Monday, March 23, 2009

ROUND 1 !!!!!

I'm exhausted! And that was just the start of the season, but boy was it an exciting time, watching the world's top couples slug it out on the dance floor - exhilirating!!!! I've never been one to get excited about the modern discipline of Dancesport but this year the levels were sky high and both the latin and modern professional open levels became battling grounds for both the competitors and the fans. I cant even begin to describe the energy in the venues during those events. I can only tell you how much I wished I was on that floor too, feeding off the vibes and enjoying myself.

Sadly I didn't get to photograph any of the top couples as I was always compeering during the higher levels but I do have some of the closed & open Amateur level couples which I can share with you.

In case you didn't read thru my earlier post, the ADC tour went thru the following countries : Tokyo, Japan; Gentings, Malaysia; Seoul, Korea and Macau, China.

2009 World Super Series
Asian Open Professional Dance Championship, Tokyo, Japan
The thing that struck me most about the Japan event was the incredible efficiency shown by every member of the working committee. There was someone specific to take care of every little detail and every single person performed their task to the very best of their ability. Before you could even finish thinking about something, someone would have carried it out for you. It was heavenly working with such ease. Every little detail had been thought out before hand and noted for the next team to improve on even more - amazing.
The other thing was the sheer number of couples that took part in only 6 events that were organized here. Each event had a minimum of 150 couples competing for a place in the finals. So that would mean approximately 900 couples in the whole championship!! It's no wonder we took the whole day (8:30am-10pm) to complete it. Even in the Professional level, dancers had to battle through 5 rounds to get into the finals. My extreme respect for the champions.

This is the stadium in Tokyo, Japan. They had transformed it into a very classy looking venue with this beautiful backdrop and the couples were introduced as they entered thru the parted curtains.

This was one of the preliminary rounds for the Amateur Open Latin. The judges in the picture are Marcus Hilton & Allan Fletcher from UK.

I cant figure out how to get this picture the right way but if you tilt your head you'll see some of the beautiful Amateur Open Modern couples.

This is the near full capacity crowd at the stadium. The support of the audience was amazing in Tokyo.
Around the arena, in the public excess corridors that circles the entire stadium, there were hundreds of stalls selling all sorts of dance wear and accessories. Here you can see some of the ready to wear Modern costumes complete with stones, feathers, frills and fluff. Starting prices for many were about 300,000 yen for the Modern and about half of that for the Latin.

Champions :

Professional Open Latin - Michael Malitowski & Joanna Leunis (Poland)
Professional Open Modern -
Amateur Open Latin - Stefano Moriondo & Melene Osteergand (Denmark)
Amateur Open Modern - Salvatore Todaro & Violeta Yaneva (Bulgaria)
The Malaysian International Dance Championship 2009
2nd Leg - Asian Open Dance Tour 2009, Genting Highlands, Malaysia

The Malaysian leg of this tour was held up in the city of entertainment, Genting Highlands. Its not the first dance championship to be held up here but it definately was the the biggest. It was held in the Arena of Stars and a beautiful dance floor was created there by sponsor Eko-wood who did a spectacular job.
Sadly, not all the top couples came to the Malaysian leg as the 3rd leg of the tour was planned a little too close to this date and several did not want to risk the 24 hour travelling time between Gentings and Seoul (not to mention the 6 hour delay many of us had in Taiwan, sigh). Nevertheless, it was an incredibly good turn out and the audience that had braved the drive up in less then perfect conditions (it was very foggy) were in for a fantastic treat.
Ariel De Silva & Cosmas Hoo from Singapore dancing in the Junior Latin event. They came in 2nd in this event.
One of the Senior Modern events which drew couples from Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong etc. Both the Senior events were won by Indonesian contestants Andrew Yow & Rita Rahardjo.
There were many more events in the Malaysian championship compared to Tokyo. Some of the more interesting ones was the Mother/Son, Father/Daughter event which made it's first appearence here and had so many entries we had to have a semi final! Very encouraging. Got to get my big boy to dance with me before my body gives up on me :)
Champions :
Professional Open Latin - Riccardo Cocchi & Yulia Zagoruychenko (USA)
Professional Open Modern - Arunas Bizokas & Katusha Demidova (USA)
Amateur Open Latin - Mykhailo Samoshchenko & Yulia Shorokhova (Russia)
Amateur Open Modern - Gaetano Lavarone & Emanuela Napolitano (Italy)
There was a second day to the Malaysian event but I was not in attendence as I had to dash off to the next leg in Seoul, Korea. Events on the second day included the beginner events of the Dancesport disciplines, Line Dancing, Hip Hop and Belly Dancing. I'm sure you could get more details on those events from the organizers website/blog :
I'll continue with the updates on the 3rd & 4th leg another day.

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