Monday, December 27, 2010

Countdown To New Year 2011


Ambank Group will be organizing a concert at Dataran Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur on December 31 to usher in the New Year 2011. The countdown concert, titled Ambang 2011 will begin at 8.45 pm. The artistes who will be making an appearance include Datuk David Arumugam (formerly of The Alleycats), Pop Shuvit, M. Nasir, Ramlah Ram, Amy of Search, Pop Idol 2 winner Daniel Lee, The Singing Shop and bhangra group Gold Kartz.

Cultural performances have been planned as well. Dancers from Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) will be performing the 1Malaysia and other Malay traditional dances. CN Dancez will be doing Chinese folk dances while Vehaara Arts will be putting up Indian contemporary dances. Not to be sidelined, the Mah Meri orang asli will be showcasing their aborigine dances. The DBKL Orchestra will be in attendance to provide the musical accompaniment.

Many VIPs will be attending this gala event. Amongst them is philanthropist Tan Sri Azman Hashim, the chairman of Ambank Group. Tan Sri Azman, who has a keen interest in music is expected to go up on stage to croon a song or two to entertain the crowd and also lead the countdown to the new year. The Ambang 2011 concert will be telecast live over TV2 from 10.15 pm to 1.15 am. Have a Happy & Prosperous New Year 2011!










Monday, December 20, 2010

1Malaysia Dance Carnival Attracts Throng



Dataran Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur was turned into a huge dance floor on Sunday morning, December 5, when 15000 people from all walks of life, including foreigners, tool part in the Cuti Cuti 1Malaysia dance carnival organised by the Tourism Ministry. Participants included Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah Mansor, wife of the Prime Minister, and Tourism Minister, Datin Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen. Attired in colourful T-shirts, the crowd danced in unison, collectively forming a beautiful mass movement.


The dance carnival, held for the second time after the successful staging last year, has been recognised by the Malaysia Book of Records as the largest dance troupe ever assembled in this country. "Cuti-Cuti 1Malaysia dance carnival was introduced by the Ministry of Tourism last year and many people from around the world witnessed it as our dancers performed this at the Malaysia Pavilion in the recent Shanghai World Expo 2010 where about seven million people visited our expo" said Dr Ng.


"The carnival is a creative and innovative product to boost the tourism industry which is one of the government's New Key Economic Areas." She said the dance carnival incorporated seven dances representing the country's multi-culturalism: Zapin, Chinese dance, Indian dance, Sewang, Sabahan dance, Sarawakian dance and Malaysian Siamese dance.


Professional trainers from the Malaysian Folk Dance Association and the Ministry of Tourism spent two months instructing participants on the seven dances. Participants include staff of various government agencies, representatives of non-governmental organisations, students from schools and universities and those from the United States. Australia and Germany. (The Malay Mail)





Monday, December 13, 2010

SHOWDOWN 2011


Dubbed as the best dance crew competition in the history of Malaysian television, SHOWDOWN 2011 is back for its second season. Once again, the nation's most eminent dancers from around the country will battle it out for the ultimate dance supremacy. Getting down with these crews as they krump, pump and drop the coolest moves on the dance floor, this hip reality dance crew show is all about taking it raw from the streets.

Aiming to bring street dance out of the shadows and into the spotlight while giving it the respect and attention it deserves, SHOWDOWN 2011 will provide drama and enough exciting twists to get the viewers hooked every week. Besides that, the electrifying hip hop and fusion dance styles along with professional training and off-the-edge challenges thrown into the mix will definitely make the dance show a TV hit show!

Like all reality shows, SHOWDOWN 2011 kicks off with a series of auditions which will take place around the country beginning 8th January 2011 in Kuching. The auditions will then move to Kota Kinabalu on the 15th of January and Kuala Lumpur on the 21st and 22nd of January.

Registration for auditions is open from 9.00am to 3.00 pm. During the auditions, the dance crews will break into their own brand style routines to impress the judges. Each crew to comprise of 5 to 7 members. For more information log on to www.8tv.com.my/showdown. SHOWDOWN 2011 will premiere on Wednesday, 6th April 2011 at 9.30 pm exclusively on 8TV. (Sourced from 8tv.com.my)










Monday, December 6, 2010

Joy To The World


Christmas is just round the corner and soon after that we will be ringing in the New Year 2011. Many of the malls here in Malaysia have already put up Christmas decorations and the festive feeling is in the air. At the Pavilion Shopping Centre in Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur, several giant Christmas trees bedecked with baubles and tinsels are on display. Red, green and gold are the dominant colours as usual. The place comes alive and looks like a fairyland at night!

I quite look forward to the Christmas season for the joy it brings. Listening to Christmas carols being played in the malls and dance studios adds to the festive cheer and help lift one's spirits. Many yuletide songs evoke happy feelings and can put you in the mood for dancing. I could imagine me and my partner waltzing to Silent Nights, dancing the foxtrot to the strains of White Christmas or doing the cha cha cha to Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer at a Christmas eve party.

Speaking of Christmas eve parties; know your limits and do not go on a drinking binge. If you have one drink too many, I'll bet you'll be doing a lot of Tipples Chasses and Tipsys when dancing the quickstep! Many hotels and restaurants are having special Christmas eve dinner promotions and some of the menu that I have seen look really mouth watering. Go easy on the food and look after your waistline though. Have a "Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year 2011!"






Monday, November 29, 2010

China Dominate Dancesport At Asian Games 2010.



China brushed aside the competition to win all 10 gold medals in the dancesport event at the 16th Asian Games 2010 which was held in Guangzhou from November 12 to 27. Powerhouse China took all the 5 gold medals in the Standard and 5 gold medals in the Latin categories to emerge as the undisputed number one dancesport nation in Asia. The official medal tally is as follows:-


China - 10 golds

South Korea - 7 silvers, 3 bronzes

Japan - 3 silvers, 4 bronzes

Philippines - 2 bronzes

Kazakhstan - 1 bronze


Here are the detailed results of the individual events:-


1. China

Gold - Waltz, Quickstep, Foxtrot, Tango, Standard Five Dances, Cha Cha Cha, Jive, Samba, Paso Doble, Latin Five Dances


2. South Korea

Silver - Foxtrot, Tango, Standard Five Dances, Cha Cha Cha, Jive, Samba, Paso Doble

Bronze - Waltz, Quickstep, Latin Five Dances


3. Japan

Silver - Waltz, Quickstep, Latin Five Dances

Bronze - Foxtrot, Tango, Jive, Samba


4. Philippines

Bronze - Cha Cha Cha, Paso Doble


5. Kazakhstan

Bronze - Standard Five Dances


Malaysia did not take part in the dancesport events. The Philippines, which is one of the strongest dancesport nations in South East Asia did fairly well to garner 2 bronze medals. Thailand and Vietnam which were expected to put up a good show failed to live up to expectations. The Central Asian countries were also disappointing and only managed to win a bronze medal through Kazakhstan. It looks like China which won a record 199 gold medals in the 16th Asiad is set to dominate dancesport in Asia.







