Orchard Road Dancers Phoebe & Samantha Hope To Bring Smiles With Their Spontaneous Act
Phoebe Lim was in Tampines helping her friend with a photoshoot when she got a text from a good friend, Samantha Montano, asking if anyone wanted to be featured on Orchard Road Fashion.
The 20-year-old dance enthusiast agreed in the spirit of spontaneity. She went over to meet her 19-year-old buddy at the traffic junction in front of the H&M building, where they subsequently dished out some slick moves, grooving their way across Orchard Road.
Little did Phoebe and Samantha know they would be trending all over social media shortly after their spontaneous stint.
The dynamic duo spoke to MS News and called it a “convenient coincidence”, as they simply wanted to have fun and “live a little”.
Orchard Road dancers say that dance was unplanned
On Saturday (16 Sep), Samantha was in the area finding interviewees for a shoot, dressed in dance clothes as she intended to head for dance afterwards.
She suddenly recalled the ‘What’s Your Jam’ Challenge by Orchard Road Fashion, featuring people who showcased their outfits and dance moves while crossing Orchard Road.
The challenge takes place every weekend, and like the stars aligning, the pair found themselves primed to participate.
Phoebe, the lass with long black hair, said she was supposed to be heading elsewhere but felt the strong urge to just go for it.
Sure enough, the guy behind Orchard Road Fashion was in the midst of capturing features for the account. And so, he recorded the viral dance when Phoebe and Samantha were ready.
“Samantha and I are always spontaneous when it comes to dance and opportunities.
“Neither of us was really scared about what we did. What I didn’t expect was trending on the Internet,” said Phoebe, adding that going viral on other platforms was certainly not part of the plan.
Waited for pedestrians to cross
So, how did everything go?
Samantha said they had to wait for other pedestrians to cross first before breaking into a dance. “There was a solid 30 seconds left for the Green Man. It was more than enough time. The roads were also empty by then because most pedestrians have crossed over to the other side.”
Phoebe also noted they made sure the crowd had crossed over to avoid bumping into anyone.
The girls had their AirPods — and moves — ready, with ‘Come Baby Come’ by K7 blaring into their ears.
If you’re wondering why they used AirPods instead of speakers, Samantha said they did not want the music volume to inconvenience others.
“I’m sure we might have looked crazy from a distance, jamming out to what may appear to others, in silence,” she laughed.
Passion for hip-hop
With such sick dance moves, one could easily guess Samantha was no beginner, and they would be right.
She told MS News that she started at 12, teaching herself for a year due to shyness. Eventually, she mustered up the courage to join the dance club, and learnt from there.
Although she liked all dance genres, hip-hop resonated with her the most.
As for Phoebe, whose first exposure to dance was through ballet at the age of three, she was most passionate about hip-hop freestyling. This fervour was sparked around 2021-2022.
However, she stopped in early 2023 to take a break.
“But because of this sensation, I am very motivated to give back to the dance community again, to inspire people to be confident and remind them that life doesn’t have to be boring,” she related.
Orchard Road dancers surprised at going viral
The virality of the dance video came as both “surreal and paradoxically natural” to both Samantha and Phoebe.
Natural because dancers, especially those in competitions or performances, get used to being recognised — the duo had performed at the Esplanade before.
Yet still surreal as neither expected to go viral for their street dance.
Phoebe shared that her university classmates were quick to recognise her. “During lunch break or after class, quite a few would come up to ask if I was really the Orchard Road Dancer.”
She also said, “My close friends and family are nothing but happy and supportive of me.”
Samantha’s family were pleased about it too, calling her a ‘celebrity’. She dismissed the label, though, expressing that the viral video was “a one-hit-wonder kind of thing”.
Her relatives overseas shared the videos with their friends and showered Samantha with support. As she is a Permanent Resident (PR), her parents even joked about being deported for it.
Did not intend to cause a ruckus or distract motorists
Of course, there was still the elephant in the room — the critical and negative comments about their dance.
Samantha acknowledged that she understood where the comments came from. Speaking only for herself and her intentions, she said they did not intend to harm pedestrians or violate traffic laws.
Samantha acknowledged that she felt discomfort at being stared at by hundreds of pedestrians and motorists. Yet once the dance began, she “really couldn’t care less”.
“It was just me, Phoebe, and the music,” she recalled. “We were just dancing, there was no stopping when we’d already started, I was just sucked into the moment.”
Growing up in Singapore, Samantha felt the “already beautiful city needs a little more life sometimes”. The dance was not meant for any attention-grabbing or ruckus-causing.
They only wanted to do the ‘What’s Your Jam’ Challenge, have fun, and “live a little”.
Phoebe echoed Samantha’s sentiments, stressing that “showing off” or being “attention seeking” wasn’t the main goal. “We just wanted to vibe and bring some smiles to the people around Orchard Road.”
“People romanticise life in their heads. Why not, once in a while, do it on the outside too?” Samantha said.
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Featured image adapted from orchardroadfashion on Instagram and courtesy of Samantha Montano.
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