Thursday, October 28, 2010

ADC Amateur League Open Dance Championship 2010 - 9th May 2010

Finally ! The amateur's have a league of their own. This type of event had been spoken of for a very long time, with many people in the industry voicing their wish that this would happen. Then suddenly, we have not one but TWO such events happening in the same year here in KL. The one scheduled for June was actually mooted first but then 3 of the industries younger leaders decided to pool their resources and organizational skills together and managed to put the ADC Amateur League together first. The organizers of this event are - Ms Josephine Seow (Taipan D'Danceworld), Mr William Lor (W&L Danceworld) & Ms Carmen Chuang (A&C Dance Dynamic).

The common question on everyone's lips when we first heard of this championship was - "Who's organizing this?" Upon hearing the answer, the next question was - "Sure or not? You must be kidding?" Why such questions you ask? Let me tell you - two of them are highly successful organizers of championships and events in their own rights, having put together many competitions of their own in the past. The other, is a newcomer to the arena of competitions but who has many great plans for the industry and its dancers. Could these 3 strongly opinionated, strong willed, independent people work together?? When i questioned each one of these friends of mine, i got similar answers - "Why not?", "If we dont try, we wont know, right?" and "What have we got to loose?". Brave words from people from such different backgrounds, methods and ideology.

Everyone was sceptical, including yours truely. I was mentally preparing myself to take sides should a disagreement break out on the days leading to the event, but my loyalties were totally divided. I had known William the longest and have always aknowledged him as my latin 'si fu', but I had watched Carmen grow from a new dancer to an accomplished owner of a studio and then i had also forged an easy open relationship with Josephine in the short number of years I had known her. Who's side would I take if a clash of these strong wills should happen???

I should have known better and trusted these young leaders. They all worked together professionally, right to the end, despite people (including spouses) telling them it wouldn't work. Why? Because they all shared in ONE belief - that a change for the better COULD be achieved and transparency in competition could be attained. BRAVO !

The competition started with all of us arriving before 7am at the Shah Alam National Sport Stadium (formerly known as the Panasonic Sports Center). It certainly was not the first time we have held a championship in a stadium but it certainly was the first time we had done it in an un-air cond stadium. With the number of bodies warming up on the floor it was no surprise that the working committee was sweating as freely as the dancers on the floor. Unfortunately, there was also a swimming event going on right next to the indoor arena with a really loud sound system which prevented us from opening the doors on two sides of the stadium. Ventilation was not the best feature of the arena BUT at least we had a decent floor which didn't give us much problems. Luckily, the competitors had air cond changing rooms so as soon as I requested the floor to be cleared for the start of the event, they all went off to their rooms to cool off and change.

The competiton, as do most, had a shaky start as the marshalls did their best to gather the beginners into their groups. And the beginners, as do most, didn't seem to understand that competitions run to a schedule for a reason and that you had to show up on time as indicated in the programme and as announced by the emcee (many, many times). However, once everyone got their footing, the day started to really move along with only the occasional hiccup here and there. Steven headed the marshalls with Stanley as his right hand man. Both did a great job, given the circumstances. Thanks guys.

This championship had many of the industries 'first' which were all targetted towards transparency and fairness to the competitors. The first was that for the first time, ever, the beginner events not only had the regulation number of adjudicators but also had 4 independent invigilators who were stationed around the floor purely to monitor the beginners syllabus. This was to ensure that the adjudicators could be left to just judge the dancing without having to worry about if couples were adhering to the syllabus and to make it completely fair to the beginners who should only be competing against other beginners.

The second 'first' was that both competitors in the Ladies Adult and Ladies Under 12 events were made to wear 'ladies costumes'. This was a little strange and something that I did not agree with. Internationally, competitors in ladies events (or same sex events) are required to dress according to the same rules of mixed gender events i.e. one dresses as a lady and the other dresses as a man. I feel this also helps define which of the competitors is the lead dancer and therefore is also clearer to the judges. Having them both dress in ladies costumes made the event look more like a 'duo' event such as those held in Line Dancing competitions and therefore confused the spectators as well as some of the judges. I for one, am sincerely hoping that this will not be repeated in the next event.

