Thursday, July 30, 2009

Results Of The Asia Pacific Dance Explosion 2009

More than 300 dancers from Asia participated in the Asia Pacific Dance Explosion 2009 which was held in Kuala Lumpur on July 18 & 19. The contestants from Japan, South Korea, Iran, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia competed in individual and team events in line dance, belly dance and hip hop in the competition organized by Joyclub Dance Academy. Below are the official results of the major events:-

Line Dance Individual - Advanced Junior Teen
1 Esther Loong Mun Yi (Malaysia)
2 Mimi Lee Yan Ting (Malaysia)
3 Tan Ju-Ann (Malaysia)

Line Dance Individual - Advanced Open
1 Rebecca Lee Yen Yen (Malaysia)
2 Christle Chong Li Yin (Malaysia)
3 Hwang Min Sol (South Korea)

Line Dance Individual - Advanced Crystal
1 Song Young Soon (South Korea)
2 Youn Jung Hye (South Korea)
3 Angie Ng (Malaysia)

Line Dance Individual - Allstars
1 Rebecca Lee Yen Yen (Malaysia)
2 Tanya Teng Mei Siew (Malaysia)
3 Song Young Soon (South Korea)

Line Dance Individual - Gold
1 Linda Tan Lye Wah (Malaysia)
2 Ch'ng Siew Eng (Malaysia)
3 Christina Choong Mian Lee (Malaysia)

Line Dance Team - Open
1 So What?? (Malaysia)
2 Korea All Stars (South Korea)
3 G Force (Malaysia)

Hip Hop Individual - Advanced Junior
1 Sorane Nakamura (Japan)
2 Marina Horosawa (Japan)
3 Juri Uda (Japan)

Hip Hop Individual -Advanced Open
1 Sheikh Gadaffi (Malaysia)
2 Jason Lee Wei Hong (Malaysia)
3 Maho Matsumoto (Japan)

Hip Hop Team - Advanced Open
1 Moving Force (Malaysia)
2 Street Wreckerz (Malaysia)
3 N Crew (Malaysia)

Belly Dance Individual - Beginner
1 Chung Chea Ling (Malaysia)
2 Lew Wee Yin (Malaysia)
3 Kee Ee Von (Malaysia)

Belly Dance Individual - Intermediate
1 Tan Syea Chee (Malaysia)
2 Chew See Wei (Malaysia)
3 Wong Chin Wei (Malaysia)

Belly Dance Troupe - Open
1 Shahrzad Dancers (Iran, Malaysia)
2 DF Bellydancers (Malaysia)
3 The White Levonas (Malaysia)

Joyclub Dance Academy at 30A Jalan Tun Mohd Fuad 1, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 55100 Kuala Lumpur (telephone: 603-77277291, 012-2096487) was established by Joanne Wong, a well known line dancer and instructor in Malaysia. The studio conducts classes in many styles of dance including line dance, belly dance, hip hop, Latin American, Latin mix, street jazz and jazz funk. For more information regarding Joyclub Dance Academy, kindly check out their website at

Sunday, July 26, 2009

What Is Salsa?

Salsa dancing is a dance style associated with the salsa style of music, now popular worldwide. Salsa music has its origins during the 1950s to the 1970s, with the truly distinct salsa style coming out of New York, USA in the 1970s. The music fuses a number of Cuban styles, particularly the Son but also draws from a number of other Latin American musical styles. Salsa is usually danced in groups of couples, sometimes with frequent exchanges of partners.

Salsa dancing is done on eight-beat music, with dancers moving on three beats, pausing for one beat, dancing for three beats and pausing for one beat. The movement style is left-right-left-pause, and then right-left-right-pause. During the pause in most salsa dancing, some sort of flourish is used, be it a stomp of the foot, casting out of the hand or kicking of the lower leg. Salsa dancing is mostly a stationary dance with little movement around the dance floor. Dancers rely instead on the subtle movements of their legs and upper bodies to convey the energy of the dance.