Monday, November 22, 2010

Power And Energy In Ballroom Dancing


Some 40 dance enthusiasts attended a workshop on Advance Tango Techniques conducted by Dmitry Novikov and Marina Gaevskaya of Russia at the Kuala Lumpur Dancers' Association (KLDA) on November 13. Novikov and Gaevskaya started the session by doing a simple tango routine consisting of two walks and a link followed by a close promenade. We, the participants could notice that the steps they took were big and positive and their actions powerful. Even though the 'standard' timing for the progressive link is 'Quick Quick', Novikov said he preferred using the 'Slow &' timing as it gives the figure a strong and distinctive character.

The Russian couple then demonstrated to the audience how to close their bodies when doing the close promenade. Novikov said the man should 'roll' his waist to signal to his partner that he wants to close their bodies. The man must never use brute force when executing this move. Gaevskaya then proceeded to show the ladies how to square their bodies on the third step of the close promenade. A slight flick action of the right leg was used on the third step to effect the turn of the body. At the same time the lady must turn her head sharply to her left. The audience were then told to practice the figures and put through their paces.

Novikov mentioned that there are three types of control in ballroom dancing. They are 1) mental, 2) physical and 3) emotional control. He also talked about power and energy and how to feel the energy. "If you cannot feel the energy, you cannot show the energy. Dancers must use their body weight energy and not their muscle energy" he said. Transfer of body weight using the supporting leg was also discussed and demonstrated by Novikov. The audience exclaimed that the movements looked like taiqi (tai chi) moves, to which Novikov quite agreed! We had a jolly good time and certainly learnt so much about advance tango techniques that evening.









Monday, November 15, 2010

Dance Your Way To Good Health



Which are the cardio activities that blast fat the fastest? According to a recent article in shine.yahoo.com, which listed the top seven metabolic rate enhancing activities, dancing comes in at number six. Here are the top seven fat and calorie burners, from Los Angeles, USA based celebrity trainer Ramona Braganza who has helped shape the amazing bodies of stars like Jessica Alba, Halle Berry and Anne Hathaway.


1. Inline skating
Burns 425 calories in 30 minutes

2. Running
Burns 374 calories in 30 minutes

3. Jumping rope
Burns 340 minutes in 30 minutes

4. Hula hooping
Burns 300 minutes in 30 minutes

5. Tennis
Burns 274 minutes in 30 minutes

6. Dancing
Burns 221 calories in 30 minutes

7. Walking vigorously
Burns 170 calories in 30 minutes


While the article says that dancing may not be the biggest calorie-burner in the bunch, it is still an excellent and fun metabolism booster. (Just look at Kelly Osbourne who jump-started her amazing 42-pound loss with Dancing With The Stars.) The key is to keep the tempo high, choosing songs with fast rhythms like Latin or Bollywood, and don't rest between songs. To boost your burn, use your arms. Raise them in the air and move them to the beat.









Monday, November 8, 2010

Golden Palm Tree International Dance Championship 2010


Some 160 dancers from 18 countries in Europe, USA and Asia competed in Ballroom, Latin American, Salsa and Argentine Tango events in the inaugural Golden Palm Tree International Dance Championship 2010 held at Golden Palm Tree Resort & Spa in Sepang Goldcoast, Selangor on October 29. Among those who took part in this competition were British Professional Ballroom Champions and Blackpool Grand Finalists Warren & Kristi Boyce (pic) of England.

The guest-of-honour at this function was Heng Seai Kie, the Deputy Women, Family & Community Development Minister. Heng said that her ministry recognizes the potential of ballroom dancing in enhancing family relationships. She also congratulated Golden Palm Tree's efforts in promoting dance as a sport for the family and community development.

The winners of the major categories are as follows:-

Professional Standard - Warren & Kristi Boyce (England)

Professional Latin - Alessandro Carmerotto & Nancy Berti (Italy)

Amateur Standard - Mikhail and Olesya Eremeeva (Russia)

Amateur Latin - Massimo Acrolin & Luba Mustuck (Italy)

Pro-Am Latin - Michael Badong & Soleil Mahani Kamil (Philippines)

Junior Latin - Sam Hunter & Charlotte Plant (England)



Monday, November 1, 2010

ISTD Conducts Masters' Workshop


More than 60 dance teachers and students attended a masters' workshop organized by the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) on October 27 2010. Held at the conference suite of GC Technologies (M) Sdn Bhd in Shah Alam, Selangor; the workshop was conducted by Richard Hunt (Vice Chairman of the ISTD Modern Ballroom Faculty and Imperial Dance & Dance Sport Faculties Board) and Yvonne Taylor-Hill (Chairman of the Disco/Freestyle/Rock 'n' Roll Faculty and member of the ISTD council).

The topics that were discussed at this workshop covered Ballroom and Latin American dances. Poise, balance and centering were explained. The character of the various dances were mentioned and demonstrated. As for Ballroom dancing, the different types of rise and fall were elucidated. Hunt and Taylor-Hill emphasized the use of good technique and showed the simple teaching aids that can be used to improve technique. A Rumba and Tango routine were demonstrated and the participants were then put through their paces.

Hunt and Taylor-Hill said they were pleased with the good turnout and support shown by the teachers and students at this workshop. There are plans to organize more of such workshops in future. They thanked those present and the coordinators of the workshop, namely Nelly Tsen (Examination Organizer - Ballroom Faculty ISTD), Lim Sae Min (president of Malaysian Ballroom Dance Teachers Berhad) and Chong Kim Yee (principal of Swan Link Dance Studio) for their assistance in organizing the workshop.







Monday, October 25, 2010

"Advance Tango Techniques" Workshop By Novikov And Gaevskaya


By popular demand, Dmitry Novikov and Marina Gaevskaya of Russia will be here in Malaysia to conduct a workshop on Advance Tango Techniques at the Kuala Lumpur Dancers' Association (KLDA) on November 13. The two-hour session, commencing 8.00 pm, will be held at the KLDA's Superstar Hall in Wisma OCM. At this workshop, Novikov and Gaevskaya will demonstrate advance and intricate Tango figures. The session is 'interactive' in nature and participants are welcomed to pose questions. Admission fees are RM30 for KLDA members and RM60 for non-members.

Novikov and Gaeskaya will also be conducting private ballroom classes from November 12 to December 2 from 10.00 am to 8.30 pm at the same premises. Private lessons can be booked now or at the time of workshop. The fees are RM250 (per 45-minutes session) for KLDA members and RM280 (per 45-minutes session) for non- members. For more information or to register, kindly contact Mrs C K Chang at 012-2877212, email: wmchoo@pc.jaring.my or Mr C C Lai at 012-2029991, email: cclai_klda@yahoo.com.

