Thursday, January 1, 2009

Don't Worry, Be Happy And Carry On Dancing In The Year 2009!

Today is the first day of the New Year 2009. This year is the Year Of The Ox according to the Chinese calendar and which will officially begin on January 26. I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy And Prosperous New Year. In keeping with tradition, many people will be making New Year resolutions. Top of the list will usually be to keep fit and healthy. This time of the year will often see a surge in people going to the fitness centres, gyms and dance studios. And as has always happened in the past, we can expect to see a sharp drop in attendance come 3 months later and many will eventually drop out altogether. Talk about perseverance and tenacity!

Let us take a review of the dance happenings in 2008. Last year, several new styles of dancing were introduced to or promoted in Malaysia. Pole dancing was given a shot in the arm when Clorets organized the 1st Malaysia Amateur Pole Dance Competition. KFC Malaysia promoted the launch of its KFC Hotrods by organizing a Shuffle Dance Competition. KL Swing! introduced Malaysians to American Swing Dancing by conducting dance classes, workshops and having meet ups at a few locations in Kuala Lumpur. Several dancesport competitions were held and we also got to watch the second season of So You Think You Can Dance Malaysia; the finals of which was mired in controversy.

We were also fortunate to see a few world class performances. Bryan Watson and Carmen Vincelj, 9-times World Professional Latin American Dance champions and 7-times Blackpool Professional Latin American Dance champions gave a thrilling performance at Wisma OCM in KL on August 1. Wade Robson, dance choreographer extraordinaire of So You Think You Can Dance USA was in Malaysia to conduct a workshop for 80 privileged dancers at Celebrity Fitness in Petaling Jaya on October 18 & 19. Beto Perez, the founder of Zumba, a fitness program which is a fusion of Latin dance moves and aerobics was here in KL in March to help lay down the groundwork for starting the Zumba fitness program at California Fitness in KL.

All in all, it was a pretty exciting year where dancing was concerned. How will this year fare? Will new styles of dancing be introduced or promoted here? I am wishing that someone will bring in the American Smooth Dances and the New Vogue style from Australia. Both these styles allow for variations in ballroom dancing; for example, open body positions, shadow positions, underarm turns & lifts, and could give a breath of fresh air to the ballroom dancing scene here. Can we ever hope to see ballroom dance maestros, Marcus & Karen Hilton coming to Malaysia to perform or conduct classes? I understand that a Blackpool Ballroom Professional Grand Finalist will be coming to Malaysia in February of this year to conduct classes.Happy dancing!

Best Wishes For The New Year,

Dance Aficionado
Dancesport Malaysia

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