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.