The tall and lovely professional couple of Novikov and Gaevskaya stand at 194 cm and 181 cm respectively. Both have been dancing together since 1988 and compete regularly in the Blackpool Dance Festival, European and Asian dancesport circuits. They were here in Malaysia in July of last year where they conducted private ballroom classes and held 2 workshops at the KLDA: one on ballroom techniques and another on the Viennese waltz. The response was very encouraging and a good number of students turned up at both the workshops to learn from these two masters.


Related Post









Monday, October 18, 2010

Zumba Fitness - Dance For Charity



A "Zumba Fitness - Dance For Charity" event will be held on November 7 at HGH Convention Centre, Sentul, Kuala Lumpur to help raise funds for charity. Proceeds from the sale of tickets will be channeled to Kiwanis Club of Bangsar, Kiwanis Club of Bukit Bandaraya and Hospis Malaysia. Zumba instructor and license holder, Jason Ooi says he expects more than 3000 participants to attend this two-hour dance fitness programme which will kick off at 11.00 am. Tickets are sold at RM18 each. For more information, call 013-3672001, 016-6839666 or 016-9042008 or visit www.zumbaforcharity.blogspot.com.

Zumba is a fitness programme that has become a worldwide craze. The fitness programme combines Latin rhythm with cardiovascular exercises to create an aerobics routine that is fun and easy to follow. Participants often comment that it is so much fun that they don't think of it as a workout. There are presently more than 20,000 Zumba trained instructors in over 35 countries, and millions of Zumba DVDs have been sold worldwide. Zumba enthusiasts all over the world are discovering the joy of dancing and the benefits to their health all at the same time.

Colombian fitness trainer Beto Perez stumbled upon the concept of Latin-inspired fitness in his native country of Colombia in the mid-1990s. He introduced a fitness programme which he called Zumba and which soon became very popular in his class. The word Zumba is Spanish slang for "to move fast and have fun". The fun workout comprises of approximately 70% Latin dances (eg cha cha cha, samba, mambo) and 30% of other dances from around the world (eg flamenco, calypso, hip hop). Zumba utilizes the principles of fitness interval training and resistance training to maximize caloric output, fat burning and total body burning.








Monday, October 11, 2010

Mating Dance


Men who wish to attract women on the dance floor would be better advised to learn a few moves that answer the female mating drive rather than bother with the moonwalk. Psychologists have identified the key male dance movements that most arouse female interest - and all are to do with the central body motions which send out primal signals of health, vigour and strength. A team led by Nick Neave of Northumbria University in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England filmed 109 men aged 18 to 35 in a lab as they danced to a standard disco beat.

The men, none of whom was a professional dancer, wore reflective markers that studded their bodies and were filmed by a battery of twelve 3D cameras. The footage was used to create a dancing avatar, or animated figure, that was faceless and genderless. Thirty-seven young heterosexual women were then shown 15-second clips of the avatars and were asked to judge which of the dance movements were the most attractive. Eight "movement variables" emerged which distinguished the trolls from the Travoltas.

"Good" dancers did wider and bigger movements of the head, neck and torso, and did faster bending and twisting movements of their right knee (greater movements of the right knee rather than the left were to be expected, as 80% of the dancers favoured their right leg). In contrast, "bad" dancers tended to be stiff and plod - and throwing their arms around was no substitute for fast, variable movement of the central body region. "Men all over the world will be interested to know what moves they can throw to attract a woman" says Neave. (Source: AFP) ........








Monday, October 4, 2010

ISTD 2010 Malaysia Tour - Workshops


The Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) in conjunction with Malaysian Ballroom Dance Teachers Berhad is organizing a series of workshops which will be held at the conference suite of GC Building Technologies (M) Sdn Bhd, 7 Jalan Perintis U1/52, Kawasan Perindustrian Temasya, Bandar Glenmarie, 40150 Shah Alam, Selangor. The workshops will be conducted by Richard Hunt (Vice Chairman of the ISTD Modern Ballroom Faculty and Imperial Dance & Dance Sport Faculties Board) and Yvonne Taylor-Hill (Chairman of the Disco/Freeestyle/Rock 'n' Roll Faculty and member of the ISTD council).


Master Class (Open to students and dance teachers)

Date: October 27 2010, Wednesday

Time: 6.30 pm to 10.15 pm

Fees: ISTD qualified teachers - RM20, other participants - RM50


Training Professionals Exam (Open only to ISTD qualified teachers)

Date: October 28 2010, Thursday

Time: 8.30 am to 9.30 pm

Fees: RM80


Teachers Workshop (Open to all professional dance teachers)

Date: October 29 2010, Friday

Time: 9.30 am to 6.00 pm

Fees: ISTD qualified teachers - RM60, other professional teachers - RM120

Topics: Simple variations in Latin and Ballroom, Advanced compulsory Latin figures in Gold Star exams, Faults seen in medal tests, 6 weeks Rock 'n' Roll, Medal tests choreography, What the examiners and adjudicators look for, Teachers' questions & answers


For further information or to register, kindly email mydanceteachers@gmail.com or contact Lim Sae Min at 012-2030107, Chong Kim Yee at 012-2215727 or Nelly Tsen at 012-2848088.






Monday, September 27, 2010

12th CSTD Asia Pacific Dance Competition



More than 500 dancers from India, Thailand, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia and Singapore participated in the 12th Commonwealth Society of Teachers of Dancing Asia Pacific Dance competition held recently in Singapore. The host and organizer of the event, Barbara Hannan said the competition brought together dancers from the different regions together to perform and learn from each other in the spirit of friendly competition.

Two students from the ACTS School of Performing Arts in Kuala Lumpur did credibly well in the competition. Abdul Muhaimin Md Azman emerged as the champion in the Tap Solo under-18 category while Cassandra Law managed a third placing in the Modern & Jazz solo under-14 category. Both said they took two months to practise and rehearse their routines which were choreographed by their instructors Liew Yen Shen and C M Foh.

Besides Tap, Muhaimin also excels in Hip Hop, Contemporary, Jazz, Ballet and Modern. As for Law, she is also taking Ballet, Latin, Ballroom and Contemporary dance lessons. The two of them are looking forward to competing in the next Asia Pacific Dance Competition 2011 to be held in Hong Kong. Towards the end of the year, ACTS School will be staging "King of Pop - The Musical" as a tribute to the late Michael Jackson.








Monday, September 20, 2010

ASWARA Open House


The National Academy of Arts, Culture & Heritage or Akademi Seni, Budaya & Warisan Kebangsaan (ASWARA) will be having an open house titled Jamu 2010 at its campus at 464 Jalan Tun Ismail, 50480 Kuala Lumpur on October 3. At this event, workshops for traditional Malay, Chinese and Indian dances plus hip hop & jazz will be conducted. The workshops will be held from 10.00 am to noon and from 2.00 to 3.30 pm.