Salsa is incredibly popular in Latin America, the United States and Europe, and is gaining popularity in Asia as well. Many clubs in Malaysia specialize in salsa music and several towns offer classes in salsa dancing. While not the easiest dance form because of its relatively fast tempo, the salsa is not particularly difficult to learn and dancers of all skill levels should be able to gain proficiency within a matter of months. Salsa is a feeling, salsa is fun, salsa is life!

This article has been re-published with the kind permission of SCAsia Sdn Bhd, the organizer of the "Salsa Cruise Asia 2009", a 6-days 5-nights vacation on board the cruise ship Legend Of The Seas from November 22 to 27. This dance-themed cruise will sail through Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand and will make a stop in Phuket. Participants will get the opportunity to learn various styles of dance like the salsa, Latin American, zouk lambada, west coast swing & Afro-Caribbean, and watch exciting dance performances by artistes from around the world.

Related Posts

> Salsa On The High Seas

> Have A Sizzling Time At Malaysian World Salsa Congress 2009

Thursday, July 23, 2009

S & A Dance Centre To Organize Johor International Dance Championships 2009

S&A Dance Centre of 189A Jalan Sri Pelangi, Taman Pelangi, 84000 Johor Bahru is organizing the Johor International Dance Championships 2009. This event is endorsed by the Malaysia Dancers' Association (MDA) and supported by the World Dance Council (WDC). Further details regarding the competition is as follows:-

Date: September 13 2009 (Sunday)

Venue: Grand Straits Garden Seafood Restaurant, Danga Bay, Johor Bahru

Events: Ballroom - Standard & Latin American ~ Professional, Amateur, Amateur Rising Star, Pro-Am, Teacher Student, Pre-Amateur, Senior Over 35, Senior Over 40, Grand Senior Over 50, Novice, Novice Rising Star, Junior Under 8, Junior Under 12, Juvenile Under 16, Pre-Medalist (1 dance), Medalist (1 dance), Doctor's Event, Ladies Event; Show Dance, Hip Hop, Line Dance

Prize monies will be awarded to the finalists in the Ballroom Professional & Amateur events, and the first 3 winners in the Showdance event

Participation: Open To The World

Closing Date For Entries: August 20 2009

Tickets (inclusive of Chinese dinner): RM120, RM180, RM300, RM500 (VIP)

Contestants in the Pre-Medalist (1 dance) and Medalist (1 dance) events must dance according to the syllabus as set out in There is a special event known as the doctors' event in the Ballroom Standard (Waltz & Tango) & Latin American (Cha Cha Cha & Rumba) category whereby one of the participants must be a doctor. For enquiries and or tickets, kindly contact S&A Dance Centre at 016-7222372 or email:

Good Luck,

Dance Aficionado,
Dancesport Malaysia

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Cuban Connection

My article of July 9 entitled "Should Dance Figures Be Named After Persons?" in which I mentioned the Aida and Kiki Walks has elicited quite a few responses from my visitors via comments, emails and phone calls. Thankfully, all the responses have been positive. One regular visitor, Alan Liew called me to say that he found the article interesting and informative. Alan however pointed out that the picture that accompanied the article shows the dancers doing the Spiral Turn and not the Aida. Yes, Alan, the picture taken circa 1950 is that of Pepe Llorenz executing a Spiral Turn with his regular partner Suzy Riviera. Llorenz and Riviera were very well known dancers in Cuba back then. I was unable to find a picture of Llorenz dancing the Aida with Aida (his wife, after which the figure is named).

Speaking of Cuba, it is worthwhile to note that Cuba's contribution to the world of social and competitive dancing has been immense. The popular dances like the Rumba, Cha Cha Cha, Mambo and Salsa have their roots in Cuba. These dances, except maybe for the Mambo have caught on around the world. The Mambo remains a popular dance in the United States of America. In the US, there is a classification of dances known as the American Rhythm dances which consists of the Rumba, Cha Cha Cha, Mambo, East Coast Swing and Bolero. American Rhythm dance competitions are regularly held there. The Mambo has a catchy rhythm and fun character, and songs like Mambo Number 5 by Lou Bega or Mambo Italiano by Bette Midler really gets you in the mood for dancing the Mambo.

