5th Gatsby Dance Competition 2013

Image taken from the Gatsby Dance facebook page

Are you ready to get your groove on? The finals of the 5th annual Gatsby Dance Competition was held on 2nd Feb 2013 at Far East Plaza centerstage, with dancers vying for the the grand prize of $3,000 cash and the chance to represent Singapore in Tokyo for the regional Finals!

The Stage is set and the crowd is all hyped up as we wait for the appearance of the first of the finalists.

Look at the crowd!!

All packed even up to the fourth floor!

This year saw a total of 29 sign-ups wowing the crowds and impressing the judges with various styles of dance ranging from hip hop, street jazz, waacking, voguing and many others. I'm always impressed by the number of young, talented dancers appearing in our local scene. Singaporeans can dance too okay!

We were provided with "handy" [pardon the pun] clappers to save our palms from being sore from all that clapping.

Met fellow blogger Darren Sim at the event too! I have been getting to know more and more bloggers from attending all these events! It's always good to expand your social circle!

We had well-known dancers from Japan: Fishboy and Charisma Kantaro, as well as our very own Felix Huang and Tina Wang gracing the event as the judges of this final. I'm sure they had a really difficult time deciding on the winners as all of the finalists gave their best in their performances.

The four fantastic judges on the GATSBY poster!

Next up, photo spam of our finalists in the midsts of their performances!

Last year's winners: The Basic Fives

Cute, Fun and Cuddly: 88's

Turning on the Sexy: ASH

From Krumping to Lyrical: Freaky Nutz

The girls who ain't afraid to flaunt what they got: LB! Femmes

The only solo finalist (his name says it all): Sir Waackalot

Hip-hop themed: Team YOMO

Our very own Singapore Ninjas: We Will Be Back

Having joined SIM Hip-Hop dance crew in my university days, I have always been influenced by and admired dance crews that entertain the crowd with their performances rather than crews that focus purely on the choreography and techniques.

I strongly believe that watching a dance performance is just like watching a movie in the cinema. You can have plenty of gunfights, visual effects and explosions, but it will never be a GREAT movie unless it has a good storyline.

It's the same for dance. Even if the dancers have the world's best techniques, personally I don't feel that a performance is a good performance unless the crowd is entertained and amazed at the same time. There were a few performances that managed to do that during the finals, however, I still feel that this is an area in which Singapore dance crews can improve upon.

When dancing, we should not put our focus on getting the choreography right or executing the techniques correctly. That should be done during all the practice sessions prior to the performance. But during the performance itself, the most important thing to do is to enjoy yourself and enjoy the performance. Only when the performers are enjoying it themselves, will the audience feel that contagious energy and fun.

As quoted by guest judge Charisma Kantaro: "The participants showed a tremendous amount of discipline and skill, as well as the energy that all dancers should possess. There is plenty of talent for dance among Singapore's youth. The winner, in particular, demonstrated the best combination of dance, technique, entertainment and styling. We are delighted with the high standards that the Singapore leg of the 5th GATSBY Dance Competition has set."

Guest Judge Charisma Kantaro

Guest Judge Fishboy

While the results were being tabulated, there were these 2 GATSBY WAX mascots roaming around near the stage area... Hey wait a minute... That purple wax container looks familiar... That's my friend from SIM dance club too! Dance really brings people together one way or another!

GATSBY wax mascots

Announcing the results of the 5th GATSBY Dance Competition 2013 Singapore leg....

The Creative Dance Award goes to We Will Be Back for their unique and storyline and playacting.

Creative Dance Award - We Will Be Back

The Fan Favourite Award goes to 88's with a total of 530 likes for their video. They were my favourite performance in the finals too! Too bad they didn't make it to the top 3. :(

Fan Favourite Award - 88's

The Stylish Group Award goes to ASH for their Vouga-licious makeup and costumes. Sadly I couldn't find their performance on youtube. :(

Stylish Group Award - ASH

The GATSBY Award (2nd Runner-up) goes to The Basic Fives!

GATSBY Award (2nd Runner-up) - The Basic Fives

The Great BATSBY Award (1st Runner-up) goes to Freaky Nutz!!

The Great GATSBY Award (1st Runner-up) - Freaky Nutz

and the winner of the GATSBY Dance Competition 2013 Singapore goes to......

Our only solo finalist: Amin Alifin A.K.A. Sir Waackalot!!!!

Catch his heart-stomping performance here

The Greatest GATSBY Award (First Prize!) - Sir Waackalot (Amin Alifin)

All teams were invited on stage once again to snap the all important group photo! Say GATSBY DANCE!

Group Photo of all the finalists

Congratulations to Amin Alifin for winning the $3,000 cash prize, but more importantly the chance to represent Singapore in the grand finals held in Tokyo, Japan. We'll all be rooting for you Sir Waackalot!!

