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.