Dancing for a Good Cause

More than 80 street dance enthusiasts jived to the groove of the music as they pitted their skills and vied for a good cause at the Basswerk street dance party and battle held at Lucky Hall along Pearls Hill Terrace on 20 April. The event raised over $1,400 for the Singapore Red Cross' Gaza Humanitarian Crisis Response.  

Recounting the conception of the event, Baezia the Head of, and Marketing and Sales Lead for Basswerk, shared, "Deejay Bala has been organising music and street dance events in collaboration with SG Footwerkerz, a group of street dancers I am part of who practise and popularise a genre of dance known as Chicago Footwork in Singapore. In mid-March, Wild Pearl, an arts collective, offered Bala the use of Lucky Hall for a large-scale music and dance event. We thought it would be a great way to rally Singapore's street dance community for a good cause."

They roped in other dancers from the street dance scene, Eddie (a breakdancer), Ragani (a hip hop dancer) to raise funds for the affected communities in Gaza.

"It is a social cause we feel deeply about, as the war has adversely impacted innocent civilians. We wanted to raise funds and draw attention to the ongoing crisis. We hope the funds raised will provide essential food, shelter, and warmth to the civilians. We also want to convey the message that humanitarian causes transcend ethnic and religious divides. Ultimately, we are all human. It is integral to unite against unnecessary violence and tragedy. Our goal is to remind people that they can contribute in various ways. They can advocate to end violence, donate to provide aid to the affected communities in Gaza or even initiate fundraisers to raise awareness and support for humanitarian efforts," Baezia said. 

After brainstorming, they conceived 'Vibe Hunting', a battle format where dancers call each other out to earn points and make it to the finals. 

Garnering Support within a Tight Timeline

The team had to get things going within a tight 90-day timeline. Much work was put in, amid their full-time jobs. Baezia leveraged her experience in marketing and sales to publicise the event on social media platforms. 

"The knowledge that the funds raised could help someone suffering spurred us to push through despite the tough parts of planning and galvanising the community. Our strong, and recognisable brand helped to draw people to our event. We kept discussing with the community to motivate them to fundraise," Baezia said.

With a wealth of experience forging partnerships and organising events, Ragani and Eddie tapped into their connections in the local street dance scene to find the right talent. 

"We were surprised by how many talented dancers volunteered to help. Some big names even agreed to be the judges for our event. We garnered the support of diverse dancers representing different styles, all passionate about fundraising to support a good cause," Baezia said. 

Decluttering for the Big Day

Lucky Hall, the venue for Basswerk, needed a deep spring cleaning to be event-ready. The SG Footwerkerz members, performers and even several judges, went the extra mile to assist the organisers in sprucing up the space. 

"They sacrificed their precious Friday night to haul heavy objects across the hall, dispose of rubbish, plan the layout for dance and music, set up the ticket booth, test lighting and systems, and transform Lucky Hall into the ideal venue for Basswerk," Baezia said. 

Yet, their spirits were high, with plenty of laughter and enthusiasm permeating the air. 

Overwhelming Support

Initially, the organisers were uncertain if anyone would attend the Basswerk event. 

Yet, people turned up in droves at the Basswerk event; more than 80 dancers, five judges, 20 performers, four deejays, and four ticketing volunteers. 

"It was heartening to see the outpouring of support. The street dance community showed up in force and many people generously donated by scanning the QR codes on posters scattered around Lucky Hall," Baezia said.

The ambience was electrifying as the dancers were teeming with zestful vigour as they grooved to the rhythms of the upbeat music. 

"From the judges spontaneously doing a Kallang Wave, which was caught on camera, to the infectious energy of everyone fully engaging in Vibe Hunting and the camaraderie emerging through battle, the atmosphere was electric," Baezia said.

"The event was a resounding success, not only because of the funds raised and the number of participants, but also because of the positive experiences at Basswerk. Many people thanked us, the organisers, for the experience and enquired when Basswerk would be held again," Baezia said. 

Rallying in Solidarity for a Cause Greater Than Ourselves

Baezia perceives the Basswerk event as one of the proudest accomplishments of her life.

"It was uplifting to witness the spirit of solidarity as people rallied to dance, unite, and forge meaningful connections to support the Gaza Response, a cause greater than ourselves. It exemplified the essence of what a community should be. It emphasised the importance of standing by each other, even across continents. Everyone put in their best efforts on the dance floor, revelling in the music and the vitality of life to help those who cannot experience it in another country. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and looking at the photos we captured, it's evident that everyone left feeling fulfilled and uplifted when they danced for a good cause," Baezia said.

Photo by Hams Luminiq

Inspired? Contribute to Gaza or the Singapore Red Cross' local humanitarian services through Grateful Hearts Day