Monday, March 30, 2009

Swan Link Dance Studio To Organize Dance Teacher Training Course

Swan Link Dance Studio of Kuala Lumpur will be organizing a dance teacher training course at its studio at 4th Floor, Wisma Ho Po, 65 Cangkat Thambi Dollah, Pudu, 55100 Kuala Lumpur. To be conducted by its principal, Chong Kim Yee, the course will prepare students for the Ballroom Associate examinations of the Imperial Society Of Teachers Of Dancing (ISTD) to be held in Kuala Lumpur in October this year. The classes will cover the bronze syllabi of 4 Ballroom dances, namely Waltz, Quickstep, Tango and Foxtrot.

The course will consist of 20 lessons of 3 hours each to be held on Saturdays from 2 to 5 pm. Classes will commence this Saturday, April 4. Chong Kim Yee (Fellow ISTD Ballroom & Licentiate ISTD Latin American), who established Swan Link Dance Studio in 1990 is a well known dancer and instructor in Malaysia and has trained many champions and dance teachers through the years. For more information regarding this dance teacher training course, kindly contact Chong at 6012-2215727 or email:

The Imperial Society Of Teachers Of Dancing (ISTD) with its headquarters at Imperial House, 22-26 Paul Street, London EC2A 4QE, England, is the leading dance examinations board in the world. It was founded on July 25 1904 at the Hotel Cecil in Convent Garden, London and was initially known as The Imperial Society Of Dance Teachers. The name was changed to the Imperial Society Of Teachers Of Dancing in 1925.

The ISTD is today a registered educational charity and is the only organization that covers the full spectrum of dance examinations on a truly global scale. Every year, about 250,000 people are examined, for which the ISTD provides grade examinations and medal tests to assess their proficiency. The many styles of dances for which the students are examined include Ballet, Modern, Tap, National, Classical Greek, Disco, Ballroom and Latin American.

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

KoRock Of Japan Wins Gatsby Styling Dance Contest Asian Finals

Last year, Mandom Corporation of Japan co-organized the Gatsby Styling Dance Contest in several Asian countries, namely Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. Mandom said that the aim of the contest is to create a new dance genre of "style dance" in order to support creative activities of young Asians and provide a forum for cultural interaction among young people of various Asian countries. In Malaysia, the finals of the contest was held last December at 1 Utama in Petaling Jaya and was won by Elecoldxhot who took home a cash prize of RM 2000 and the chance to compete in the Grand Finals in Tokyo, Japan.

The Grand Finals which was held on February 28 2009 at East-O in the chic district of Shibuya in Tokyo offered a glimpse of the dance scenes across the participating countries - be it hip hop, popping, locking or breakdance. Malaysia's very own Exelcoldhot put up a performance comprising of a mix of different styles and which depicted a story about two boys trying to pick up girls. Freedom Squad from Indonesia blended cultural elements into their choreography and staged an entertaining dance with an Indonesian flavour.

Hong Kong's Bloos Dynamite showed off their kungfu moves in a slow dance routine which incorporated wave and popping. Donning black tradional Chinese costumes, the dancers stood out from the rest of the other contestants. Not to be outdone, Pop On The Basic from South Korea, KGS from Taiwan and Floor Techniques Crew from Singapore also put up creditable performances. It was Japan's Korock who brought the house down with a a well-choreographed and energetic dance routine to emerge champions of this inaugural contest.

The three-men dance crew from The Land Of The Rising Sun won the Greatest Gatsby Award and 300,000 Yen (RM11,250) prize money. Bloos Dynamite, the runners up, took home a 100,000 Yen (RM3750) cash prize. Elecoldxhot and Floor Techniques Crew bagged the Grooving Awards while Freedom Squad and Pop On The Basic were awarded the Technique Awards. The Styling Awards went to KoRock, Bloos Dynamite and KGS. The guest performers - Japan's U-Min No Kokoro, Egu-Splosion, Overflow, Isopp & O-Hashi, Affect and Lil' B and Indonesia's Hamdi Fathi Basalamah had the crowd excited with their dancing skills and great showmanship.

