Thursday, April 30, 2009

Betcha Gonna Love The Bachatango!

The Bachatango, sometimes also known as the Bachata Tango is a genre of dance that fuses elements of the Bachata from the Dominican Republic and the Argentine Tango from Argentina. The Bachatango is characterized by the use of hip movements of the Bachata and the intricate footwork of the Argentine Tango. Italy and Spain are said to be the pioneers of this style of dancing. Surprisingly, the Bachtango has not quite caught on in the Dominican Republic or Argentina.

The Bachatango is usually danced to Bachata music, in a closed position with the man's right leg staying in between the woman's legs. The basic steps are the same 8 counts as Bachata. Counts 1-3 and 5-7 when taken, generate a natural hip sway. Counts 4 and 8 will be used to execute the Argentine Tango dance figures like the leg lifts, kicks, hooks or long pauses. The Bachatango was introduced to Malaysia about 3 years ago and a few dance studios are trying to promote this new dance "fad" here.

Jenni Tan, the principal of New Star Studio at 65-1 Jalan 109E, Taman Desa, Kuala Lumpur, recently conducted a Bachatango workshop in Kuala Lumpur, after having just organized a similar one in Miri, Sarawak where she has another studio. The workshop in KL was held at the Salsa Havana in Federal Hotel and was well attended by an enthusiastic crowd. The participants were taught the basic routines and put through their paces. It was a fun event and the participants enjoyed themselves thoroughly.

Jenni, who is also an accomplished ballerina and salsera will be teaching the Bachatango and performing with her NSS Team at the Malaysian World Salsa Congress 2009 which will be held from May 1 - 3 at the Sunway Lagoon Theme Park & Convention Centre in Petaling Jaya. New Star Studio will also be starting a Bachatango beginners' class on May 8 at 8 pm at its studio in KL. For more information, call 012-9208060 or check out their website at

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Monday, April 27, 2009

All The Festivities At The 2nd International Kuala Lumpur Tango Festival 2009

The 2nd International Kuala Lumpur Tango Festival 2009, organized recently by the Kuala Lumpur Tango Club was a runaway success judging by the accolades dished out by the participants who came from far and wide. Held over 4 days from April 9 to 12, there were milongas, workshops, private classes, guided practices, and performances at various venues namely; Little Havana, Piso Tango, (both in the fine dining enclave of Bukit Ceylon), the Annexe Gallery at Central Market and the Kuala Lumpur Dancers' Association (KLDA) at Wisma OCM.

The finale to the 2nd International Kuala Lumpur Tango Festival 2009 was the Argentine Tango showdance performance by three renowned couples from Argentina at the "Tango Tradisi" Gala Dinner & Dance held at the Royal Selangor Club, Dataran Merdeka on April 11. The 3 couples who were specially invited to teach and perform at this festival were acclaimed tangueros and tangueras, Guillermo Merlo & Fernanda Ghi, Adrian Veredice & Alejendra Hobert and Enrique & Guillermo De Fazio, otherwise known as the Macana Brothers (picture).

The Argentine Tango is one dance where it is perfectly alright for a man to dance with a man. How this came about could be traced to historical events. During the 19th century, many young men from Europe emigrated to Argentina to seek a better life there. Due to a shortage of women then, the men started to dance the Argentine Tango with each other. Stevedores who were working in the ports also practised dancing with each other in their free time while waiting for the ships to dock. Hence was born a tradition in which men danced with each other.

The Kuala Lumpur Tango Club has been instrumental in promoting Argentine Tango in Malaysia. It was formed in 2003 by Marguerite Brodie, who by the way is also an accomplished Ballroom and Latin American dancer. Marguerite and her partner, Andreas Lehrke presently teach Argentine Tango at some of the clubs in Bukit Ceylon and also at the Kuala Lumpur Dancers' Association (KLDA) in Wisma OCM at Jalan Hang Jebat. For more information regarding their classes, please check out or call 012-3151008/012-6628022.

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Mines Shopping Fair Organizes "2nd Mines Hip Hop Dance Championship 2009"

The qualifying round of the 2nd Mines Hip Hop Dance Championship 2009 was held recently at the Mines Shopping Fair, Mines Resort City in Seri Kembangan, Selangor. The event which was one of several activites in the "Power Beat In The House" campaign organized by the Mines Shopping Fair runs from March 30 to April 26 2009. The competition is divided into 4 categories; namely the below 12-years, below 18-years, open (individual) and open (group) events.

In the open (individual) event, 6 contestants - Sean Chin, Jacky Chan, Nic Chan, Eric Chan, Mohamad Azlan Zain and Mohd Faruq Md Suhaimi made it through to the final. In the open (group) event, 8 teams qualified for the final. They were Street Wreckers, Floor Fever, Project Elementz, Rokustep, Famous Strike, Wakaka Crew, Crazy Crew and Mustang Crew. All the finalists were in their elements and they combined well choreographed routines with interesting moves.

