Julian Amey, Chief Executive of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) UK, recently visited Malaysia to meet with dance teachers and familiarize himself with the local dance scene. While here, Amey also met up with his colleagues Richard Hunt, Vice Chairman of the Modern Ballroom Faculty and Yvonne Taylor-Hill, Chairman of the Disco/Free Style/Rock 'n' Roll Faculty, both of whom had arrived in Malaysia earlier to conduct the ISTD medal tests and dance teacher examinations. A dinner reception in Shah Alam, Selangor was hosted in their honour by Nelly Tsen, the ISTD examination organizer for Malaysia. The function held on October 31 2009 was attended by about 50 dance teachers and those in the dance fraternity.
In his speech, Richard Hunt spoke of the many interesting programmes planned by the ISTD in Malaysia. In the offing was a plan by the ISTD to conduct workshops for dance teachers and students. Another was in getting dance schools here to organize medallist competitions or medallist festivals. Nelly Tsen later informed me that these competitions are strictly for medallists, that is; those who have taken the ISTD medal tests. Medallist festivals offer lots of different events (up to 100 or more is possible) for different age groups of differing grades. The rules and regulations differ slightly from normal ballroom dance competitions. A medallist festival was last organized in Malaysia in 1994 by Tsen and it is hoped that the festival will be revived soon.
Four dance teachers were presented with mementos by the ISTD in recognition of their contributions and efforts in helping to promote dancing in Malaysia. They were:-
1) Chong Kim Yee - Swan Link Dance Studio, Kuala Lumpur
2) Apache Yong - Le Dance Centre, Petaling Jaya
3) John Chong - John's Dance Centre, Kota Kinabalu
4) Maxine Lau - John's Dance Centre, Kota Kinabalu
Nelly Tsen also took the opportunity to announce the election of Lim Sae Min as the new president of the Malaysian Ballroom Dance Teachers Berhad. Lim, the principal of I Dance Studio in Damansara Perdana, Petaling Jaya takes over from Jimmy Liew who had helmed the association for a good number of years. After dinner and speeches, it was time for socialising, dancing and karaoke till the wee hours of the morning. A wonderful time was had by all. Those who were seen enjoying themselves that evening included George Lim, the president of Malaysian Dancesport Berhad, C C Lai, the president of Kuala Lumpur Dancers' Association and Jimmy Liew, the past president of Malaysian Ballroom Dance Teachers Berhad.
> So You Think You Can Be A Dance Teacher