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> Elecoldxhot Wins Gatsby Styling Dance Contest With Stylish Performance

Monday, March 23, 2009

Salsa With Gavin Chan And Sally Oh At Outcast Dance Studio

With his slim and fit physique and hair tied back in a ponytail, Gavin Chan has the aura and persona of a dancer. Gavin is indeed an internationally trained and recognized dancer/instructor and one of Malaysia's most accomplished salseros. Besides salsa for which he is well known, Gavin is also does other genres like Hip Hop, House, African/Afro-Cuban and Electric Boogaloo. His passion for dancing and the journey that he has taken to achieve what he has set out to do can only leave us with respect and maybe a little envy.

Born in Petaling Jaya 29 years ago, Gavin's parents sent him for singing classes when he was nine years old. During lessons, Gavin had to sing on stage and also act as a backup dancer for the other singers as well. As his voice started to break, Gavin soon lost interest in singing. Gavin then went on to learn hip hop during his early teens. After his secondary education, he flew to Australia to further his studies where he obtained a first degree and later a Masters in Commerce. While studying in Australia Gavin fell in love with salsa and attended salsa classes at night while studying during the day.

From Australia, Gavin moved to the USA and stayed in New York to soak in the dance culture there. In the Big Apple, he met up with other dance groups and started to dance and perform there. He was practically dancing day and night. Through his contacts there, Gavin had the opportunity to perform and teach in places such as Germany, China, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia. With the experience that he had gained from these stints, Gavin decided to return home to Malaysia to teach and impart his knowledge and skills.

Gavin and his partner, Sally Oh initially taught freelance at the different dance studios here but have since decided on opening their own dance studio called Outcast Dance Studio at 1-5 Dataran Petaling Utama, Jalan Masjid, PJU6A, Petaling Jaya. One distinguishing feature of Outcast Dance Studio is that they teach four different styles of Salsa: New York On 2, New York On 1, Cuban and Colombian style. Besides Salsa, the studio also offers classes in Hip Hop, Street, House, Ballroom, Latin American, Swing, Pole, and Belly Dance. For more information, contact Gavin at telephone no. 012-2495785.

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Hugh Hefner's Ex-Girlfriend Holly Madison Competes In Dancing With The Stars

Dancing With The Stars (DWTS) Season 8 premiered in the USA on March 9 2009 with 13 celebrity contestants taking part. Two of the original 13 contestants namely, Jewel and Nancy O' Dell had to sit it out due to injuries sustained during pre-show dance rehearsals. Holly Madison, former Playboy model and ex-girlfriend of Hugh Hefner, and who is now being seen on The Girls Next Door replaced singer Jewel who broke both her tibias (shin bones). Madison who admitted she did not really have any dance experience, performed the cha cha cha with her partner Dmitry Chaplin and scored 18 out of 30 points from the judges.

Melissa Rycroft, a former Dallas Cowboy cheerleader who has a background in ballet stood in for Nancy O' Dell who tore the meniscus in her knees. Rycroft's past dance experience helped her and partner Tony Dovolani earn 23 points for their waltz. Giles Marini who performed the cha cha cha with Cheryl Burke scored 24 points to become the top dancer in round 1. Steve Wozniak who did the same dance with Karina Smirnoff was at the bottom of the list with 13 points. Each week, the contestants had to perform one of two dances chosen for the show. For the first week, it was the cha cha cha or the waltz. For the second, it was the salsa or the quickstep.

Injury seems to have hit many contestants in this and previous seasons of Dancing With The Stars. For this season, Gilles Marini suffered tendonitis in the shoulders whilst Steve Wozniak sprained his foot during rehearsals. Both have however chosen to continue dancing in the competition. Steve-O is considering pulling out from the competition due to a back injury sustained while practising the salsa. How on earth did Jewel fracture both her shin bones? What dance figure was she practising when she was injured? Winning the DWTS crown may be prestigious, but do the contestants really have to go for broke? (Pardon the pun!)

