a few tricks. The teacher inspired me with his moves, but without personalised attention, those dreams will always be dreams.
Besides the uncoordinated jiggle that I pass off as dancing during my occasional visits to a club, I don't have any dancing experience to speak of. Nevertheless, I've always wanted to try real dancing (you know, the type that people actually appreciate) at least once in my life, so I took the plunge and turned to the place where it was most highly recommended for a tryout - O School.
I dragged a friend along and registered for an 'open' beginner hip-hop class.. or was it intro class? My memory fails me. Anyway, it was the lowest level I could apply at the time. When I was there, many youths who look like they totally belong on the dancefloor were sitting around the place, waiting for the class to start. They might not be hip hop artistes, but they certainly dress the part. Despite their facade of aloofness, we talked to a couple of them and they were friendly enough.
I realized that many of them had actually been coming to this particular class a few times already. Thus, when lesson started, everyone was able to follow the class relatively well except for me and my poor friend. The teacher goes through the dance moves at an even pace, but for a total noob like me, even an even pace is not good enough.
We went through the choreography once, then twice, then we did it with music before starting on new moves when I haven't even grasped the old. At this point, my friend, being the impetuous sort, decided enough was enough and promptly walked out of the class. I'd wanted to stay till the lesson ends, but when shit happens you just have to go along with it. I was not enjoying myself anyway.
Regardless of the many good reviews from my friends, O School did not give me a good dancing experience. I might still give dancing a try in future when opportunity knocks, but for now, my resolve to dance is spent and I've moved on to other things in life.
I have to admit; I have the dancing abilities of a duck. I have no sense of rhythm, and saying that I have two left feet is already a compliment. Nonetheless, I decided to take up a trial class with my ex-girlfriend about two years ago.
The students who take up dance lessons there are normally teenagers and young adults, although I did see a few hip aunties as well. Perhaps it's because it is a trial session, but I felt that the instructor who was guiding us wasn't really into it. She was skilled no doubt, but rather cold and did not bother to talk to us much. Didn't really leave a good impression on me, but hey, it's free.
It's located right smack in the heart of town, so it is really convenient. I heard good things about O School from a lot of my friends, so hopefully it was just a bad day for the dance teacher.
really affordable classes
O school is really one of the more affordable places to attend dance lessons regularly given each class is only $12 or $16 (depending on the level). The studios are spacious but even then, classes are really popular – especially with the youth – and can get rather crowded. The teachers are all really technically skilled and make the effort to incorporate a range of technique, conditioning and choreography in each class.
The only thing to note is that they use a prepaid card system with $25 put in at the start so you can’t just try out a single lesson without leaving some money left in the card. Yet that could be fantastic reason to head back for more lessons. Classes there are always fun, enjoyable and most importantly filled with people who absolutely love dancing.