Sunday, May 31, 2009

World Dance Academy To Organize 7th Crystal Dancesport Championships 2009

World Dance Academy of 25-2 Jalan SS23/11, Taman SEA, 47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor (telephone/fax nos. 603-78807112, 603-78807112) will be organizing the 7th Crystal Dancesport Championships 2009. This competition is opened to all WDC, WDC - Amateur League, IDSF and other world dancing bodies. The details of the competition is as follows:-

Date: August 30 2009 (Sunday)

Venue: Grand Ballroom, Shangri-La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur

Events: Ballroom ~ Standard & Latin American - Professional Open, Pro-Amateur Open (Standard only), Amateur Open, SEA Amateur Closed, Malaysian Amateur Closed, Rising Star Under 21, Pre-Amateur, Novice, Senior Over 40, Senior Over 55, Grand Senior Over 60, Junior Under 16 Open, Juvenile Under 12 Open, Beginners (1 Dance), Ladies Event Open & WDA Events

Prize monies will be awarded to the finalists in the Professional Open, Pro-Amateur and Amateur Open Categories

Participation: Open to countries in the Asia Pacific region

Closing Date For Entries: July 31 2009

Tickets - Round table seating for 10 persons are priced at RM5000, RM3800, RM2500 and RM2000 per table. An eight-course Chinese halal dinner will be served.

The day-long event will start at 9.00 am and will see the contestants competing in the preliminary rounds till 5.00 pm. The finals will be held thereafter at 6.30 pm.

World Dance Academy was established in 2000 by John Lim and his wife Joanne Leong. Both were avid ballroom dance competitors and who are now actively involved in the promotion of dancesport as teachers, organizers of dance competitions and also as adjudicators. Their passion for dancing seems to have "rubbed off" on their 16 year old son Johnston Lim, an accomplished ballroom and Latin American dancer who has won many championships in Malaysia and abroad. For tickets to this event, kindly contact John Lim at 6012-2120326. To know more about the 7th Crystal Dancesport Championships 2009, visit

Best Wishes As Usual,

Dance Aficionado
Dancesport Malaysia

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Britain's Got Talent - Susan Boyle May Face-Off With 73 year Old Breakdancer Fred Bowers

The world seems to be going gaga over Susan Boyle, the 48 year old Scottish lass since she appeared on Britain's Got Talent TV show and crooned I Dreamed A Dream from Les Miserables. Her sweet and melodious voice which is in sharp contrast to her dowdy and frumpy image has caught the imagination of viewers around the world. She has garnered a legion of fans including celebrities like Demi Moore and Bon Jovi. A guest appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show in the USA is in the pipeline and there are rumours she may be offered a recording contract. Boyle is seen as the favourite to win the crown but someone may just pip her to the title. And that person is none other than 73 year old breakdancer, Fred Bowers.

Fred Bowers (pic) has breakdanced himself into the hearts of millions of viewers and is seen as a serious contender for the 100,000 Pounds (RM650,000) top prize. Bowers said he had been breakdancing for about 5 years and now performs regularly in nightclubs. "It all started when I fell down, and when I got back up I found myself spinning on one knee. It's mostly my back, neck and head that I move so I don't see what the problem is because it is my leg that's bad", he said in an interview. See Bowers on YouTube where he showcases his robotic dance moves before dropping to the floor and spinning on his head. While his peers are pill popping, Bowers is body popping! Hail the grandaddy of breakdance!

Five semi-final rounds of Britain's Got Talent will be held this week. Only two acts will be selected from each semi-final for the grand final to be held on May 30. The acts who have confirmed a place in the final are Susan Boyle who sang Memory and dance troupe Diversity from the first semi-final. In the second semi-final, dance troupe Flawless lived up to their name by giving a flawless performance to secure a berth in the final. The other finalist was Shaun Smith who mesmerized the judges Simon Cowell, Piers Morgan and Amanda Holden with his rendition of the U2 classic With Or Without You. The winner of Britain's Got Talent may get the chance to perform before the royal family in the Royal Variety Show.

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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Shawn Johnson Wins "Dancing With The Stars" Season 8 Crown

Shawn Johnson, an Olympic gold medallist gymnast, won the Dancing With The Stars Season 8 crown on May 19 and added the mirror ball trophy to her collection of Olympic medals. With her partner Mark Ballas, they performed a group Paso Doble as well as a Freestyle dance on the first night and a Cha Cha Cha on the second night. The judges Len Goodman, Bruno Toniolo and Carri Ann Inaba were impressed enough to award them 58 points out of a possible 60. Sex And The City actor Gilles Marini dancing the Argentine Tango with Cheryl Burke also obtained 58 points for a tie. Johnson and Ballas however pipped Marini and Burke to the trophy by a majority of just 1% of the viewers' votes. The favorite, Melissa Rycroft, a former cheerleader who danced the Samba with her partner Tony Dovolani came in third.