Those social dancers out there or those who are contemplating taking up dancing as a pastime are well advised to know their own fitness level. If you intend to take up "strenuous" dances like pole dance or breakdance and if you have not been exercising for quite some time, it is advisable to do a medical check up before signing up at a dance studio. Forget about the Quickstep Scatter Chasses or the Vienesse Waltz Fleckerls if you find yourself breathless or feeling dizzy. These figures are not for the beginners or the not-so-fit. Dance some of the basic or simple figures instead. Or maybe take up line dancing. Happy Dancing!

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Monday, March 16, 2009

New Vogue Very Much In Vogue Down Under

The New Vogue dance style is an Australian form of sequence dancing which originated in the 1930s when some Australian dancers rebelled against the formal and rigid footwork of the English Old Time dances, and started to choreograph sequence dances based on the Modern Ballroom technique. Len Hourigan of Brisbane coined the term "New Vogue" for these dances. Like English Old Time or American Smooth, New Vogue has many open positions such as open holds and shadow positions.

In New Vogue dancing, every couple on the floor performs the same steps at the same time, and at the end of the sequence, the steps are repeated. This makes New Vogue dances relatively easy to learn, as beginners can easily imitate the steps of fellow dancers on the floor. The dances typically have 8, 16 or 32 bar sequences, and so need music with a similar musical phrasing. New Vogue dances have been choreographed to all the popular dance rhythms including Modern Ballroom, Latin American, Bossa Nova and March.

The basic holds, alignments and footwork are standardized, but the dancers are allowed to improvise their own shaping, styling and arm movements which makes these dances very expressive to dance and a joy to watch. For example, when performing the throwaway oversway figure, the man might use both arms to hold the lady's waist and the lady might throw up both her arms in the air, while another couple might interpret this picture line differently. There is freedom of expression, so to speak!

New Vogue dancing is very popular in Australia and is danced at social dances in clubs and public halls around the country. In dancesport competitions and championships held in Australia, there are usually more entries in the New Vogue events than in either the Modern Ballroom or Latin American events. Of the many New Vogue Ballroom dances, 23 (the Viennese Waltz and Foxtrot make up more than half) are recognized by Dancesport Australia for use in dancesport competitions, out of which 15 can be performed at dancesport championships.

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Forro Furore At The Dance Space Open Day

The Dance Space recently held an Open Day at its dance studio at F3-2 Plaza Damas, Jalan Sri Hartamas 1, Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur. More than 200 members of the public attended the free dance classes and workshops conducted by some of the best dance instructors in Malaysia. The crowd had fun learning ballroom, Latin American, pole, jazz, tap and belly dance. Lavinie Thiruchelvam, the co-principal of The Dance Space said "We believe in making it easy for the public to get to learn about dance and the various genres. This is what we hope to achieve with each annual Open Day".

Pole dance instructor Lilli Ussaraporn Kossin attracted quite a following not only from the ladies but from the men as well with her deft moves on the pole. Lilli, the winner of the inaugural Clorets Malaysia Amateur Pole Dance Championship 2008 had the audience in awe with her strength and agility as well as some beautiful dance routines. Karen Madrid from Mexico wowed the crowd with her belly dance shimmies. There were also introductory sessions on ballroom, jazz and tap dancing. The public had a great time watching the various dances and trying out the moves.

South African Professional Latin Champion, Grant Baartzes Mandon conducted a workshop on partnering skills in Latin American dancing. "Partnering skills are what will make or break you. You can be the best dancer in the world but without a sense of looking out for your partner, it will be difficult to progress very far", he elaborated. Fernanda Faria and Rodrigo from Brazil showcased the Brazilian Samba and the Forro. "These are authentic Brazilian dances and are always danced by Brazilians when we feel happy" said Fernanda.

