As the year 2009 draws to a close, many people will be looking forward to welcoming in the new year 2010. On new year's eve, Malaysians like many of their counterparts all over the the world will be coming out in droves to party and dance the night away, and ring in the new year. In the capital city of Kuala Lumpur, the best places to join in the festivities, watch performances and fireworks displays will be at Dataran Merdeka (Independence Square) and in the shopping districts of Bukit Bintang and KLCC. The economic slowdown this year may have impacted the spending habits of many but how has it affected the dance activities held here in Malaysia? Let us take a review of the dance happenings here in 2009.
Dancesport enthusiasts were treated to an awesome display of dance artistry by some of the best dancers in the world at the 5th Malaysian International Dance Championship 2009 cum second leg of the Asian Open Dance Championship Tour 2009 at Genting Highlands on February 27 & 28. Among the ballroom competitors who took part were Arunas Bizokas & Katusha Demidova, Jonathan Wilkins & Hazel Newberry and Roberto Villas & Moreno Colagreco. In the Latin section we had Riccardo Cocchi & Yulia Zagoruychenko, Franco Formica & Oxana Lebedew and Maurizio Vescovo & Melinda Torokgyorgy. Dance maestros Marcus Hilton, Bryan Watson and Carmen Vincelj were among the judges at this competition.
The other major international dancesport competitions organized this year were the 7th Crystal Dancesport Championships 2009 in Kuala Lumpur on August 30 and the 16th Penang International Ballroom Dancing Championship 2009 in Georgetown on November 28. In between, several minor dancesport competitions were held in Melaka, Johore Baru, Muar and Kota Kinabalu. Some well-known ballroom dancers like Roberto Villas & Moreno Colagreco, Aleksandr Zhiratkov & Irina Novozhilova and Barry Winters stayed behind after taking part in the competitions here to conduct workshops and classes at the Kuala Lumpur Dancers' Association. (To be continued. Part 2 of this article will appear next week).