On the 4th of December, 2013, 6 typically average students of Form 1M in Sekolah Sri Tenby made their first appearance on stage during the school’s annual Superstar Awards Ceremony.
It all started when our homeroom teacher, Puan Gan, motivated the class to do a performance for the ceremony. We all initially thought it was no big deal and decided to play it out as we go. Out of the students, 6 of them volunteered to perform. The class collectively voted on a song titled ‘Trap’ by Henry. With only 2 months to prepare, intensive training sessions were held over the holidays. An empty room, a phone and a speaker was all we had to work with. Nevertheless, we all took on a whole new challenge in rehearsing the dance until we reached perfection - or at least, as near as could be with that timeframe. And believe it or not, these sessions turned out to be so fun that we looked forward to every one of them.
Soon enough, the big day arrived as we huddled up as a team and made it a promise to each other to perform to our utmost potential in order to make the class and Puan Gan proud. The audience cheered throughout every second of our debut performance. Thanks to the popularity of K-Pop, our song was widely recognised and was set apart from the other performances. One thing nobody else noticed throughout the performance, was that our initial stage fright was gone. The exhilarating feel of performing and adrenaline banished the shakes and tremors we had.
Even though errors were made, our group of average joes managed to step up to the challenge of performing in a new school which made all of us gain the confidence to perform again. As 2014 drew near, we were separated into different classes. Despite that, we all remained as a team and decided to make our second appearance - you could say we were starting to get addicted to performing. Now, without our former classmates performing with us as backup singers, it was definitely a new challenge for us to face once more. Having decided on the new song for this year, ‘Error’ by VIXX, everyone got to business once again as we struggled to go above and beyond in our choreography and coordination. To show her support, one of the members’ mom decided to get us matching clothes for 2014’s performance - shoutout to you Auntie Lim! Everyone looked more confident than we were back in 2013 - even though we had just one prior performing experience - we huddled together backstage again, preparing ourselves for the big, shining moment.
As a result, we got another round of cheers and, to our delighted surprise, a standing ovation by the audience as our second performance ended with a prominent improvement from last year. Unfortunately, one of our members had to transfer to a new school and so, had to leave the group. However, we promised to keep in touch and would reunite someday. With 5 members remaining, the group stepped into 2015, where our biggest challenge yet was an upcoming major exam. We were once again filtered into different classes, and had to cope with our studies along with preparing for our third performance. To give you a mental image of how it felt like: quick, look right and left at the same time! Did that make sense to you? Exactly my point.
But through efficient time management and hard work, we breezed through the exams effortlessly. Once the exams were over, we could finally devote our heart and soul to the third performance: dancing to ‘I Need U’ by BTS. Since we were now 2 members short, we recruited new members to fill in the gaps. In addition, a new aspect was added into the Superstar Awards Ceremony to create a more competitive environment for performers. Our unanimously chosen group leader was very serious regarding this and took over as our choreography drilling instructor. He made us repeat movement after movement until we were thoroughly worn out. Although it was very tiring, everyone persevered as we knew that it would eventually pay off on the big day. Sure enough, we won the “Overall Best Performance” trophy.
Our minds blanked out as we held the trophy in our hands, celebrating our victory all we felt was pride and such a strong sense of camaraderie. And yet another unfortunate event occurred as one of our members, transferred to another school again, and like before, we promised to keep in touch in the future as well.
The team then moved on to 2016. With a vacancy, the group recruited a new member to join in our journey as we prepared for our final performance in the end-of-year competition. With a new song from the same idol group as before, we chose Fire by BTS. Fierce competition raged between the performers for that year, things were getting tense for the team as we struggled once more with synchronising our timing, movements and positions. Hours upon hours upon hours were spent just on perfecting our movements -- right down to the angles of our shoulders and hands. Everyone was exhausted but found it worthwhile to go the extra mile for our final performance to show the school our hard work and persistence.
Unfortunately, we all know that success is not an everlasting aspect in our life as every legend and master will eventually be surpassed. That applied to us as well. We didn’t get the trophy last year. Obviously, we were in despair and no one was spared from the tears and disappointment of defeat. Regardless of how much effort we had put in this final attempt to defend our winning title, it was all for naught. At least, that’s what we had thought. Little did we realise at that how much we learned and gained from these four years. We learned how much work and commitment was needed to achieve something we really wanted, how consistency and perseverance was the greatest key to success, and how incredibly important unity is.
Even though members came and went, we still keep in touch, we still talk as if nothing had changed. Our unity may have only been born from our high on winning and performing, but it developed into something so much greater: it became the strongest bond we all have ever felt. Still, to this day, we are each others’ brothers-in-arms, willing to fight and defend one another to the death.
Another lesson that has seared itself into our minds was this - even if we didn’t want it: success is the result of perfection, hard work, consistency, perseverance and learning from failure. Throughout these 4 years, we have created special memories and bonds with each other that cannot be severed, our legacy will remain intact within everyone’s mind to remind us all of the triumph in the past few years including the burning passion and enthusiasm which refuses to be extinguished no matter what.
And to our teammates, who may be reading this now, a dedication to you guys: We were born of different seeds, from places near and far; we've witnessed friends -- brothers -- come and go, from being nobodies to somebody; we went through pain and ache, enjoyed victory and suffered defeat; we grew out of our comfort zone, leaving behind fantasy and pushing into reality. Although we did not have a first place trophy as a full stop to end our sentence of our story, but in reality, our story wasn’t meant to have a period. This legacy of ours will know no end, and may our passion and determination lead us to greater heights in life. We might all go our separate ways soon, but even if we're far apart, we'll always be near at heart. Together, we worked hard, and played even harder. We are Leboyz, just a bunch of boys determined to make our dreams into our reality. This is our story. This is our legacy.