Forro is a style of dance popular in North Eastern Brazil as well as a word used to denote the different genres of music. Both are much in evidence during the annual Fiesta Junina (June Festival), an event honoring some of the saints of the Catholic church. Forro is danced with the partners usually very close to each other with the man's left hand holding the woman's right hand, his right arm around her back and her left arm around his neck. In this style, the man's right leg stays in between the woman's legs, called the Rala Coxa or Rubbing Thighs. Like the Cuban Rumba, the Forro is also often considered risque!

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Monday, March 9, 2009

Results Of The Malaysian International Dance Championship 2009

Here are the official results of some of the ballroom (modern & Latin) events of The Malaysian International Dance Championship 2009 (MIDC 2009) which was held on February 27 & 28 at the Arena Of Stars in Genting Highlands. This competition was jointly presented by Genting - City Of Entertainment and A&C Dynamic Dance Studio.

Amateur Open Modern

1 Gaetano Lavarone & Emanuela Napolitano - Italy
2 Simone Carabellese & Lucia Cafagna - Italy
3 Deng Kai Hu & Liang Lu - China
4 Mikhail Eremeev & Olesya Eremeev - Russia
5 Queri Romeo Alfarini & Tan Triska - Singapore

6 Labita Eric & Lim Eng Ai - Singapore

Amateur Open Latin

1 Mykhailo Samoshchenko & Yulia Shorokhova - Russia
2 Sokhranny Evgeny & Kositsyna Anastasia - Russia
3 Gaetano Lavarone & Emanuela Napolitano - Italy
4 Wang Ji & Ren Qin - China
5 Ma Jia Jun & Xu Qian - Macau
6 Loke Tze Hao & Suli - Malaysia

Professional Closed Asia Modern

1 Zhang Hao & Song Xiao Rong - China
2 Tomo Shiraishi & Kaori Shiraishi - Japan
3 Yuta Nakagawa & Kumiko Nakagawa - Japan
4 Xu Yang & Tang Shi - China
5 Ryuzo Tanaka & Kurumi Kato - Japan
6 Masanobu Narita & Asaka Narita - Japan

Professional Closed Asia Latin

1 Lu Ning & Zhang Ding Fang - China
2 Kosuke Matsumoto & Nozomi - Japan
3 He Jun & Zhang Min - China
4 Denys Demovskyy & Worapa Jariyathammarat - Thailand
5 Tatsuaki Matsumoto & Mikiko Matsumoto - Japan
6 Guo Jun & Qian Sang - Macau
7 Rex Hsu & Selena Hou - Taiwan

Amateur Rising Stars Modern

1 Simone Carabellese & Lucia Cafagna - Italy
2 Queri Romeo Alfarini & Triska Tan - Singapore
3 Labita Eric M & Lim Eng Ai - Singapore
4 Wilson Chew & Michelle Hong - Malaysia
5 Patrick M Suelto & Seah Lai Ming - Singapore
6 Kong Ming Dong & Tsui Pik Ching - Hong Kong

Amateur Rising Stars Latin

1 Loke Tze Hao & Suli - Malaysia
2 Wang Ji & Ren Qin - China
3 Ma Jia Jun & Xu Qian - Macau
4 Worapoj Jariyathammarat & Ramon Wattanavikorn - Thailand
5 Panupong Somjai & Sasima Pakulanon - Thailand

6 Veroy Ng & Mygail Yau - Malaysia

For the results of the Professional Open Modern and Professional Open Latin, (which marks the second leg of the Asian Open Dance Championship Tour 2009) please refer to Article 70 of March 5. For the results of the other events, please log on to

Thursday, March 5, 2009

World's Top Dancers Compete In The Malaysian International Dance Championship 2009

The Malaysian International Dance Championship 2009 (MIDC 2009) which was held on February 27 & 28 at the Arena Of Stars, Genting Highlands saw about 800 contestants from 24 countries competing in Ballroom, Latin, Hip Hop, Belly, and Line Dance. Jointly presented by Genting - City of Entertainment and A & C Dynamic Dance Studio, this event is also the second leg of the Asian Open Dance Championship Tour 2009, the first leg of which was held in Tokyo, Japan on February 22. The next leg will be held in Seoul, South Korea on March 1, followed by Macau, China on March 7.