GATSBY Dance Competition 2013 Singapore Champion!

Watching all these young dancers just makes me wanna get back into the dance scene... How I miss the times when I was dancing every other day...

Here's a snipplet of SIM DWZ during my dancing days... See if you can spot me :P
[You ain't hard to spot. Just look for the shortest guy there...]

On a side note, there's also an attractive GATSBY giveaway for this event happening over at Mint Leong's blog! So remember to read up on her post which will be updated soon!

[Review] My New Crizal UV Glasses for the New Year

Just in time for Chinese New Year, I managed to get my new pair of Crizal UV glasses!

We all know that UV rays are harmful to our skin and can cause skin burn and even some forms of skin cancer. We consciously make the effort to take care of our skin by trying not to stay out in the sun for too long, [especially with Singapore's scorching heat] and to apply sunblock when we have to stay in the sun.

But how many of us have ever put in the effort to protect our EYES from UV rays? Did you know that UV exposure has been proven to accelerate eye aging and the appearance of cataracts, amongst other vision problems? Research has also shown that a whooping 40% of UV rays can reach our eyes even when we are not in full sunlight! To make matters worse, sunlight is not the only source of UV rays, they can even come from other sources of light!

Crizal UV

I believe that other than wearing a pair of shades while out in the sun, most humans are at a loss when it comes to UV protection for their eyes. But fret not, Essilor is proud to present it's latest breakthrough! Crizal UV lenses that offer both front and back UV protection, a first in the market.

Most UV protective eyewear lenses are able to block the harmful UV light from the front, however, UV light  is also being reflected back into our eyes from the insides of your eyewear. Take a look at this:

Ouch! That's like having a magnifying glass focus the UV rays straight into your eyes!

The new Crizal UV coating provides 360-degree UV protection for the eyes by minimising visible and UV reflection from the back, providing protection from both the front and the back of its lenses.

Existing claims of "100% UV Protection" lenses only block 100% of the UV transmission from the front of the lenses. With this new findings, a new protection index called the Eye-Sun Protection Factor (E-SPF) has been developed to take into account UV light coming from all directions.

Crizal UV lenses come with a 25 E-SPF rating, which means that the wearer is 25 times more protected against UV than without any lenses. Learn more about E-SPF here.

What's more, Crizal UV lens start from $150.00. That's a small price to pay for full-fledged UV protection for your eyes!

crizal UV

I've always been more of a contact lens person, preferring to wear contact lenses whenever I go out [yes, we all know how vain you are...] instead of my glasses. Normally I would only wear my glasses at home or when my eyes [more like eyebags...] are in bad shape.

However, the good people at Crizal UV by Essilor have offered to sponsor my new Crizal UV lenses! The only downside is that I have to pay for the frames. Well, at least I get to choose the frames that I want. Now that I have my stylish glasses, I'm not afraid to wear them out in public any more!!

Babygirl and I went down to the Capitol Optical Outlet at Tampines Mall, but sadly we didn't find any frames that could catch our attention there. So we made another trip to their outlet at Raffles Place Shopping Centre. [Read up on what she had to say here]

Specs Day Out!
It's a Specky day out! 

First, the friendly optician [so sad that we forgot her name!] did the standard vision tests for both of us...

Testing Testing
Testing Testing 1,2,3...

Can you read the last line?
Can you read the last line?

And I am proud to say that for the very first time, my eyesight prescription STAYED THE SAME!!!

Usually when I visit the optician for an eye test, they will always tell me that my eyesight has worsened and my prescription degree has to be increased. Woohoo! Hopefully my eyesight has finally stabilised!

Colin Test Specs

Next up, it was baby's turn to run the test...

Eye Machine
Scanning... Scanning...

While we are trying to focus on a house on the horizon from our end, I've always wondered what the optician sees on their end. From the way she's holding the joystick, it looks like she's playing pac-man or something.

Who knows, maybe it is all a conspiracy  the machine actually automatically detects your eyesight prescription, while the optician gets to play a quite game of pac-man or pong while waiting, and their screen is inside of the machine just to make them look like they are working!

Amazing Eye Test?
I wonder what's so fascinating... For me I only saw a bunch of letters

Funky Specs
They should make specs accessories like this! I would definitely buy it! Nerd + Cool all rolled in one!

Colin's Prescription
My personal prescription card!

After getting our eyesight checked, the next order of business was to choose a frame. If you have ever gone shopping with me, you will know how picky and choosy I am when buying stuff that cost a significant amount of money.

We tested through all the frames in the shop that caught our eyes, and I finally cut the selection down to just these 2...

Colin Choosing Specs

Mint Leong said that I look like an uncle when I was deciding between these 2. But in my opinion, this was the easiest way to compare them!

