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, 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 Just feel the rhythm, boet (Afrikaans for brother)!

Related Post

> Flash Mob Dance Craze Hits Malaysia

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 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.