The Mambo dance was first introduced by Perez Prado at the La Tropicana Night Club in Havana, Cuba in 1943. The dance appeared in the United States during the mid-1940s in New York's Park Plaza Ballroom and it soon became a craze there. Interest in the Mambo however fizzled out in the 1950s, but the dance is now enjoying a resurgence in popularity in the US due to a number of movies featuring the Mambo as well as the efforts of a man named Eddie Torres (picture above). Known as the "Mambo King of Latin Dance", Torres created the modern version of the Mambo in the 1970s. The modern version that Americans today call Mambo or 'breaking on 2' is completely different from the Mambo that was created by Prado. The original style of the dance contains no breaking steps, whether on 1 or 2.

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> Should Dance Figures Be Named After Persons?

> Swing, American Smooth & American Rhythm Dances

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Salsa On The High Seas

Salsa was first introduced to Malaysia in the 1980s and has since become a very popular social dance, especially in the major cities like Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya, Penang and Ipoh. Here in these cities, you can easily find many dance studios which teach salsa. In the capital city of Kuala Lumpur there are many exciting night spots where you can dance the salsa. The places to salsa the night away include Little Havana in Bukit Ceylon, Salsa Havana at Federal Hotel, QBA at Westin Hotel, both along Jalan Bukit Bintang, and The Lodge at Jalan Tengah (off Jalan Sultan Ismail). WhikeRoom Bilique Bistro and Hush, both along Jalan Telawi in Bangsar Baru in the chic suburb of Bangsar are also popular hangouts with the salsa community.

Salsa festivals, workshops and competitions are also organized regularly in Malaysia. The recently concluded Malaysian World Salsa Congress 2009 which was held at the Sunway Lagoon Convention Centre & Theme Park in Petaling Jaya from May 1 - 3 was a resounding success. The event saw the participation of salsa teachers, performers, salseros and salseras from Venezuela, Colombia, Cuba, Spain, Australia, Singapore and Malaysia. Hot on the heels of this event will be the 4th annual Malaysian Salsa Festival 2009 which will be held at the seaside Legend Resort in Cherating, Pahang from July 23 - 26. Among those taking part in this festival will be instructors and performers from the USA, UK, Australia, Dubai, Singapore and Malaysia.

If you are really crazy about salsa and still cannot get enough of it, how does the idea of a salsa cruise grab you? SCAsia Sdn Bhd, is organizing a "Salsa Cruise Asia 2009: Dance With The World", a 6-days 5-nights vacation on board the cruise ship, Legend Of The Seas from November 22 to 27. This dance-themed cruise will sail through Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand and will make a stop in Phuket. Participants will get the opportunity to learn various styles of dance such as the salsa, Latin American, zouk lambada, west coast swing and Afro-Caribbean. In addition you can dance and party to the rhythm of Latin music with El Gatos Salseros, a live band from Spain, and watch exciting dance performances by artistes from around the world.

Related Post

> Have A Sizzling Time At Malaysian World Salsa Congress 2009

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Joropo - The National Dance Of Venezuela

The embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Malaysia recently held the "4th Venezuelan Week" in Melaka from June 27 to July 5 2009. Melaka was chosen to host the celebrations this year to honor the city being chosen as a UNESCO World Heritage City. The activities organized during the Venezuelan Week included a business round table, cooking workshops by chef Tamara Rodriguez, salsa workshops by Patricia Calzadilla, a performance by singer Tito Romero, poetry recitals, traditional dancing and the famous Venezuelan themed party.

The Venezuelan themed party was held on Sunday, June 28 at the Taming Sari Tower in Bandar Hilir, Melaka. Among those who attended the event were the Venezuelan Ambassador to Malaysia, Manuel Guzman, Malaysia Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen, Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam, and many other foreign dignitaries. The guests were treated to a gastronomic delight of Venezuelan cuisine which included many culinary delicacies concocted from cocoa. Venezuela, like Malaysia is a minor cocoa producing country.