Dancing With The Stars (DWTS) Season 8 premiered on ABC television network in the USA on March 9. The 13 celebrities who participated in this season's show included Holly Madison, former Playboy model and ex-girlfriend of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, New York Giants footballer Lawrence Taylor, singer Jewel and her rodeo star husband Ty Murray. Among the well known professional dancers were Karina Smirnoff, Mark Ballas (son of dance legend Corky Ballas), Julian Hough and Cheryl Burke. Two new dances, the Argentine Tango and Lindy Hop were introduced this season. As well as being remembered for the finale with the tightest competition since its inception, this season's show will also probably be remembered as the show with the most number of injuries suffered by the contestants.

Jewel fractured both her shin bones, while Nancy O' Dell tore the meniscus in her knees during rehearsals. Both were forced to withdraw from the competition and were replaced by Holly Madision and Melissa Rycroft. Gilles Marini suffered tendonitis in the shoulder and Steve Woznaik the co-founder of Apple Computer sprained his foot during training. Jackass actor Steve-O injured his back while practising the Salsa. Season 9 of DWTS is expected to be aired in the fall of this year. The Americans are so fortunate in that they are able to watch really fantastic TV dance reality shows like DWTS and So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD). It looks like there won't be a SYTYCD Malaysia Season 3 this year. Seems the global financial crisis is taking its toll. We can only pray for the storm to blow over soon!

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Show Off Your Moves At The "F&N Freestylz Show Ur Moves" Street Dance Competition.

Street dance is a generic term used to describe dance styles that have evolved outside of the dance studios and on to open spaces such as streets, parks, school courtyards, etc. They are often social in nature and involves improvisations and interactions with the other dancers and spectators. Generally, a street dance is based on a unique feel or style that is expressed through the dance, usually tied to a certain musical genre. The street dances include hip hop, breakdance, krumping, punking, reggae, jazz and house dance. Street dance competitions are getting increasingly popular and several international events are held around the world every year. These competitions focus not only on judged battles but choreographed shows as well.

Fraser & Neave Sdn Bhd is organizing a F&N Freestylz Show Ur Moves Street Dance Competition and is inviting all budding street dancers to sign up for this competition. The top prize for this competition includes a trip to South Korea to train with Gamblerz Crew who are reportedly one of the best B-boys dance crews in the world. B-boy stands for breakdancing-boy but the style is different from the 1980s breakdancing in that it fuses traditional moves with a more modern hip hop style. The second and third place winners will receive cash prizes of RM8000 and RM5000 respectively. At the event launch held by F&N in Kuala Lumpur recently, there were street dance performances by Floor Fever Crew, Alex Ng and Mohd Naim Mohd Fauzi.

The F&N Freestylz Show Ur Moves Street Dance Competition is open to all Malaysians between the ages of 15 and 25. Participants may only enter as a team, with a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 5 crew members. The preliminary rounds will be held from now till July 12 and which will culminate in the grand final scheduled for August 15 2009 in Kuala Lumpur. Judging will be based on choreography, technique, execution, creativity, rhythm and showmanship. To promote this competition, F&N will be taking to the roads and conducting roadshows in 140 locations in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak. Be sure to be there when they visit your hometown. To know more about this event, check out

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Monday, May 18, 2009

How Can I Dance Better? - By Robin Chee AISTD, ANATD

One of the most common questions that we are often asked is "How can I dance better?" or "How come I don't look like that dancer?" To give an answer to that needs a bit more time to explain properly which we hope this article will address. To get into the correct frame of mind, we need to use some examples and stories. Let us start with an example of kids learning how to write. The kids are first taught how to write the alphabet, and then learn simple words, and then learn sentences, and then learn paragraphs. Eventually they can write short compositions. They could have spent decades writing, but most never get to be excellent writers.

In the movie, The Karate Kid, the hero Daniel LaRusso was bullied by students of a karate school. One day he met a Mr Miyagi who agreed to teach him karate. During training, Daniel was just asked to paint fences with an up down action and polish floors in a circular motion. After a month, he felt frustrated and wanted to leave. Miyagi then asked Daniel to show him the actions he had been doing for the past month. To Daniel's surprise, these were actually the fundamental steps of karate and he had developed a very good base. Miyagi then taught him about "good balance" by standing for hours on one leg. At his first karate competition, Daniel won, despite knowing only a few basic movements compared to his opponents who knew lots of fancy steps.

