Cultural Showcase and the Interest Group Experience at PGP

Missed out on Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour tickets in March? Residents at Prince George’s Park (PGP) got to enjoy a night of fusion cultural performances that were just as exciting – if we may say so ourselves! Hosted by Pioneer House, performers from various interest groups of the three respective houses (Pioneer House, LightHouse and Helix House) came together on a Tuesday night to jam and dance the night away. Let’s hear from three performers about the preparation of the PGP Cultural Showcase and what the interest group experience at the houses is like!


Pioneer House 

For Rachel Ou (Year 4, Life Sciences), the Cultural Showcase was a huge learning experience. “I’m really happy with the performance we put up! It was also nice to see the process of our item coming together over the few months of preparing for the showcase! After all, it is a learning journey and a new experience for most of us,” she shared. As the dance captain of Pioneer House Dance, Rachel was also one of the choreographers and performers at the Cultural Showcase.  

Preparation for the Cultural Showcase did not come easy as Rachel had to come up with a storyline for her choreography. Despite the challenges, she found the preparation process amusing. “I think it was quite a funny process for me and my fellow choreographer. I really wanted to choreograph “Don’t Blame Me” by Taylor Swift, so we started from there. We then sat down to choose another song, and we ended up with “Ex-calling” by 6LACK because we liked the song,” she laughed. Combining both songs, they wrote a storyline of the dancers being desperate exes. The desperation was strikingly conveyed through their dance performance! 

Other than a storyline and choreography, Rachel also had to decide on the outfit theme with her team. “We were searching for flowy oversized shirts and ultimately decided on maroon and brown because we thought these colours could match each other and they seemed to tie in with our storyline as well. My fellow choreographer decided to name our item “red flags” from there,” she shared.  


Rachel (bottom row, first from left) performing “Ex Calling” by 6LACK and “Don’t Blame Me” by Taylor Swift with fellow Pioneer Dance performers. 

Pioneer Dance holds dance sessions once weekly, where short choreographies are taught. Instead of having open classes every week as usual, the interest group spent most of their sessions this semester preparing for the Cultural Showcase. Last semester, Pioneer Dance also spent much of their time preparing for their Halloween performance. The amount of effort, time and dedication poured by every performer into their performances is admirable! As part of Pioneer Dance, Rachel reflected, “I think the fun parts are getting to bond with the other members during our sessions and the show day itself!” 



For Teh Chern (Year 1, Mathematics), the Cultural Showcase was a successful event. “The audio, the lighting, the decorations, everyone put in the effort to make it a success. We had so much fun performing on stage too,” he fondly recalled. In LightHouse, residents can join the band-jamming interest group Soundhouse to meet liked-minded peers and form their own bands within the interest group, and that was exactly what Chern did. Together with his band “Fortnite Skin Collection”, they played the last songs of the showcase, “Give Me Novacaine” and “She’s a Rebel” by Green Day.

When asked about the preparation for the event, Chern shared “We had more performers as ours was a collective performance where we switched performers for different songs. It wasn’t easy for everyone to get together to practise, but we managed to pull everything off during the actual showcase.” Soundhouse’s performance at the Cultural Showcase consisted of nine performers in total. 

Held two days before the actual event, the rehearsal had to coordinate nine bands and dance teams. With audio adjustments and sound checking coming into the picture, the rehearsal took almost half a day to complete. Despite the long hours, Chern noticed the tough job the event team had to take up. “Props to the event team who had to move and prepare all the heavy equipment during the rehearsal and the actual day itself,” Chern acknowledged. The famous Chinese proverb that says “Ten years of practice for one minute on stage” has never been truer! 

At Soundhouse, the band usually meets up once a week for around two hours to jam to songs that they are in the mood to play for the session. 


Chern (second row, second from left) with fellow Soundhouse performers Namit, Zhanhong, Kishan, Erwin, Roma, Alyssa, Letizia and Nicholas (in clockwise order).  


Helix House 

For Rachel Tan (Year 3, Electrical Engineering), the Cultural Showcase was an exceptional experience. “The experiences and bonds formed were priceless. The performance turned out great as well, with the audience hyping us up. It felt like our efforts paid off due to the great turnout rate and crowd response. It was also the first time performing for some of the Helix dancers, and they enjoyed this performance opportunity,” she shared.  

As Helix Dance Society’s Interest Group Leader, Rachel also choreographed part of the dance item and coordinated the dance practices and performance for the showcase. At the Cultural Showcase, the respective dance interest groups of Helix House and LightHouse came together to deliver a joint performance. 

Just like every other performer, Helix Dance Society practised for hours throughout the semester, even late into the night at times.  

Helix Dance Society mainly holds two sessions a week. On Tuesdays, they hold joint practice sessions with Lighthouse’s dance interest group. During these open class joint sessions, the regular members will teach various choreographies to the attendees. Apart from regular members, dance professionals occasionally teach choreographies during the open classes. With such variety of practice sessions, members can then explore more genres and eventually find their preferred dance styles.   


Rachel (front row, third from left) with her fellow Helix Dance Society Performers. 


What a night for the PGP residents! We hope that through this article, you managed to gain some insight into what the interest groups at the houses are like! Like the CCAs offered in Halls, the interest groups at PGP are just as active and diverse. With interest groups ranging from sports to crafts and ground-up initiatives, residents are spoilt for choice! Apart from the existing interest groups, residents can also start their own. In fact, all three houses have seen new interest groups formed just over the last year!  


Tan Jie Min

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