The workshops are suitable for beginners and advanced learners. Fees are RM25 for adults and RM15 for students for a day pass. Dance performances will also be held from noon to 2.00 pm and from 4.00 to 6.30 pm. These performances will showcase traditional Malaysian dances and and contemporary choreography respectively. For more information please contact Jeffri at 019-2319179. To know more about ASWARA check out www.aswara.edu.my.

ASWARA was set up in 1994 with the objective of producing creative performers, nurturing artistic talent and developing leaders in the arts. ASWARA which comes under the auspices of the Ministry of Unity, Culture, Arts & Heritage is the only institution of higher learning offering formal training in the performing arts, which is fully supported by the government. It provides, teaching, learning, research and consultancy services in the fields of arts, culture and heritage.







Monday, September 13, 2010

New Dance Spot In KL


For dance enthusiasts in the Klang Valley, there is a new place in KL where they can go to practice their ballroom dancing. Golden Dragongate Restaurant at 10 Jalan Kampung Pandan, 55100 Kuala Lumpur (near Taman Maluri) is fast becoming a popular spot for dance studios and dance associations to organize their functions and events there. The laminated timber dance floor is spacious and the ambience is good for socialising and dancing. The service is up to expectations and there is ample parking space.


The restaurant was formerly located at Jalan Imbi before relocating to its new and bigger premises in Jalan Kampung Pandan last year. To encourage more people to patronize its restaurant, the management organizes a social & dance night every Wednesday from 7.00 pm to 12.00 midnight. Karaoke is from 7.00 pm to 9.00 pm and after that it is general dancing till 12.00 midnight. Entrance fee is RM10 only. For more information contact Aaron Chock at 012-2857700 or 03-92821313.






Monday, September 6, 2010

ISTD Plans Exciting Events


Next month, examiners from the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) UK, will be in Malaysia to conduct the medallist tests and teacher examinations. This year, the ISTD will be organizing several interesting events for the benefit of teachers and students. Among the activities to be held in October are several teacher workshops which will be conducted at the Kuala Lumpur Dancers' Association (KLDA). Some workshops will include students as well. A medallist festival (dance competition) will also be held at the KLDA on October 30. For those who can remember, two such festivals were held in Malaysia in the 1990s with much success.

A dinner and dance will also be held on the evening of the medallist festival on October 30 at the KLDA. After the prize giving ceremony, a sumptuous full course Chinese dinner will be served and there will be general dancing, performances and lots of fun. Well known ISTD examiners Richard Hunt and Yvonne Taylor-Hill will be the hosts at this event. For more information regarding the activities, kindly contact Lim Sae Min (president of Malaysian Ballroom Dance Teachers Berhad) at 012-2030107, Chong Kim Yee (principal of Swan Link Dance Studio) at 012-2215727 or Nelly Tsen (Examination Organizer - Ballroom Faculty ISTD) at 012-2848088.

The Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (founded 1904), with its headquarters at Imperial House, 22-26 Paul Street, London EC2A 4QE, England is the leading dance examinations board in the world. It is today a registered educational charity and is the only organization that covers the full spectrum of dance examinations on a truly global scale. Every year, more than 250,000 people are examined, for which the ISTD provides grade examinations and medal tests to assess their proficiency. The many styles of dances for which the students are examined include Ballet, Modern, Tap, National, Classical Greek, Disco, Ballroom and Latin American.










Monday, August 30, 2010

3D Movies Are Over-Rated


Three dimensional or 3D movies seem to be all the rage now. 3D movies are nothing new actually. They were introduced in the 1960s and was greeted with some success as it was a novelty back then. Cinema audiences were thrilled to see arrows and spears being aimed straight at them, and ducking the imaginary missiles being thrown at them. Their popularity has however waxed and wane over the decades. Lately, 3D movies were given a boost after the successful release of Avatar in 3D. Avatar has gone on to become the biggest blockbuster of all times and spawned a slew of 3D movies in its wake.

Presently you can get to watch many movies in 3D. One film which is making its rounds in the local cinema circuit is a dance movie called Step Up 3D which is actually also the third part of the movie of the same name. The storyline is about a group of guys training to become world hip hop champions. You of course get to see a lot of hip hop action in this movie. The directors have also included an Argentine Tango and a Broadway dance in the script. The plot and the acting is average and you may 'see' the dancers' hands jabbing you or a leg being kicked in your face. Nothing out of the extraordinary actually.

In spite of the publicity, I think 3D movies are over-rated. You basically get to see the movie in greater depth and clarity but you usually have to pay a hefty price for the tickets. The tickets for Step Up 3D costs RM21 each (in Kuala Lumpur) which is twice what you would pay for a normal ticket. Furthermore, the 3D glasses that you have to wear, tend to become coated with moisture from your breath and you have to wipe the lenses on and off. Many more films in 3D will be hitting our cinemas. Who knows, there might even be a release of the mega hit dance movie Saturday Night Fever in 3D!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Dance For Your Dream


A dance competition called "Dance For Your Dream" will be held nationwide next month. This 'freestyle' competition in which all genres of dance are allowed, is open to individuals aged 18 to 28. Contestants will have to put up two performances in two rounds during the competition. The first is a solo performance whilst in the second round, the contestant must team up with one or more dance mates to give a team performance (eg. ballet, hip hop, belly). The contestant must however take the leading role in the team performance.

The preliminary rounds for this competition will commence in September at eight locations: George Town, Butterworth, Ipoh, Seremban, Melaka, Johor Baru and in two venues in Kuala Lumpur. One finalist will be selected from each location to compete in the grand finals to be held in Kuala Lumpur in October. The winner of the grand finals will be awarded prizes and a chance to attend a fully sponsored two-week dance course in Hong Kong with Sunny Wong, a well known choreographer who has worked with artistes like Andy Lau, Aaron Kwok and Kelly Chen.

Local recording artiste and dance enthusiast Aric Ho who conceived the idea for "Dance For Your Dream" will be one of the judges. He said that the winner will be the one who has the right aptitude and the right attitude for dancing. This event will be broadcast through online media such as Facebook. The closing date for entries is September 8. Those who are interested in taking part in this competition can register at facebook.com/danceforyourdream. For more information, please call 019-2556274.







Thursday, August 19, 2010

How Often Do You Dance?


How many dance classes do you attend in a week and how often do you practise your dance routine? I remembered when I took up Ballroom and Latin American dancing many many years ago I would attend classes three times a week and go out to practise at least twice a week. My classmates and I would train at the Kuala Lumpur Dancers Association (KLDA), YMCA, Royal Selangor Club and Royal Lake Club amongst others. We were so crazy about dancing then that we would often adjourn to the Royal Selangor Club for another round of dancing just after our lessons were over. It was as though we lived to dance!