One very clear memory I had was when my wife, Pele and I were in London taking dance lessons. During our class with Martin Lamb (former World Ten Dance Professional Champion), a couple who were World Professional Standard Finalists were taking lessons with Sir Bill Irvine at the same time as us. For the whole lesson they were doing nothing but practising the first 3 steps of the Waltz Natural Turn. The couple were shouting at each other during the the whole lesson. We were indeed surprised that top couples like them were still learning how to do the Waltz Natural Turn better and how important they considered the fundamentals.

When Pele and I were taking part in competitions, we hit a plateau and progress was slow or sometimes non-existent. Only when we started training under a very wise coach, did things begin to change. During that initial few months under his tutelage, we were made to do walks, walks and more walks with only very simple variations. Once we mastered the techniques, our progress really started to accelerate. It was very tedious work but it was well worth it. Our coach told us that many dancers did not survive under him and many gave up after a few lessons. He was proud that we stuck to his training and showed great improvement.

This condensed version of the original article has been re-published with the kind permission of Robin Chee, pictured above with his wife Pele Lim. Robin and Pele were very much into competitive dancing and are the co-principals of RpMerleon Studios in Singapore. To know more about them and their dance school, check out their website at For movie buffs, there is talk that there may be a remake of The Karate Kid, with Jackie Chan playing the part of Miyagi. Hai sensei!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Proceedings Of The 27th Annual General Meeting Of The Kuala Lumpur Dancers' Association

The 27th Annual General Meeting of the Kuala Lumpur Dancers' Association (KLDA) was held on May 3 2009 at its premises at Wisma OCM, Jalan Hang Jebat in Kuala Lumpur. In his opening address, the president, C C Lai spoke of the achievements of the past year and the plans for the future. Among the many activities organized last year was a "Hope Charity Dinner And Showdance" which was held on July 19 in aid of the victims of the 2008 China earthquake and Myanmar cylcone disasters. Several members of the KLDA performed at this fund-raiser and a total of RM83,000 was collected from this event.

A Non-Conventional Sports Day was held inWisma OCM on July 26. At this event, workshops for Ballroom, Latin American, Salsa, Argentine Tango, Hip Hop, Jazzercise, Michael Jackson Dance Steps and Line Dance were conducted by members and invited instructors. To train the debutantes and their partners for the Viennese Ball 2008 Kuala Lumpur, the Austrian Embassy leased the Superstar Hall from September 26 to October 23. Other events like parties, a karaoke sing-a-long, potlucks and an open house were also organized during 2008.

Going forward, the Kuala Lumpur Dancers' Association intends to embark on a campaign to boost its membership which presently stands at about 100. To encourage more dancers to come to the KLDA to practice there, (and hopefully join as members) the KLDA has decided to reduce the daily charge from RM15 to RM10 per person. The KLDA is also looking into subsidizing the dance fees for young and promising dancers. In view of the global financial crisis, a scaled-down KLDA Gala Ball will be held at its premises on August 8 2009 so as to augment the "subsidy fund". The KLDA has also decided to raise the entrance fees to RM1000 from RM500 for adult members and to RM500 from RM250 for youth members (under 21 years) from September 1 2009.

The following members were unanimously elected to serve in the executive committee for the new term 2009/2010 :-

Office Bearers

President - C C Lai
Vice President - Alan Liew
Treasurer - Grace Chan
Vice Treasurer - Jane Ong
Secretary - Tramaine Tan
Vice Secretary - Cecilia Kuan

Committee Members

Dr C K Chang
Jeanette Yee
Albert Ng
Jimmy Yap
Joseph Wong
Tan Kay Leong
Marguerite Brodie

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Monday, May 11, 2009

Belly Dancer Sherlyn Koh And Her "Sirocco Secrets" Unveiled

One dance which seems to have caught on here in Malaysia is the belly dance. You regularly read in the media of belly dancers performing at social functions, charity events featuring belly dancers, workshops and classes conducted by renowned foreign teachers, haflas, etc. Even in many dancesport championships, belly dance is now included as a competition event. One person who has worked tirelessly to help promote this art form in Malaysia is the lovely and nubile Sherlyn Koh (pic), the director of Sirocco Secrets Dance School.

Sherlyn started dancing at the age of 12 and has studied various genres including ballet, jazz, modern contemporary and flamenco. She took up and fell in love with belly dancing in 2003 and has not looked back since. Her passion for this "dance of seduction" has taken her to several countries including Egypt, Turkey and the United States to learn from the best masters there. Sherlyn presently teaches belly dance at Caterpillar Studio at 15, 2nd & 3rd Floors, Jalan Sri Hartamas 7, Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur (near the Petronas station), telephone number 603-62010378.

