Monday, February 27, 2012

Kung Fu Master Dances To Fame

Wushu master Chua Zjen Fong has swapped his cudgel for a pair of dancing shoes. After years of competing in the martial arts arena, he has traded in his macho kung fu skills for the flamboyance of Latin dancing; swinging and jiving his way to many titles to put Malaysia on the international dancing stage. Born in Selangor, the 25-year-old who now calls Miri in Sarawak home, used to be a national wushu master, quite at home with yielding swords and spears, before yielding to the allure of the dance hall.

Chua was among several Malaysian athletes such as former synchronised swimmer Jovial Lim and former gymnast Tengku Noor Fathima Zaharah, who have found a niche in the dance world - cleverly blending agility and sporting aptitude to dance their way to stardom. Chinese martial arts have always been a part of Chua's life. It is a discipline he has excelled in for more than 10 years during which he also represented Malaysia and Sarawak in wushu. However, for a career, Chua chose dancing. After years of training, he is now a qualified full-time Latin dance instructor. His crossover has been a journey filled with adventure and excitement as his dancing has taken him around the world like his success as a martial arts exponent had.

Chua started dancing in 2005 with the encouragement of his parents - father Chua Kian Hong and mother Chiam Poh Huay, who are themselves social dancers. He turned pro in 2008 after meeting his current partner Evon Chong, also from Selangor (Kajang) who in turn, introduced him to competitive dancesport. They have not looked back since. On 26 February 2011, Chua and Evon, the reigning MYDF national champions, left for China to train in the Angel Dance School outside of Guangzhou. The one-year training will be completing soon, and they hope to return and impart their dancing skills in Malaysia. (Borneo Post)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Learning To Belly Dance - Tips & Ideas

If you are new to belly dancing and would like to try for the first time, you may be wondering where you should start from. The advice is to start learning belly dance from a teacher because, although there are many good instructional DVDs around and books about belly dancing, it is always better to get direct feedback from a teacher to make sure that the movements you are doing are correct. You can easily look online to find a belly dance class close to you. Also, belly dance classes can be advertised on local press or through leaflets in the local area.

In order to start belly dancing, you do not need much: just comfortable clothes, such as a long and wide skirt or stretch jazz pants; a short top with good support and a scarf to tie around your hips. There are a lot of belly dance hip scarves with coins or beads around for sale, but if you are just starting, any light scarf tied around your hips will do. Also, belly dancing is done barefooted, so you will not need to buy any type of dance shoes. If your feet are cold, you can use soft ballet shoes or non-slippery socks.

Some types of exercise you can integrate with belly dance are Pilates, as it helps to strengthen the core muscles and it helps with body isolations, or yoga for strength and balance. So why not try now this entertaining and beautiful art form. Belly dance is good for fitness, it improves self confidence and most important of all is fun! (