The dancesport section of the Royal Selangor Club was very active back then and they used to organize many dinner and dance events at affordable prices. These events were very popular and members were allowed to bring several of their friends to these functions. The food, wine, ambiance and music was good. You would often see students from the different dance schools there. There would also be impromptu dance competitions involving representatives from the different schools and token prizes would be given to the winners. These events were kind of fun but unfortunately, are not that well received anymore.

The Royal Lake Club has embarked on a project this year to revive interest in dancing. In March, a dinner and dance cum Rumba workshop by Amy Lee of Amy Dancesport Centre was held. A couple of months ago, another dinner and dance featuring top ballroom and Latin American dancers from China was organized. The KLDA is also doing its part to promote interest in dancing. As an incentive, members who perform commendably well in competitions will be considered for scholarships and monetary rewards. A potluck and dance performance which is open to members of the public is held on the last Sunday of every month.







Monday, August 9, 2010

Where Have All The Men Gone?


Some of my female friends in the Klang Valley and visitors to my blog often inform me that they would like to take up ballroom dancing and ask where they can learn ballroom dancing. I would usually provide them with a list of the well known dance studios in Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya where they can pursue their interest. For those without partners, their enthusiasm can quickly turn to disappointment when they find that there is generally a scarcity of male ballroom dancers. Which means they have to share someone else's partner which of course has its drawbacks and problems.

Why is it that women are so crazy while the men seem to be blase about ballroom dancing? Do men have two left feet or are they just too lazy to learn the steps? Or are they afraid of intimacy? I really don't have the answers. I read a recent science report which says that women are usually attracted to men who can dance well. Scientists opined that this could be due to the fact that dancing is quite a strenuous exercise and that men who can dance well are generally seen to be fit and healthy and therefore carry better genes. For women, it's all about the mating game and having healthy offspring.

In their search for dance partners, some Malaysian women have resorted to advertising on the internet. Unless both partners stay in the same city or nearby each other, meeting up for classes and practices can be a hassle. I know of one lady who is even willing to relocate to another country just to pursue her love of dance if she can find the right partner there. Another alternative is to pay to engage the services of a professional dancer to dance with you. I heard that in Hong Kong, professional dancers there charge a fee of between HK$500 to HK$2000 for a 3-hour dance session.








Monday, August 2, 2010

Movement And Balance In Ballroom Dancing


Some 50 dance enthusiasts turned up at a ballroom dance workshop conducted by Dmitry Novikov and Marina Gaevskaya of Russia at the Kuala Lumpur Dancers' Association on July 29. The lovely couple of Novikov and Gaevskaya who stand at 194 cm and 181 cm respectively have been dancing together since 1988 and compete regularly in the Blackpool Dance Festival, European and Asian circuits. Novikov and Marina started the session by dancing a simple waltz routine using strong techniques. Novikov compared dancing with the building of a house and went on to stress that the foundation of a house must be strong in order for it to stand firm. Similarly in dancing, dancers have to work from the feet up and the legs have to be strong to provide the body movement and balance, he said.

According to Novikov there are three types of body movements in ballroom dancing. They are 1) frontal movement, 2) lateral movement and 3) rotary movement. Novikov and Gaevskaya then danced a natural turn and demonstrated how these different movements are used when dancing the natural turn. Novikov next talked about balance. He said there are three types of balance namely 1) personal balance, 2) moving balance and 3) couple balance. Rotation and turn were also discussed. Novikov explained that rotation is in relation to the body and showed the different 'angles' in which a body can be rotated while a turn is done on and with the feet. Novikov emphasized that when executing a turn the dancer must not rotate his/her body or else the dancer will lose his/her balance.

Other topics covered were centre balance position, supporting leg and transfer of weight and the connection between partners. The dancers were shown how to do the transfer of weight from one leg to another; which looked liked taiqi moves! Novikov reiterated that the connection between the partners should be at the rib cage area and not at the pelvis or thighs. He also discussed about the technique on how to take the first step when dancing a figure. Novikov emphasized that the knees should be bend and the weight pressed on to the floor before taking the first step. This will give the dancer the power to execute the other steps. There was of course the oft-repeated 'mantra' "The man leads and the lady follows". The workshop ended with a scintillating waltz performance by Novikov and Gaevskaya.





Monday, July 26, 2010

Letdown At The Final Showdown



Three street dance crews competed in the grand finals of Showdown 2010 aptly called the Final Showdown held on July 14 at KL Live in Kuala Lumpur. They were Wakaka Crew, Giller Battle Crew and Floor Fever. Comprising of seven members each, the three crews were the survivors from the original twelve finalists at the start of the competition which premiered over 8TV on March 31. The host of the Final Showdown which was telecast live was Hafiz Hatim while the panel of judges comprised of Maple Loo, Boudeng Edonce, B-Boy Choco and Joe Flizzow. The winner of the competition got to take home a prize money of RM50,000.

At the grand finals, each crew had to perform two routines each. After their performances, the audience and TV viewers at home were urged to sms their votes for their favourite teams. The team with the least votes would be eliminated and the remaining two teams would then battle it out to determine the winner, also through sms votes. All three crews were in their elements and gave their all. I quite liked Floor Fever's performance and interesting choreography. However sad to say, they received the least votes in the first round and were eliminated. In my opinion, Floor Fever should have made it to the battle with Wakaka Crew.

In what looked like an anti-climax, Wakaka Crew went on to slay Giller Battle Crew in the battle to emerge champions. The problem with these TV reality dance shows is that the viewers would often vote for their favourite dancers rather than for the best dancers. It happened during the Strictly Come Dancing Season 6 shows in the UK in 2008, so much so that the judges had to remind the TV viewers to vote for the best dancers and not for their favourite dancers. In Malaysia, the grand finals of So You Think You Can Dance Season 2 in 2008 caused a hue and cry when it appeared that the favourite and not the best dancer had won the competition.






Monday, July 19, 2010

Shake It Like Shakira


When the world was introduced to Colombian singer Shakira, what struck everyone was her amazing hip gyrations. Who knew the human form could move like that? Her agility and breath breaking style got people talking and hoping that they too (or their wives), could shake their booty the way she does. So if you've always wanted to learn how to belly dance, but never got around to enrolling in a class, perhaps its time you got cracking. Or visit FemmeCity in Kuala Lumpur on July 31 and better, get acquainted with the dance.