We finally decided on our frames and lenses, before paying up. The whole process of testing and choosing of frames took us about an hour! Now all we had to do was to patiently wait for our new glasses to arrive!

*Tick* *Tock* *Tick* *Tock*

*Fast Forward to 1 week later*

I got a call from Capitol Optical informing me that our glasses are ready for collection. Woohoo! I excited headed down to the shop after work. Hold your breath... Here comes the unboxing of my new Crizal UV Glasses!

New Specs
Guess which one belongs to who?


My chio new Ray-Ban glasses!

Now, time for the transformation!

*Plays transformer cyborgtic sounds*

Before Glasses    After Glasses
Before                                                                               After

Looks Good no?

Let's see what Crizal UV lens promises us...
Crizal Lens eliminates the 5 enemies of clear vision:

  • Repel Water
  • Repel Dust
  • Fight Smudges
  • Resist Scratches
  • Reduce Reflections

*Notice that it states "Dramatisation" on the bottom right near the start of the video.
Now let's put them to the test...

Test 1: Repel Water
I usually shower with my glasses on, so a simple test would be to go about my usual shower activities with my new Crizal Lenses on. Here's a shot of me just after my shower.

Oops... Looks like you can't believe everything you see on TV. There were still water droplets on my Crizal lenses, unlike the advertisement where they seem to slide off like marbles on a waxed floor.

However, it's obvious that no one would leave those water droplets on your lenses without cleaning them off. Now here comes the true power of the Crizal lenses...

With a single sheet of toilet paper, I wiped 1 side of my glasses in 1 single downward stroking motion and...

Woah! with just 1 wipe, all the water is gone! And it didn't even leave wipe marks!

But wait... There's more!

I used the SAME piece of tissue to wipe off the other side of the glasses and...

It's so clean and clear that it even seems like the lenses are not even there!! Bravo!!

Verdict: Repel Water - Passed!

Test 2: Repel Dust
For this test, I took some baby powder in my palm, and blew it towards my specs with some force. To get a better feel of the results, I did the same experiment with my previous glasses too!

And the results at the end of by "blowjob"...

 My old glasses

 My New Crizal Lenses

As you can see, there was substantially less powder stuck on the Crizal lenses as compared to my old glasses.

And I was even more surprised by how easy it was to completely blow the remaining powder off the lenses without even needing to wipe the lense!

Verdict: Repel Dust - Outstanding!

Test 3: Fight Smudges
One of the most irritating things that anyone wearing spectacles will experience is smudges and fingerprints on their lenses. Well, this seems to be a straight-forward test. All we have to do is to wipe my finger across the lenses and there should be smudges right?

Playing the fruit ninja on my Crizal lenses...

Look ma! No prints!

I took the test 1 step further by sliding my thumb and index finger across the lens...

And the results...

Yes, although there were a couple of smudge marks after my finger slide, the marks were very minimal and only appeared on places where I had exerted the most force on the lens. 

On top of that, with 1 single wipe of my shirt, all the smudge marks magically disappeared into thin air! 

Verdict: Fight Smudges - Passed!

Test 4: Resist Scratches
Now why would I even attempt to destroy my new glasses? I'm not retarded. [Although you sometimes look like one]  I'm just gonna assume that what they said for this is true.

Well, in fact, just by using normal toilet paper and even my clothes to wipe the lenses already proves to a certain extent that they are scratch resistant!

So here's a retarded looking picture inserted at random!

Assumed Verdict: Resist Scratches - Passed!

Test 5: Reduce Reflections
To test the effectiveness of the reduced reflections, used a digital camera to take a few photos of myself in a dark room with the camera flash on. If there were any reflections on the lenses, it would definitely show up.

Now I know why celebrities wear their shades everywhere. It's not because they wanna act cool, but the flashes from those crazy paparazzi cameras are really irritating!

And here's a shoot with the lights on, just for good measure.

I think I was almost blind by the end of this test...

If you look very closely, you will be able to see a teeny tiny white circle in some of the shots. Other than that tiny little dot [No, I'm not referring to Singapore], there was practically no reflection from the camera flash at all!

Again I'm amazed by the clarity of these lenses. It really looks like I'm wearing a frame without any lenses! Let's see if you can spot the difference! One of these photos is taken with my Crizal lenses while the other is taken with my lenses plastic nerd glasses!

Which is which?    Which is which?

Verdict: Reduce Reflections - Outstanding!

Well, all in all, it looks like Crizal lenses really are one of the top quality brands of lenses in the market. And to a certain extent, they do deliver as promised.

But the most impressive characteristic of all is not any of the 5 listed above, it is really it's UV protection. My eyes are quite sensitive to sunlight and previously with my old glasses, I tend to squint a fair bit when in direct sunlight.

However, with the power of Crizal UV protection topped off with transition lenses, I can now see the world in its full glory even when I'm out in direct Sunlight!