That evening, Venezuelan artistes put up exciting performances to entertain the crowd till about midnight. A Venezuelan band, and Tito Romero belted out popular Venezuelan songs. Of course no Venezuelan themed party would be complete without the salsa. Patricia Calzadilla conducted a salsa workshop and coaxed the crowd to join her on the dance floor. In addition there were traditional dance performances by Venezuelan children in their colorful costumes. The Venezuelan national dance, the joropo was also showcased that evening.

The joropo is a musical style and a dance genre resembling the waltz. Joropo has over time became a national identity in Venezuela where it is considered the national dance. The joropo uses the hand turns, movements of the feet and the waltz turns. The dancers first dance a type of waltz in close hold. They then stand facing each other and make small steps forward and backwards as if sweeping the floor. Lastly they hold each others' arms, and the lady does sweeping steps while the man stomps his feet along with the rhythm of the music.

Best Regards,

Dance Aficionado
Dancesport Malaysia

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Should Dance Figures Be Named After Persons?

The Aida is a popular dance figure used in the Rumba (as well as the Cha Cha Cha). In the Rumba, the dancers commence in contact position with the man facing wall, and then take 3 steps down the LOD in LSP. The man releases his R hand hold on the first step and turns his L arm out over the last 2 steps. The man turns a total of 1/4 to his R while the lady turns a total of 1/4 to her L. A good precede to this figure would be the 1-6 or 4-6 of the Reverse Top. The endings to the Aida are 1) Cuban Rock and Spot Turn, 2) Double Spot Turn, 3) Side Cucaracha or 4) Cuban Rock to Progressive Walks Forward in Right Shadow Position (Kiki Walks). The Kiki Walks are basically six Progressive Walks Forward with the lady in Right Shadow Position.

As I was curious as to know why these figures are known as the Aida and Kiki Walks, I decided to surf the internet to find the answers. I discovered what I was looking for in an excerpt to a book "A Concise History Of Latin American Dancing In The UK". Aida was the wife of a Cuban dance teacher, Pepe Llorenz (image above, man in centre) and as she danced this figure extremely well, it was named in her honor, circa 1950. Aida originally executed this figure with ending number 2 as shown above, that is, making 2 Spot Turns, but as it proved rather difficult for the average dancer, the other endings were introduced. Kiki on the other hand was one of the foremost dancers in pre-Castro Cuba and gave his name to this figure which he created.

Should dance figures be named after persons? I am of the opinion that dance figures should not be named after persons due to the fact that most people do not know who they are and their names are soon forgotten. As it is, most dancers (even teachers) I spoke to, do not know who Aida and Kiki were. There is an advanced Waltz figure known as the Rudolf (Rudolph) Ronde. Was the Rudolf Ronde named after Rudolf Laban the dance theorist or Rudolf Nureyev, the ballet dancer, or some other Rudolf? I am unable to find the answer in the world wide web. I believe dance figures should be named after the description or action of the figures, for example the Hockey Stick or Fencing in the Rumba or the V6 or Fishtail in the Quickstep.

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> Latin American Rumba And Cuban Rumba - Dances Of Love & Seduction!

> Is The Double Reverse Spin Really a Double Reverse Spin?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Have A Ball Of A Time At KLDA Gala Ball 2009

The Kuala Lumpur Dancers' Association is organizing the KLDA Gala Ball 2009 to help raise funds for its "Dancesport Scholarship Project". This event will be held at the Superstar Hall of the KLDA at Level 2, Wisma OCM in Jalan Hang Jebat on August 8 (Saturday), starting at 7.00 pm. A sumptious buffet dinner will be served and there will be general dancing till 12.00 midnight as well as dance performances by members of the KLDA. Door gifts will also be given away at the entrance. You can expect a really smashing time at this social. Get ready to Lindy Hop to Hip Hop till you drop! For enquiries, and tickets which are available at RM80 each, please contact C C at 012-2029991 or Cecilia at 012-3061051.