Veteran belly dancer and tutor Nancy Bakhshy (pic) will be conducting a workshop entitled Belly Dancing for Great Physique at noon, to show what it's all about. "I will teach participants to use all the different muscles in their bodies", says Bakhshy who has been teaching the art form in Malaysia since 2002. Bakhshy has an academy in Kuala Lumpur with students from as young as 7 to as old as 75, so it doesn't matter how old you are. Born in Tehran to Turkish parents, Bakhshy grew up steeped in Turkish and Iranian traditions and cultures. She learnt to dance from her mother (also a dancer) and an Egyptian teacher. Her performance style is infused with folkloric and cultural elements which are woven into her choreography.

Bakhshy is a pioneer of belly dance here and she credits Shakira for getting people curious and interested about the art form. "In the beginning, not many people knew what belly dancing was about. Then Shakira showed them in her music videos. I remember when the ladies came to enrol, they would say I want to dance like Shakira." In fact, Bakhshy uses the sultry Colombian singer's songs for her classes including the catchy hit Hips Don't Lie. She believes that belly dancing can bring diverse benefits and is not really that difficult to learn. "Belly dancing is really an easy workout for ladies. As it uses mainly the abdominal muscles, women can tone their bodies. Some of them have even said it is easier than doing sit-ups."

At the FemmeCity workshop, Bakhshy will go all out to inspire women to feel good about themselves through the dance. She hopes that by the end of her session, they will enrol (for belly dance lessons) and come out dancing. For more on FemmeCity (www.clovetwo/femmecity), make your way to the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre from July 30 to August 1. Admission is free. This article by Olivia Lee appeared in the Starmag section of Sunday Star on July 11 and has been republished with the kind permission of Star Publications (M) Berhad.







Monday, July 12, 2010

Holograms And Home Entertainment



The 2010 FIFA World Cup tournament in South Africa comes to an official close today after a month of soccer mania. Football fans all over the world were able to watch the games live at giant screens set up in their city parks or squares. In Kuala Lumpur, two jumbo screens were installed at Dataran Merdeka (Independence Square) and fans were able to catch the matches at 7.30 pm, 10.00 pm and 2.30 am local time. Those following the games at home could avail themselves to the latest 50 inch, light emitting diode, high definition, 3 dimension TV or what is known simply as a LED, HD, 3D TV. That's quite a mouthful, isn't it? But nothing beats the thrill of watching the matches live at the stadiums, notwithstanding the cacophony caused by the incessant blaring of the vuvuzelas!

Recently I read in a science journal article that scientists are working on a holographic projection system whereby people would be able to watch holograms of any events around the world live. Let's take for example the 2014 FIFA World Cup which will be held in Brazil. If all goes well with this system, scientists would be able to transmit holographic images of a football match being played in a stadium in Brazil live to another stadium elsewhere; let's say the Bukit Jalil Stadium in Kuala Lumpur. Spectators in KL will be able to see holograms of the World Cup football players playing in the Bukit Jalil Stadium. The players will appear life-like in three dimension and the spectators in the Bukit Jalil Stadium will feel as though they are watching the games live in the stadium in Brazil.

This holographic projection system has got many people all excited. Imagine being able to watch the Olympic Games or All England badminton finals here in Malaysia. Or feel the excitement of the Blackpool Dance Festival. Other possibilities include watching concerts, operas and shows. It is in home entertainment that the holographic projection system offers the greatest potential. Scientists are also working on a home video entertainment system whereby you can watch holograms of your favourite entertainers right in your living room. Wouldn't it be great to be able to see Lady Gaga perform 'live' before your very eyes, watch Michael Malitowski & Joanna Leunis dance a cha cha cha or gape at Michael Jackson moonwalk across the floor? That, would be simply awesome!








Monday, July 5, 2010

Dancesport To Debut In 2010 Asian Games Guangzhou



The 16th Asian Games 2010 will be held in Guangzhou, China from November 12 to 27. Some 10,000 athletes from 45 countries and regions in this part of the world (stretching from East to West Asia) will be competing in 476 events in 42 sports during the Games. Of the 42 sports, 28 are Olympic sports while the other 14 are sports which are popular in Asia. The 14 non-Olympic sports include dragon boat racing, kabaddi, sepak takraw and dancesport. This is the second time that China is hosting the Asian games, the first being the 11th Asiad in Beijing in 1990.

Dancesport is being introduced for the first time in this Games and hopefully will feature in future Games as well. Individual medals will be awarded for the 5 ballroom (Waltz, Quickstep, Foxtrot, Tango & Viennese Waltz) and 5 Latin American (Cha Cha Cha, Rumba, Jive, Samba & Paso Doble) dances. China is expected to win the lion's share of the 30 medals at stake. Other strong medal contenders are Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. The last three countries are Asian dancesport rising stars and are expected to spring some surprises.

Malaysia will most likely be taking part in the dancesport events at the 16th Asian Games 2010 in Guangzhou. I understand the selection of dancers is in process and hope that the best will be chosen to represent Malaysia. The Games is only four months away and the dancesport events will be closely watched and followed by the dance fraternity in Asia as the best dancesport athletes from Asia will be competing at this Games. It would be great if Malaysia can win at least one bronze medal in the dancesport events. That's not asking too much, is it?


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Monday, June 28, 2010

Dancesport In A Tight Spot?



The International DanceSport Federation, IDSF refers to dancesport as - "Dancesport is a team sport. It is generally defined as partner dancing between a man and a woman combining as a couple (or group of couples combining as a team) and using the required technique or floor craft and artistic interpretation to produce a highly disciplined dance performance. Dancesport developed out of the narrow confines of competition ballroom dancing but today includes any dance style which has achieved an internationally recognized competitive structure and has adopted a sports based culture. The currently recognized sections or disciplines in international style dancesport are: 1) Standard, 2) Latin American, 3) Ten Dance and 4) Rock 'n' Roll".

Recently while browsing through the website dancesport.info.net, I happened to read an interesting forum topic titled "What Is Happening To English Dancesport?" The discussion at this forum which started in June 2007 is on-going. Basically this forum discusses the 'declining' popularity of dancesport in England vis-a-vis the other popular dances like Salsa, Hip Hop, Argentine Tango and Swing. The contributors to this forum aired their disappointments over this issue and gave their views on how this problem can be resolved. All this while I had thought that dancesport is still going strong in England. The forum debate certainly was an eye opener for me. Which kept me pondering. What about the dancesport scene here in Malaysia?

Ballroom and Latin American dances were popular in Malaysia during the 1960s and 1970s when the first few dance schools were opened. When Salsa was introduced here in the late 1970s it caught on quickly. The dance became a hit and many Salsa dance schools and clubs were soon in business. Other popular dances like Hip Hop, Belly and Line Dance also made their way here and their novelty plus the fact that they could be danced without a partner helped to supplant the popularity of Ballroom and Latin American. As was and is now, ladies often complain about the dearth of male partners. Presently, Ballroom is danced mainly by the more matured crowd while Latin American still manages to attract a sizeable following among the youngsters.