Street Wreckers's performance drew loud cheers from the crowd. This is the second time the team is competing in a hip hop dance competition. Formed only a couple of months ago, their first competition was at the Malaysian International Dance Championship 2009 in Genting Highlands on February 28 where they picked up a fourth placing. The crew is made up of Becky Lee, Mohammad Ali Azman, Sheikh Gadaffi, Roger Ng, Cheah Tee Hoong, Christle Chong and Cynthia Wong.

Floor Fever comprises 9 members, but only 4 - Muhamad Nazir Fadzil, Mohd Hazmi Mohd Khalib, Idzwan Alfie Irfan Maslah and Nadiah Farehan Ahmad Zikir competed in this round as the others could not make it due to unforseen circumstances. The quartet put up a splendid performance nevertheless. The final of this competition will be held on May 31 at 2 pm at Level 3, Centre Court, Mines Shopping Fair. For more information, log on to or call Customer Service at 03-89486333.

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Monday, April 20, 2009

"Slow Dance" - Reflections On Life

Recently, a friend of mine emailed me a poem entitled "Slow Dance" which was purportedly written by a terminally ill little girl from New York, USA. It went on to say that this girl has 6 months left to live and as her dying wish, she wants to send a letter to tell everyone to live their life to the fullest since she never will. Suspecting this to be yet another email hoax, I googled "Slow Dance" and found out that this poem was actually written by David L Weatherford and published by Russ Berrie Company in 1991. Nevertheless, I find this poem to be very touching and would like to share it with you. From now on, I think I'll dance more of the slow, romantic and sensual dances like the Rumba and Argentine Tango.


Have you ever watched kids on a merry-go-round?
Or listened to the rain slapping on the ground?
Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight?
Or gazed at the sun into the fading night?
You'd better slow down, don't dance so fast
Time is short, the music won't last

Do you run through each day on the fly?
When you ask "How are you?", do you hear the reply?
When the day is done, do you lie in your bed
With the next hundred chores running through your head?
You'd better slow down, don't dance so fast
Time is short, the music won't last

Ever told your child, we'll do it tomorrow?
And in your haste, not see his sorrow?
Ever lost touch, let a good friendship die
Cause you never had time to call and say "Hi"?
You'd better slow down, don't dance so fast
Time is short, the music won't last

When you run so fast to get somewhere
You miss half the fun of getting there
When you worry and hurry through your day
It's like an unopened gift, thrown away
Life is not a race, do take it slower
Hear the music, before the song is over

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Have A Sizzling Time At Malaysian World Salsa Congress 2009

Malaysia is all set and ready to host the Malaysian World Salsa Congress 2009 which will be held from May 1 - 3 at the Sunway Lagoon Theme Park & Convention Centre in Petaling Jaya. This event is organized by Salsa Havana Sdn Bhd in collaboration with Sunway Resorts Integrated City. At a press meeting, Simrin Sindhu, director of Salsa Havana said "It's going to be a hot and exciting event with workshops, beach parties as well as the appearances of international deejays. This year's beach party at Surf Beach @ Sunway Lagoon promises to be even bigger and better than the one held last year."

The Malaysian World Salsa Congress is known for its great live Salsa bands and amazing performers from all over the world. Among the many exciting events will be the participation of renowned Salsa dance teams, Imagen Latina, Salsa Y Punto and Sabor Colombia from Latin America. Martina, 10, who is the youngest professional salsa dancer in the world will be taking part as will be performers and instructors from Venezuela, Colombia, Cuba, Spain, Australia, Singapore and Malaysia. A Latin band, Hugo Salcedo & TNT, as well as several international deejays will also be performing at this gathering.

There are numerous workshops ranging from Venezuelan Salsa, Colombian Salsa, Salsa On 1, Salsa On 2 and Cuban Rumba to choose from. Apart from having fun, the organizers said the congress is a good opportunity for Malaysian participants to gain exposure from the international instructors. For more information regarding the Malaysian World Salsa Congress, please log on to or call 6017-3027031. Tickets to the parties at night can be obtained from

Salsa Havana is a Salsa club that was founded by Venezuelan born salsero Martin Elias Reyes, and it opened for business on July 14 2004 at the 1st Floor, Federal Hotel, 35 Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur. It is open every day of the week. Besides being a club, Salsa Havana also conducts dance classes in Salsa, Merengue, Bachata and Bachatango (a fusion of Bachata and Argentine Tango). For free beginners Salsa and Merengue classes or more information, please check out their website at

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Chace Crawford To Star In Remake Of "Footloose"?

