Dancing is music to the eyes and food for the soul. So it’s only natural that so many men and women across the world take it up as exercise, a hobby, or even as a career. Dancers will put their mind and body through days of strain just to get those three minutes of foot work exactly right, and that’s what the Lanka Dance Council hopes to honour, with Dancefest 2012. Organized in partnership with Footworks Events and Dialog Axiata PLC, the competition for Latin American, Ballroom and Salsa dancers will be held on April 29 at the Galadari Hotel.
Speaking at a news conference Dharshan Wijesooriya, Founder and President of the Lanka Dancesport Council (LDC) said, “Our main aim is to develop competitive dance in Sri Lanka to a sophisticated art, so that it evolves into a national sport. There are so many amazing dancers in Sri Lanka today and we want to give them that opportunity to nurture their passion, and a platform for them to eventually go for the Gold on a global stage.”
‘Dancesport’ is a phrase coined to describe the evolution of dance from an art form into a professional sport. Sri Lanka is slowly emerging in the competitive dance arena, with many young people taking it on to a professional level, training hard and performing at competitive events. The older generation is not to be left out-many local competitions also include a Seniors category. The LDC hopes to take this further, promoting local talent abroad and establishing standards for dancers. The council offers members news of upcoming events across the world to participate in, tips and features of winning dance techniques, and highly sought after training programmes. They also conduct workshops by reputed dance trainers from around the world for their members-on April 30 they will host 3 workshops in Latin American and Ballroom, and one for kids.
The Board of Directors of the Council comprise some of the country’s topmost professional dancers. Dharshan, qualified with over 20 years of experience as a dance teacher and over 10 years of experience as an international adjudicator, has been promoting Sri Lankan dancesport for many years. He’s excited to take the lead with Dancefest this year, an event he hopes will thrust competitive dancing into the spotlight.
The competition will mainly feature two well loved forms of dance-Latin American and Ballroom. There will also be an additional two Salsa events-Beginners and an Open, where the dancers will choreograph their own moves to the music. The organizers make special mention of the steady increase of junior competitors over the years. The seniors are not to be outdone-7 couples will take part in the Over 45’s category. Overall, they will encompass over 70 couples vying for the prize in their respective categories. They will be judged by three World Dance Council licensed adjudicators from Singapore and Malaysia.
Speaking of international presence, Malaysian Amateur Latin and Ballroom Dance Champions Johnston Lim and Nicole Tan will also make a special guest appearance at the event. College students, both aged 19, they have been Malaysia’s undefeated Amateur Latin & Ballroom Champions since 2009.
Ahmed Ifran, Head of Brands and Group Marketing Communications at Dialog expressed the telecommunication giant’s pleasure to be able to partner with the LDC in furthering their interests.
Speaking about the brand’s commitment to promoting art forms in the island, he said “Dancesport is made up of people who’re very passionate about the art and the sport. They have a footprint and a plan, and they’ve tried to make dancesport as inclusive as possible.”
The preliminary rounds of the competition are set to begin at 3 p.m., with the public show opening at 6.30 p.m. So head over to the Galadari for a night of breathtaking foot work -you’ll be swept off your feet!