Monday, June 21, 2010

Going Gaga Over Waka Waka



Watched by 85,000 spectators and more than 100 million TV viewers worldwide, the opening ceremony of the 2010 FIFA World Cup at Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa on June 11 went off with a bang. Thirty two countries from all the continents are competing in this month-long football tournament. A day earlier, a kick-off concert was held at Orlando Stadium in Soweto, with performances by international headliners amongst them Shakira, Alicia Keys and Black Eyed Peas. Colombian diva Shakira rocked the stage with her songs Hips Don't Lie, She Wolf and Waka Waka (This Time For Africa).

The song Waka Waka (This Time For Africa), composed by El Mundial is the official anthem of the World Cup 2010. It has a rhythmic and infectious beat to it and really gets your feet tapping. I especially liked the dance routine performed by Shakira and her backup dancers. The choreography which is simple yet beautiful and meaningful contains elements of hip hop, African tribal, Indian classical and belly dance. This is what I would call a 1World Dance - a dance for world peace and harmony. It would be great if someone here could organize a flash mob dance based on this song and dance routine.

There is also an official dance created by South Africa Tourism specially for this World Cup. Known as the Diski which is South African township slang for soccer, the dance is intended to capture 'the rhythm of African football'. During the International Friendly Football Match held between South Africa and Jamaica on November 17 2009 in Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein, the spectators were taught the Diski during half-time. The Diski looks like a mix of line dance, shuffle and football moves. You can learn how to do the Diski at SouthAfrica.info. Just feel the rhythm, boet (Afrikaans for brother)!


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Monday, June 14, 2010

Flash Mob Dance Craze Hits Malaysia


A flash mob is a large group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual or pointless act for a brief time, then quickly disperse. The term flash mob is generally applied only to gatherings organized via telecommunications, social media or viral email. It is generally not applied to events organized by public relations firms, protests and publicity stunts. The first flash mob was created in Manhattan, USA in May 2003 by Bill Wasik, senior editor of Harper's Magazine (source: Wikipedia). A flash mob dance is thus an event where a group of people gather in a public location to perform a pre-choreographed dance routine. The biggest flash mob dance ever held was at The Oprah Winfrey Show's 24th Season Kickoff Party in Chicago on September 10 2009. At this celebration, the crowd of more than 20,000 people performed a choreographed piece to I Gotta Feeling by Black Eyed Peas.

The first flash mob to be held in Malaysia was the "KL Freeze In Unison" on April 13 2009. This gathering attracted well over a thousand participants who had to remain 'frozen' or still for four minutes at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur. On August 14, a flash mob dance was held at Suria KLCC where the participants had a swell time dancing to songs by Pitbull, Michael Jackson, Vanilla Ice, The Beatles and various artistes. It was however the song Joget Berhibur by Siti Nurhaliza which had the crowd thrilled and raring to dance. More than 100 of them, including some 'aunties' took to the floor at the centre court of the shopping mall to dance the joget, a popular Malay traditional dance. Last month, Glee Flash Mobs (pic) dancing to the songs Bust A Move, Rehab and Don't Stop Believin' were seen at Mid Valley Megamall, Kuala Lumpur Sentral and Pavilion Kuala Lumpur to publicize the screening of the TV dance show, Glee.

Media group, Star Publications (M) Bhd is organizing a flash mob dance on June 22 at 1 Utama Shopping Centre in Petaling Jaya, Selangor in conjunction with The Star Online's 15th and In.Tech's 25th joint anniversary celebrations. The dance routine called Flash Mob Masala Dance, a Bollywood dance style performed to Pussycat Doll's Jai Ho will be conducted by fitness instructor Candi Soo. You can preview the routine at youtube.com/user/candisoofitness. For more information regarding this event, kindly contact Nerry at 03-23001574. Over in Sarawak, there will be an attempt to set a Malaysia flash mob dance record at the state-level youth assembly (Perhimpunan Belia 2010) which will be held at the Borneo Convention Centre in Kuching on July 24. The Ministry of Social Development and Urbanization Sarawak which is organizing this festival is hoping to attract more than 5000 youths to take part in this event.








Monday, June 7, 2010

Big Toe Gets A Leg Up


Eight B-boy crews from seven countries in the region competed in the R16 South East Asia Finals 2010 held recently at Life Centre in Kuala Lumpur. They were Soulfresh (Taiwan), Laobangfai (Laos), Big Toe (Vietnam), 99 Flava (Thailand), Rebelz In Rhythym (Indonesia), Floor Techniques (Singapore) and Wakaka Fever and Giller Battle, both representing Malaysia. The panel of judges comprised of Bboy Free of Soul Shifters Crew from the United States and South Koreans Bboy Born of Rivers Crew and Bboy The End of Gamblerz Crew. Judging was based on 1) Creativity, 2) Execution, 3) Stage Presence, 4) Difficulty and 5) Overall Performance.

The MC Jazz Ivy and DJ Dust, two cool dudes from "The Land of the Morning Calm" endeared themselves to the 2000 strong audience who turned up at the bash. While waiting for the results of the competition to be announced, the crowd were entertained by guest artistes Dust and local rappers Altimet and Dose Two. Big Toe of Vietnam (pic) who got a leg up with the boisterous support of their fans, impressed the judges with their awesome performance to emerge winners. They will go on to compete against 15 teams from all across the world at the R16 Korea World B-boy Masters Championships 2010 which will be held in Seoul on July 3 and 4.

R16 and Urban Arts Festival was created in 2007 by the Korean Tourism Organization and the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to support grassroots youth culture such as Hip Hop and B-boy. The four-day celebrations which is held in South Korea every summer attracts famous artistes, musicians, dancers and promoters from all over the earth. It is a celebration of the creative energy behind urban youth culture. 'R' stands for Respect and '16' refers to the sixteen dance crews from fifteen countries who compete for the R16 Korea World B-boy Masters Championship titles in two categories: Best Crew Performance and Best Crew Battle.








Monday, May 31, 2010

Martha Stewart Captivated By Malaysia


Martha Stewart, well-known American lifestyle guru, author, publisher and host of the popular TV talk show "The Martha Stewart Show" recently visited Malaysia at the invitation of the Ministry of Tourism. Accompanying her on her first trip to Malaysia were her niece Sophie Herbert and good friend Memrie Lewis. While in Malaysia, Stewart tweeted about her experiences to her two million fans via Twitter. Stewart took the opportunity to try the local cuisine, visited many places of interest and watched how local handicrafts like pewter and songket were made. She had tea with Her Royal Highness, Queen Tuanku Nur Zahirah and brunch with Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, wife of the Prime Minister.