Paramount Pictures Corporation, USA is reportedly on the lookout for a new lead actor to star in a remake of the 1984 dance movie "Footloose" after Zac Efron (pic, right) pulled out of the deal. Zac, a "High School Musical" star, said he's not interested in doing another musical right now. One of the hopefuls who may replace Zac is "Gossip Girl" star Chace Crawford (pic, left) and who had supposedly auditioned for the role. There has not been any official press release from Paramount yet. The movie remake will be directed by Kenny Ortega and is due for release in the fall of 2010.

Footloose revolves around the story of a teenager, Ren McCormack who was born and raised in Chicago. Ren and his family relocate to a small town in the West where he's in for a real case of culture shock. You see, the town council has banned rock music and dancing! Ren and his classmates want to do away with this ordinance as the senior prom is around the corner. They must however circumvent the law and a bible-thumping pastor who feels it is his God-given mission to keep the town free from the "sins" of rock music and dancing.The movie was based loosely on events that took place in the tiny rural farming community of Elmore City in Oklahoma.

The original movie starred Kevin Bacon as Ren McCormack. It featured a delightful combination of dance choreography and realistic and touching performances. The fast-paced drama is filled with such great hit songs like "Footloose" by Kenny Logins and "Let's Do It For The Boy" by Deniece Williams. Both these songs reached the number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart and received the 1985 Academy Award Nomination for Best Music (Original Song). Footloose also received a 1985 Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Original Song - Motion Picture. A musical version of Footloose has also been staged.

Hollywood has always been looking at hit movies of the past for inspiration, hoping to turn them into future blockbusters. In the pipeline are movie remakes of about 40 "cult" films, amongst them "A Nightmare On Elm Street, The Thing, The Birds, Logan's Run, The Dirty Dozen, and Fame". Which begs the question - will Hollywood ever produce a remake of the 1939 classic "Gone With The Wind"? The iconic "Gone With The Wind" has remained as one of the greatest and most popular movies of all times and a remake of this masterpiece would be a tall order and a tough act to follow indeed!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

YS Dancesport Centre To Organize 1st Melaka Dancesport Championships 2009

YS Dancesport Centre of Kuala Lumpur will be organizing the 1st Melaka Dancesport Championships 2009. This event is endorsed and supported by the International DanceSport Federation (IDSF), Malaysian DanceSport Berhad (MDSB) and Olympic Council Of Malaysia (OCM). Further information regarding this competition is as follows:-

Date: June 14, 2009 (Sunday)

Venue: Sekolah Menegah Pay Fong, 40 Jalan Tan Chay Yan, Melaka

Events: Ballroom ~ Standard & Latin American - Grade A Open, Grade A Closed Malaysia (National Ranking), Rising Star, Pre-Amateur, Novice, Master 1, Master 2, Junior Under 16, Juvenile Under 12, Beginners (1 Dance), Ladies Event (Latin American only)

Participation: Open To Asian Countries

Closing Date for Entries: May 15, 2009

The results of the Grade A Closed Malaysia event will be used by the MDSB as the National Ranking for the 3rd Asian Indoor Games 2009 to be held in Hanoi, Vietnam and the Asian Games 2010 in Guangzhou, China. Competitors taking part in the Grade A events must be members of their respective ISDF member associations. During the evening events, there will be a Latin American showdance performance by SEA Games Gold Medallist Winners, Watchanakorn & M L Warapan of Thailand.

YS Dance Studio which has its main studio at Level 3, Block A-1-5, Menara Uncang Emas (UE 3), 85 Jalan Loke Yew, Kuala Lumpur, was established in 1989 by Y S Lee. It also has a branch studio at 1078 (1st Floor), Taman Bukit Blossom, Jalan Tok Ungku, Seremban, Negri Sembilan. For more information regarding this competition kindly contact, Y S Lee at 012-3844668, Amy Lee at 012-3018668, fax:603-92814668 or

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Monday, April 6, 2009

Samba Rhythm's Gonna Get You Dancing

The Latin American Samba or known simply as the Samba has its origins in Brazil. It is however not to be confused with the Brazilian Samba which is the dance of celebration and joy at the Carnival held in Brazil each February. This kind of Samba is very diffferent from the more stylized international version which we are more accustomed to watching and dancing. The Brazilian Samba is danced solo whereas the international (Ballroom) Samba is a dance for couples. It is danced to a "Quick, Quick, Slow &" rhythm using fast three-step weight changes. There is little or no bounce action and the speed or tempo of the music can reach up to 58 bars per minute!