The Dancesport Scholarship Project was initiated by the Kuala Lumpur Dancers' Association (KLDA) to provide assistance to young and talented dancers who are members of the KLDA by way of subsidizing their dance lesson fees. The KLDA is committed to promoting dancing in Malaysia and hopes that with this scholarship project, many youngsters will be encouraged to take up dancing and join the KLDA. Over the years, many of Malaysia's dance champions and promising dancers have become members of the KLDA and practised regularly at its premises. Many renowned dance teachers from overseas including Blackpool Grand Finalists have also taught and performed at the KLDA.

Recently, I spoke to Steven Ong, a life member of the KLDA and a dance veteran of more than 50 years who related to me the history of the KLDA. Steven is a very active social dancer and is a hit with the ladies on the dance floor wherever he goes dancing. According to him, the KLDA was formed in 1982 and had its initial headquarters at the Eastern Hotel & Nite Club in Jalan Ampang (where Capital Square is now). Over the years, the KLDA has shifted several times: to Jalan Galloway, Jalan Ipoh, Jalan Sungai Besi and Cheras Utama before relocating to its present premises at Wisma OCM in early 2008. The patron of the KLDA is Datuk Cheong Siew Kai and the incumbent president is C C Lai.

Related Posts

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

> Join The Kuala Lumpur Dancers' Association (KLDA) Now!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A Legend Passes Away But Lives On In Our Hearts - Tribute To Michael Jackson

Grief-stricken fans of Michael Jackson around the world are still mourning his death one week after the pop idol passed away of cardiac arrest last Thursday. Michael Jackson was truly a brilliant singer entertainer and dancer extraordinaire. During his 'reign', the King of Pop influenced global trends in music, dance and fashion. His 1982 album Thriller which contained the blockbuster hits Billie Jean, Beat It and Thriller is the best selling album of all time with sales totalling some 100 million copies. Michael had 13 number 1 hits in the US and this puts him behind only The Beatles, Mariah Carey and Elvis Presley. Michael's dancing skills are legendary. He could do fast multiple swivels, dance 'en pointe', and he helped popularize the moonwalk.

The moonwalk or backslide is a dance routine that gives the illusion that the dancer is stepping forward while actually moving backwards. It gives the appearance of a person walking against the direction of movement on a walkalator. The dance move gained widespread popularity after it was performed by Michael Jackson in his song Billie Jean on the television special "Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever" on March 25 1983. Michael did not create the moonwalk, he just made it famous and it became his signature dance move. Many artistes have been credited with creating the moonwalk but the honour is usually given to the French mime, Marcel Marceau. Michael Jackson can however lay claim to being the greatest moonwalker on earth!

Michael was in Malaysia as part of his HIStory World Tour in 1996 and performed two shows at the Merdeka Stadium in Kuala Lumpur - on October 27 & 29. The event received plenty of press coverage and generated a lot of buzz. The paparazzi and fans gathered at the Concorde Hotel where he was staying, hoping to shoot photos or just catch a glimpse of the King of Pop. Traffic around the hotel came to a standstill as motorists slowed down to have a look. Michael took time off during his stay here to do some shopping. When he arrived at the shopping complex there was near pandemonium as the multitude of shoppers crowded around him and wanted to get his autograph, shake his hand or simply to touch him. Michael was like a demi-god to his fans!

The concerts in Kuala Lumpur were held at the iconic Merdeka (Independence) Stadium where the then Malaya's first prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman had proclaimed the nation's independence from Britain on August 31 1957. Among the audience at the performances were their majesties the King and Queen of Malaysia, several cabinet ministers, and dignitaries. Because of the hot and humid weather in Malaysia, Michael chose to wear his specially designed thermal suit to help keep him cool. And he really was cool on stage, putting on a magnificent display of showmanship which won the adoration of his fans. Rest in peace, MJ. You will always be in our hearts and remembered for bringing so much joy and happiness to the world!

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