In Kuala Lumpur, Stewart toured the Petronas Twin Towers, Islamic Arts Museum and Kuala Lumpur Bird Park where she had fun playing with the birds. She took a helicopter ride north of the city and was amazed by the sight of miles and miles of padi fields. Stewart also witnessed the "Colours of 1Malaysia" celebrations held at Dataran Merdeka on May 22. "Colours of 1Malaysia" is a collection of street performances which was first launched in 1999 by the Ministry of Tourism to highlight Malaysia's cultural heritage through music, song and dances. The finale of the evening was the Tarian Cuti Cuti Malaysia, a dance specially choreographed by the Ministry which was performed by the 5000 odd dancers.

Stewart had a walkabout in Melaka which she mentioned had a colourful history since the fifteenth century. She also visited the resort island of Pangkor Laut, Perak where she waxed lyrical about the beautiful beach at Emerald Bay. Sabah which lies on the island of Borneo was also on her itinerary. Stewart described Sabah as "the home of orang utans, tarsiers, slow lorises, elephants, wild boars, proboscis monkeys, 622 species of birds and more". Among the places she went to were the Danum Valley Conservation Area, Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary and Pulau Gaya where she watched a giant clam rehabilitation project. It's a pity she did not make a trip to Sipadan which is rated as one of the top five diving spots in the world.

I am surprised that Stewart did not visit the Agnes Keith House in Sandakan. Agnes Keith (1901-1982), was an American adventurer and author who was noted for her autobiographical accounts of North Borneo (now Sabah) before, during and after the Second World War. The three books about North Borneo written by Keith: Land Below the Wind, Three Came Home and White Man Returns, gives a vivid depiction of life in the region during those turbulent times. Agnes and her husband Harry left North Borneo in 1952. The house she and her husband lived in has been restored and turned into a museum. It contains displays about them as well as life in Sandakan during the first half of the twentieth century.








Monday, May 24, 2010

Proceedings Of The 28th AGM Of The Kuala Lumpur Dancers' Association



The 28th annual general meeting of the Kuala Lumpur Dancers' Association (KLDA) held on May 16 at its premises in Wisma OCM, Kuala Lumpur was attended by some 70 of its members. The chairman C C Lai, in his address spoke of the achievements of the KLDA during the past year and plans for the future. Lai elaborated on the KLDA Rising Star Championship 2010 held on April 13. In spite of the challenges and difficulties in organizing the competition, the KLDA managed to overcome the problems and put up a great show. A nett profit of RM30,000 was realized from this event. Lai thanked the organizing committee and all those who had helped make this championship a success.

The chairman also paid tribute to the dance teachers at the KLDA, namely Eric Tan See Meng, Dean Craig Kim and Barry Winters for their dedication and hard work in coaching their students and turning them into champions. Two Latin American dance couples under the tutelage of Dean Craig Kim were mentioned and commended for their outstanding achievements. They were the pair of Alfred Choo & Cecilia Yong (pic) who are currently ranked number 1 in the National Ranking Grade A Latin category and rising stars Billy Yong & Carmen Choo who won the Amateur Open Latin event at the ADC Amateur League Open Dance Championship held recently in Shah Alam, Selangor.

Various social events were organized last year to promote the KLDA and help attract new members to its fold. These events included the KLDA Gala Ball 2009 on August 8, an open house on December 27, the monthly pot lucks, and performances by members and guests. The KLDA is embarking on a campaign to attract more social dancers especially the youngsters to join as members. Presently the KLDA has a scholarship fund which is used to subsidize the dance lesson fees of talented dancers. As an added incentive, it is considering giving cash awards to members who emerge champions in the Amateur Ballroom and Latin events in selected competitions in Malaysia.








Monday, May 17, 2010

Serena Ballet School Conducts National Dance Classes


The Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD), UK is formed into twelve faculties which cover many forms of theatrical, recreational and social dance. National Dance is one of the dance styles which comes under the Imperial Dance and Theatre Faculty. The other dance styles under this faculty are Classical Ballet, Classical Greek Dance, Modern Theatre, Tap Dance and South Asian Dance. The aim of the National Dance Faculty is to bring the joy of European Folk Dance to all age levels. Folk dance develops a sense of community and awareness of others. The dancers have the opportunity to study traditional dances, costumes, music and customs (information sourced from ISTD website www.istd.org).

Recently, an ISTD National Dance examination was held at Serena Ballet School in Klang, Selangor. Students taking the medal tests were not only required to perform the folk dances but also had to know something about the countries of origin of the dances. Models of the Eiffel Tower of France, Big Ben of England, the Parthenon of Greece, all made by the students were put on display. The students also prepared an Italian lunch made up of spaghetti bolognese, tiramisu, rosemary crackers, panettone (a type of bread) and expresso. The examiner, Barbara Simons of UK praised the students for their high standard of dancing and their efforts in preparing the projects.

The principal of Serena Ballet School is Serena Tan Suet Leng, a Licentiate in the National Branch of the ISTD. Serena was awarded the Helen Wingrave Scholarship by the ISTD in 1993 to enable her to pursue her love and passion for dance. Besides teaching ballet, Serena is the only dance teacher in Malaysia who trains and prepares students for the ISTD National Dance medal tests and examinations (from beginners to advanced levels and teacher qualifications). To know more about Serena Ballet School which is located at 94-D, Persiaran Raja Muda, Musa, 41100 Klang, Selangor, kindly contact Serena Tan at 012-2898127, email serena127@myjaring.net.






Monday, May 10, 2010

All About Aswara


The National Academy of Arts, Culture and Heritage (formerly known as the National Arts Academy) or Akademi Seni, Budaya Dan Warisan Kebangsaan (Aswara) was set up in 1994 with the objective of producing creative performers, nurturing artistic talent and developing leaders in the arts. Aswara which comes under the auspices of the Ministry of Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage is the only institution of higher learning offering formal training in the performing arts, which is fully supported by the government. It provides teaching, learning, research and consultancy services in the fields of arts, culture and heritage.

Aswara offers three-year degree or diploma programmes in theatre, dance, fine arts, film & video, music and writing at its campus in Jalan Tun Ismail, Kuala Lumpur. The dance faculty has been credited with producing some of the country's well known contemporary dancers and choreographers. Joseph Gonzales, one of Malaysia's leading dance educationists and choreographers is the dean of the dance faculty. Gonzales studied dance and theatre at the London Studio Centre and Bush Davies School in England. He played the part of Simon of Legree in the West End musical "The King And I" and was the first Malaysian to perform in West End.

Events such as dance performances, dialogues and workshops in contemporary, traditional, hip hop and jazz are organized regularly by teachers and students of the dance faculty. A free dance performance and workshop by the students was held recently on April 29 to commemorate World Dance Day (also known as International Dance Day). To cater to the growing number of students in Aswara, a new academic building (artist's impression shown above) is currently being built near the present campus. The next intake for new students is in July 2010. To know more about Aswara, check out their website at www.aswara.edu.my.


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