Among the distinguished judges invited to adjudicate at the MIDC 2009 were dance legends Marcus Hilton, Donnie Burns and Carmen Vincelj. The competitors for the Professional Modern Open Section included Arunas Bizokas & Katusha Demidova, Jonathan Wilkins & Hazel Newberry and Roberto Villa & Moreno Colagreco, all of them Blackpool Professional Modern Grand Finalists. In the Latin section, we had Blackpool Professional Latin Grand Finalists Riccardo Cocchi & Yulia Zagoruychenko and Maurizio Vescovo & Melinda Torokgyorgy. The spectators were treated to an awesome display of dance artistry by some of the best dancers in the world.

Professional Open Modern Finalists (With Placings)

1 Arunas Bizokas & Katusha Demidova - USA

2 Jonathan Wilkins & Hazel Newberry - England

3 Roberto Villa & Moreno Colagreco - Italy

4 Domen Krapez & Monica Nigro - Slovenia

5 Sascha Karabey & Natascha Karabey - Germany

6. Warren Boyce & Kristi Boyce - England

Professional Open Latin Finalists (With Placings)

1 Riccardo Cocchi & Yulia Zagoruychenko - USA

2 Franco Formica & Oxana Lebedew - Germany

3 Maurizio Vescovo & Melinda Torokgyorgy - Hungary

4 Lu Ming & Zhang Ding Fang - China

5 Rachid Malki & Anna Supran - Norway

6 Ilya Borovskiy & Veeronika Klyushina - Hong Kong

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Monday, March 2, 2009

Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak To Compete In Dancing With The Stars - Season 8

Apple co-founder, Steve Wozniak will be competing in the next edition of the popular television reality show "Dancing With The Stars" (DWTS), ABC Television announced recently. The man known as "The Woz", created the original circuit board used for the Apple computer and teamed up with Steve Jobs in 1976 to market it. Wozniak quit working full time at Apple two decades ago and after years of working on various projects, re-emerged last month as chief scientist at Fusion10, a data storage start-up. Fusion10 uses closely-packed clusters of flash memory chips in servers to enable them to find data very quickly.

Wozniak will show off his dance moves alongside 12 other celebrities in season 8 of DWTS which will air on March 9. He will be competing against Jewel and her rodeo star husband Ty Murray, singers Belinda Carlisle, Chuck Wicks, Lil' Kim, and Denise Richards, actors/artistes Gilles Marini, David Alan Grier, Denis Richards and Jackass star Steve-O, gymnast and Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson, football legend Lawrence Taylor, and entertainment reporter Nancy O' Dell. Renowned ballroom judge Len Goodman, and dance choreographers Bruno Tonioli and Carie Ann Inaba return as judges for this season.

Dancing with The Stars (DWTS) is based on the format of the top rated British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) show, Strictly Come Dancing in which celebrities are partnered with professional dancers in various dance routines that are judged by an expert panel and by public votes. Season 1 of DWTS premiered in the USA in 2005 and was an instant hit there. Unlike SCD where only standard ballroom and Latin American dances are performed, other dance styles like American Swing, Smooth, and Rhythm are also showcased in DWTS. The dancing greats who have taken part in DWTS include Karina Smirnoff, Corky Ballas and his son Mark Ballas.

The past winners of DWTS were:

Season 1 - Kelly Monaco & Alec Mazo

Season 2 - Drew Lachey & Cheryl Burke

Season 3 - Emmit Smith & Cheryl Burke

Season 4 - Apolo Anton Ohno & Julianne Hough

Season 5 - Helio Castroneves & Julianne Hough

Season 6 - Kristi Yamaguchi & Mark Ballas

Season 7 - Brooke Burke & Derek Dough

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