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, 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.