The third 'first', and the most welcomed I feel, was the Visual Marking which was used in not only the Amateur level but also for the first time, ever, in the Pre Amateur level too. This is where judges have to individually display their chosen results for each couple after EVERY dance. It is a time consuming process but an important one in allowing EVERYONE to see that the results are not tampered with in the journey from the judges hands to the runners hands, to the scrutineers hands and finally to the emcee's hands. Many couples expressed their delighted surprise in this method of marking which made them feel more in control of their performance and not feel that some couples were being favoured over others. However, in one case there was a judge (who shall remain nameless) that appeared to favour one couple of the floor more then the others by giving them 1's when other judges gave them no more then 5's & 6's. But then, that's the purpose of visual marking - for all to see that it really is the judges decision.

Here are the details :-

Event organizers : Josephine Seow, William Lor, Carmen Chuang

Adjudicators : Mihoko Hattori (Japan), Lawrence Chan (Hong Kong), Wantanee Kenchana (Thailand), Seonarko Josodihardjo (Indonesia), Dharshan Wijaya (Sri Lanka), Melvin Low (Singapore), T'eh Swee Guan, Frances Teoh, Benny Chan, Billeon Yong, Janice Chew, John Lim, Khor Kin Ho, Lee Boon Tiong, Ooi Hock Sang, Raymond Tee, Tam Kok Choy, Thomas Tan, Yap Yen Chin & Y S Lee.

Independent Invigilators : Wantanee Kenchana (Thailand), Melvin Low (Singapore), Lee Yoke Seong & Eric Tan.

Independent Observer : Ngooi Chui Ing


Beginners Waltz - #8 Adrian Tan Ser Thong & Gan Kar Mern (Malaysia)

Beginners Tango - #92 Lee ban Keong & Lily Koh (Malaysia)

Beginners Quickstep - #109 Norman Tiong & Ang Li Lean (Malaysia)

Beginners Foxtrot - #109 Norman Tiong & Ang Li Lean (Malaysia)

Beginners Cha Cha - #13 Aevent Koh & Trista Lee (Malaysia)

Beginners Rumba - #13 Aevent Koh & Trista Lee (Malaysia)

Beginners Samba - #27 Bryan Foo & Sylvia Teng (Malaysia)

Beginners Paso Doble - #13 Aevent Koh & Trista Lee (Malaysia)

Beginners Jive - #27 Bryan Foo & Sylvia Teng (Malaysia)

Ladies Adult - #55 Esther Ho & Rachel Chew (Malaysia)

Ladies Under 12 - #128 Tammie Lim & Zoe Lim (Malaysia)

Novice Modern - #86 Kenny Li & Connie Fung (Hong Kong)

Novice Latin - #83 Kelvin Ong Chun Hoong & Nicol Lor (Malaysia)

Senior Over 40 Modern - #19 Andrew Yow & Rita Rahardjo (Indonesia)

Senior Over 40 Latin - #33 Cheah Kwen Choy & Si Geok Tin (Malaysia)

Juvenile Under 12 Latin - #20 Andy Law & Felicia Mok (Malaysia)

Junior Under 16 Modern - #59 Godfrey Ch'ng & Petrina Ch'ng (Malaysia)

Junior Under 16 Latin - #157 Siew Wai Lok & Joey Wong (Malaysia)

Senior Over 50 Modern - #19 Andrew Yow & Rita Rahardjo (Indonesia)

Pre-Amateur Modern - #86 Kenny Li & Connie Fung (Hong Kong)

Pre-Amateur Latin - #108 Nicholas Tan & Sylvia Lee (Malaysia)

Amateur Open Modern - #77 Johnston Lim & Nicole Tan (Malaysia)

Amateur Open Latin - #25 Billy Yong Chun Haou & Carmen Choo Kar Mun (Malaysia)

Congratulations to all the winners and well done to all the competitors. Everyone did their best but if you felt your best wasn't good enough then you know you can always do better the next time.

Check out the photo's posted here, taken by Ms Hoo Sze Yen, Editor - The Dance Directory and check out the website while you're at it postings of past and future events in the region. The event was also covered by Just Dance!, Malaysia first dance magazine, so look out for mention of this event in the coming issue.

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