Sherlyn is very much sought after to perform at social functions and charity events. Sirocco Secrets Dance in collaboration with Caterpillar Stretching Imagination will be presenting a charity dance performance called Kaleidoscope to raise money for the "Kachin Refugees Fund". This fund raiser will be held on June 6 2009 at 3.00 pm at the Auditorium Perdana Siswa, University of Malaya in Jalan Pantai, Kuala Lumpur. Tickets are priced at RM50, RM40 and RM30. For ticket reservations, please call 603-62010378, 6012-2333016 or 6012-2555990.

Sirocco Secrets Dance will also be bringing in Nath Neo, a Canadian of Cambodian descent, to conduct a series of workshops. Nath, who is a world acclaimed dancer has made more than 1000 performances in 51 cities around the world. The workshops will cover topics like Cambodian/Middle Eastern Dance, Shabii Shake and Drum Solo. This event will be held at the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KL Pac), Sentul Park, Jalan Stratchan, Kuala Lumpur on August 22 and 23 2009. For enquiries, please call Sherlyn Koh at 6012-2333016.

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Thursday, May 7, 2009

Watch Out For "Break Out" From South Korea

Break Out - Extreme Dance Comedy, the much acclaimed stage dance comedy from South Korea will be coming to Malaysia to perform for charity this month. The show, which premiered in South Korea in 2007 has been performed in New York, London, Shanghai, Mumbai, Bangkok, Singapore and Vientiane to rave reviews. Break Out narrates the tale of five zany convicts who hatch a plot to break out of prison. The non-verbal comedy showcases breakdancing, yoga, gymnastics and martial arts and funny moments set to catchy music. The Korea Tourism Organization and LG Electronics (M) Sdn Bhd are the sponsors of this event.

The shows will be staged in Kuala Lumpur on May 23 and 24 at Wisma MCA and in Georgetown, Penang on May 27 and 28 at Dewan Sri Pinang. There will be 2 shows daily in Kuala Lumpur - at 3.00 pm and 8.30 pm, while in Penang there will be one show daily at 8.30 pm. The show lasts about 80 minutes. Proceeds from the shows in Kuala Lumpur will be donated to the LG Cleft Lip Project and those from the shows in Penang will be donated to the D' Home Mental Health Association. Tickets priced at RM63 and RM93 can be obtained from Axcess Hotline at 603-77115000, online at and all authorised Axcess outlets.

In conjunction with this event, a B-boy competition will be held at Sunway Pyramid, Bandar Sunway in Petaling Jaya. The semi-finals will be held on May 16 and 17, of which ten teams will be selected for the finals to be held on May 22. The cast of Break Out will be the guest judge at the finals. Cash and other prizes sponsored by the Korea Tourism Organization, LG Electronics and Sunway Pyramid will be up for grabs. Registration forms are available at all Echo Park outlets, Street Nation Dance Studio, and Rhythm Dance Studio. The deadline for registration is May 11. For more information, contact Fellest Yan at 6012-8333755.

Warmest Regards,

Dance Aficionado
Dancesport Malaysia

Monday, May 4, 2009

Dancesport Malaysia Featured In "The Malay Mail" English Daily

Recently I received an e-mail from Gabey Goh, a reporter with The Malay Mail English daily, asking whether I wished to be interviewed and to allow my web site to be featured in The Malay Mail. I was humbled that someone would find my blog interesting and good enough to be featured in the media. The Malay Mail regularly features blogs which they find to be of interest to their readers. My blog was featured on April 27 2009, and an excerpt of the interview is published below. To view the article, please click on to the image above.

Q How and when did you start to blog?
A I started to blog in May 2008 and receive an average of 3000 hits per month. The figures will rise substantially during the months I write commentaries for the dance competition "So You Think You Can Dance Malaysia" when it is aired on television.

Q What were your reasons?
A Firstly I wanted to help promote dancing in Malaysia. Secondly, I like to write, and blogging was a good avenue to tap the creative juices in me. Thirdly, I wanted to see how much I could earn from the advertisements in my blog.

Q Do you think you have achieved them?
A For the first two points mentioned above - yes. For the third point - a big No. The money I earn from the ads is pittance!

Q What have you achieved through Cyberspace communications?
A I have received comments from friends in Malaysia and visitors from all over the world who say they find my blog interesting, informative and the articles well written. To me, that is already an achievement and reward enough!

Q Any regrets?
A None whatsoever. My blog is a labour of love. I only wish I could have started earlier.

Q Has blogging changed your life?
A I spend too much time at the computer nowadays. Where once I was a computer newbie, I am quite internet-savvy now!

Q The "Blogosphere"; what does it mean to you?
A A world community of bloggers and visitors.

Q Foremost feature in the "Blogosphere" that irritates you?
A Bloggers using foul language in their blogs.

Q Any memorable incidents through blogging?
A The many friends and dance enthusiasts I have known through my blog.

Best Wishes,

Dance Aficionado
Dancesport Malaysia