The Samba is a bubbly dance characterized by the use of bounce action and pelvic action. The time signature of the dance is generally 2/4, which means that the rhythm has two beats to one bar of music. There is a musical accent on the first beat of each bar. The tempo of the music can vary from 48-52 bars per minute. Most Samba music is written in two bar phrases. It is desirable and more enjoyable for each figure or group of movements to commence at the beginning of a musical phrase. This is achieved by choosing the correct Precede or Follow to suit the phrasing. The Samba is a dance of contrasting rhythms, and the following rhythms are generally used.

Counts (Alternative method of counting) --- Beat Values

1. 2 (S S) --- 1. 1

1 a 2 (S a S) --- 3/4. 1/4. 1

1 a 2 a 1 a 2 (S a S a S a S) --- 3/4. 1/4. 3/4. 1/4. 3/4. 1/4. 1

1. 2. 3. (No alternative) --- 3/4. 1/2. 3/4

SQQ (1. 2 and) --- 1. 1/2. 1/2

SQQQQQQ (1. 2 and 1 and 2 and) --- 1. 1/2. 1/2. 1/2. 1/2. 1/2. 1/2

QQS (1 and 2) --- 1/2. 1/2. 1

SSQQS (1. 2. 1 and 2) --- 1. 1. 1/2. 1/2. 1

The normal bounce action which is so characteristic of the Samba can briefly be described as a slight straightening of the knees on the first 1/2 of the beat and a slight flexing on the second 1/2 of the beat. There are two beats to a bar in Samba music and two complete bounce actions to the bar. The Samba bounce action should be a gentle rhythmic action felt through the knees, ankles and instep of the leg supporting most of the weight but you must be careful not to exaggerate it. Bounce is not used where there is a "Quick" in the timing of the figure. Bounce action is used on all figures having the count of "1 a 2" ( 3 steps to a bar).

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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Miley Cyrus's "Hoedown Throwdown" Set To Be The Latest Dance Craze

Lyndsey Parker has in her article "Dance Dance De-Evolution:Dumbest Dance Fads" which was posted recently in Video Ga Ga Music Blog mentioned that the latest dance craze or attempt at one is Miley Cyrus's "Hoedown Throwdown." In case you don't know, The Hoedown Throwdown is a mix of hip hop, popping, locking and shuffle. Parker has also taken a satirical swipe at the fad dances of yesteryears and named the following as the dumbest dance fads:-

The Village People - "YMCA"

MC Hammer - "Too Legit To Quit"

Los Del Rio - "Macarena"

Soulja Boy Tell 'Em - "Crank That"

Webstar - "Chicken Noodle Soup"

Las Ketchup - "The Ketchup Song"

Beyonce - "Single Ladies"

Cherish, Lil Jon - "Snapping"

Dem Franchize Boyz - "Lean Wit It, Rock Wit It"

Kaoma - "La Lambada"

Vince Neil - "The Chicken Dance"

Poison - "Unskinny Bop"

The Rolling Stones - "Harlem Shuffle"

Bart Simpson - "Do The Bartman"

"Dance Dance De-Evolution:Dumbest Dance Fads" seems to have stirred up a hornets' nest. The article has elicited a deluge of comments on the Video Ga Ga Music Blog. While there were bouquets praising Parker for writing an entertaining piece of article, there were also many brickbats as well. Many of the comments posted were informative, entertaining and funny. I found this comment hilarious: "The Mashed Potatoes, Fly, Jerk (no offense), Swim, Frug, Madison, Limbo, Watusi, Pony, Popeye, Lambada, Stroll, Hustle, Walk, etc - May they rest in peace. Hey, now I feel like dancing!"

Sandy G wrote: "I knew the Macarena was a crap when my grandmother came home from a fat camp for old people asking if we had learned about it yet. Said they did it every day as a form of cardio. It was about a month later that it hit town. Another visitor responded: "The article sure sparked interest though, didn't it? I laughed all the way through it. Great entertainment. Way to light a fire under everyone's butt, you go Lyndsey Parker!" I liked this well-said comment: "These dances are meant to look cool, they are meant to be fun and letting loose and forgetting what the others think of you. Just do it and having fun is what it's all about!"

Fad dances, also known as dance crazes are dances which are characterized by a short burst of popularity. In the 1960s, the Twist was a sensational fad dance which took the world by storm. Several dance crazes of the Sixties had names of animals like the Pony, Dog and Monkey . In the 1970s the emergence of the disco phenomenon spawned a succession of dance crazes including the Funky Chicken, Bump, Hustle and YMCA. This continued in the 1980s with the popular song "Walk Like An Egyptian", in the 1990s with "Macarena" and into the 2000s with "The Ketchup Song" dance. Yes, having fun is what dancing's all about! Like Nike proclaimed - Just do it!

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