The 7th edition of this championship received an overwhelming response with a total of 306 couples signing up to compete in this now well known event. Championship organizer, Mr John Lim, was of course delighted as well as mildly worried as to how to fit in so many events and competitiors into one day.
But manage it we did. While John concentrated on the panel of adjudicators, he engaged me to dealt with the arrangement of the programme, Johnston Lim dealt with the music and Joanne Leong (bless her) dealt with everything and anything in between. In keeping with John's norm, the event was held at the Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur Hotel Grand Ballroom which continued to give us their usual high standard of service.
Registration of the competitors started at 7 am with Joanne Leong keeping a close eye on things while the competitor marshalls - Jimmy, Chow & Kodie - got things rolling outside gathering couples into their events. Inside the hall, myself and Ghandi (the music master) got the finer details all sorted out together with Nixon Ong, the scrutineer.
There were over 30 judges divided into 6 panels for the days events. The judges were : Don McRobert (Chief Adjudicator), Marcel De Rijk, Akihiro Yokomichi, Aleena Tan, Steven Han, Teng Hui, Steven Tan, Michael Wang, Lawrence Chan, Kenji Po, Ronnie Liu, Soenarko Josodiharjo, Yulia Phanjaya, Wanthanee Kenchana, Uapan Snidvongs, Kamon Tepcheepornsilp, Dharshan Wijesooriya, Juliana Foo, Nancy Low, Alvyn Low, Alice Teo, Louis Ng, Tan Why Pong, Teh Swee Guan, William Lor, Benny Chan, Anthony Keong, Hani Tiahjono, Heru Sutanto, M. Ichwan, Felix Lau, Tay Eng Khiam, James Ooi, Chew Cheng Lai, Tam Kong Chow, Belman Salihovic, Kelly Goh, Billeon Yong, John Lee, Amy Lee, Jessie Foo, Raymond Tee, Siow Boon Wah, Lee Boon Teong, Alvin Lee, Teresa Liu, Lee Yip Seng, Josephine Seow, Andy Wong, Somphon, Michael Yeap, Alice Hor, Louis Low, May Chean, Ooi Hock Seng, Eileen Hoe, Tan Hung Soo.
After a judges briefing, the competition started at 8:30am. Almost immediately however, we encountered some trouble as the judges were still trying to come to grips with which panel each of them belonged to. Perhaps due to the unusually early start of the competition, the judges were not quite up to scratch with the paperwork for the first hour of the competition which caused the scrutineer some headaches and delays.
However, as they day progressed things got decidedly better and we really started to swing along. The competitor marshalls did a really fantastic job and had the heats moving along and kept the pace going. At one point we were almost 2 hours behind time but with the steady progress of the marshalls and the judges settling in we managed to get back on track a little more then half way through the day.
During the day, in order to keep the competitive events running, the prize giving ceremony for the finals of the earlier events was conducted in the foyer of the grand ballroom and the cheers of the supporters could be heard in the ballroom. I do not have the results all the almost 50 events that was held but I shall post what I do have.
STANDARD EVENTS :
WDA 5 Dance Closed - #10 Jimmy Yap & Sylvia Yeoh (Malaysia)
Amateur Open - #158 Wang Chun Yen & Chiang Hsin (Taiwan)
Professional Open - #296 Alexander & Irina (Hong Kong)
LATIN EVENTS :
Malaysia Amateur Closed, OCM Selection - #1 Johnston Lim & Nicole Tan (Malaysia)
SEA Amateur Closed - #158 Wang Chun Yen & Chiang Hsin (Taiwan)
Amateur Open - #171 Dorin Frecautnu & Rosalina Doneva (Moldova)
Professional Open - #163 Liu Xiau Ang & Qu Yuan Fei (China)
All the champions performed fantastically with consistent routines. As expected each one was a delight to watch dancing with precision, energy and speed. The body language was as clear as if it was written on a page and several times, the audience lapsed into total silence as they were mesmerized by the stories being told by the couples.
Based on the incredible number of entries this year, the organizer has already voiced the posibility that next year the event may run as a Festival which will include the various championships over the course of 3 days. It was exciting news and we hope this will materialize.
Congratulations to all the winners and much thanks to the working team for a job well done.