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It just breaks my heart that my RiB journey had to end so soon. I started joining the competition back when I was in first year, when the leader of ARSADT was really just letting me audition for formality’s sake. I didn’t know how seriously the team took the competition back then, so I thought the level that we were going at was a level where the best of the best were at. I thought it was the same with other teams. How wrong I was.

Words can’t do my emotions justice right now, but it’s the closest thing I have to letting this steam out. I miss ARSA and how willing the whole dorm community was to give us the best choreographer out there. We aimed not just to win and get the prize money, but to win and give glory to the whole dorm community. That’s why we didn’t care how much the choreographer’s talent fee was, even if it left us on a deep debt three years ago. For us, it was all about the glory and pride we’d bring home after the eliminations, and ultimately the finals.

It wasn’t just because we were all living on the same roof, but because everyone was willing to give up something else for the team. Despite the long tests, other org commitments, and whatever excuse a student can cook up, we were all on the game. Everyone had an initiative to catch up on the choreo on their own pace. Though people were missing, blockings “bungi”, we were still able to move on with the routine because we had a guide who knew how to keep tabs on what was going on. When left alone, we would have been stuck on the same level, without anyone pushing us. To do the routine over and over again will never be a warm up, nor will it improve the team’s endurance or even far off, performance. To reach the level just before perfection, a team needs to polish step by step. Then run the routine in marking to set the blocking straight. Also, the routine should have a rest segment where everyone can catch their breath.

For dance to show a story, it need not be done literally. By mere movements, dancers can tell a story. A routine need not be different and eccentric too, to stand up. It might actually do the contrary. Just because a team’s routine is different does it mean that it has the most advantage. It’s the contrary.

Do you get my point?

Without a choreographer, there’s no direction. Especially when the acting leader of a team does not utilize his members’ strengths to highlight the routine. Leaders don’t need to be the center of attention in a piece; who knows, someone might actually be better than the leader. That someone just wasn’t given enough time to shine because the leaders just had to be the center of attention in the routine.

In a group routine, playing up to the majority’s strengths is important. If one selfish person wants to do a style of dance just so he can show the world his strengths, without taking into account everyone else’s, the whole team might go down.

ARSA follows that formula, and for that very reason I miss them. We took time to sit down and take away from the routine segments that don’t do the theme justice even if it’s our favorite. We take time to sit down and decide on a costume. And we stick to our decisions. We don’t just say ‘bahala na’ and comfort ourselves with the thought that someone out there is worse than us. We set the bar high, we work our asses off, and we commit.

Joining a competition is all about hoping that we win. Joining a competition and occupying oneself with the things that happen in between the preparations is not the goal of joining a competition. Despite being goal-oriented, we’re still close to each other. We just know how to set our goals straight. We don’t justify losing by the bonds that we’ve establish on the way.

Now that I’m an outsider, I can definitely say that this formula works. I miss this.