Lecturing at the Bangkok International Latin Dance Camp 2016

Last July 5, I flew to Bangkok to share my knowledge and experience in dance. It was my first time to conduct a dance lecture on the international level and I was both very excited and nervous at the same time.

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The Bangkok International Latin Dance Camp 2016 saw an attendance of dancers from Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines and Bangkok, among others. Some of the world's best dancers and teachers also flew in to conduct the major events. The main lecturers included:

Allan Tornsberg is a World Amateur and Professional Latin Champion with over 35 years of dance experience, today considered as one of the best teachers and choreographers in the world.

Allan Tornsberg is a World Amateur and Professional Latin Champion with over 35 years of dance experience, today considered as one of the best teachers and choreographers in the world.

Graham Oswick is a semi-finalist in the World Masters, Runner up in the United Kingdom and British Rising Star Championships and winning the United Kingdom Closed Professional Latin Championship.

Graham Oswick is a semi-finalist in the World Masters, Runner up in the United Kingdom and British Rising Star Championships and winning the United Kingdom Closed Professional Latin Championship.

Carol Macraild is a latin finalist in all major professional events. Danced from junior, youth and amateur in both ballroom and latin.

Carol Macraild is a latin finalist in all major professional events. Danced from junior, youth and amateur in both ballroom and latin.

Peter Townsend is a well known Ballroom and Latin dance coach who have worked with top couples such as Louis Van Amstel & Julie Fryer and Michael Malitowski and Joanna Leunis.

Peter Townsend is a well known Ballroom and Latin dance coach who have worked with top couples such as Louis Van Amstel & Julie Fryer and Michael Malitowski and Joanna Leunis.

Nino Romano is the Executive Vice President at Italian Masters of Wold Dance and organizer of Naples Open.

Nino Romano is the Executive Vice President at Italian Masters of Wold Dance and organizer of Naples Open.

The Dance Camp coincided with the opening of the elegant new dance studio of Uapan, where the camp was to be held.

Beautiful new dance studio in Bangkok, Thailand.

Beautiful new dance studio in Bangkok, Thailand.

July 5, 2016: At the Opening Night of the new Dance Academy in Bangkok.

July 5, 2016: At the Opening Night of the new Dance Academy in Bangkok.

With Uapan Snidvongs Na Ayuthaya. Owner and main teacher of The Dance Academy in Bangkok, and organizer of the Bangkok International Latin Dance Camp 2016.

With Uapan Snidvongs Na Ayuthaya. Owner and main teacher of The Dance Academy in Bangkok, and organizer of the Bangkok International Latin Dance Camp 2016.

I enjoyed the Opening Night presentation which showcased the best talents in Bangkok. I also got to experience the social dance culture in Bangkok - meeting both experienced competitors and new social dancers out to have fun.

The following day (July 6) was the start of the Dance Camp and the day of my lecture. I decided to talk about Function Over Form. How going back to basics and understanding the core principles of how the body functions can guide your dancing and help improve technique.

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In my 15 years of dance experience, I have traveled the world taking lessons from the world's best teachers, and have been honored to work with Gaynor and Espen, to name a few.

Not only that, I have also worked with cross-trainers: Pilates, Gyrotonics, Gymnastics teachers, Physical Therapists, Ballet and Jazz teachers, etc.

So I then managed to combine my knowledge in all those fields and sum up it up to that single principle.

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Explaining the reason for the pendulum-rotation action of the hips in the Rumba Walks.

Explaining the reason for the pendulum-rotation action of the hips in the Rumba Walks.

Explaining the stages of body weight transfer in the Cuban Motion.

Explaining the stages of body weight transfer in the Cuban Motion.

Body alignment and posture.

Body alignment and posture.

Muscular vs. Boned Movement

Muscular vs. Boned Movement

I believe, at the most basic, knowing the correct body mechanics and function of each step can help guide dancers in their individual practice. If movement comes from inside, following the basic functions of the body, then that is when dancing is believable. It is an “organic” feeling. It is a natural feeling. There must be a felt sensation of movement - not an external forced action. That is when dancing is at its highest level. Speed and power is good if it is done with mastery.

After the lecture, I was very happy to receive great feedback from fellow dancers telling me it was the most useful for them. It is moments like this that give me joy, knowing I have helped other dancers in my own small ways. I wish and plan to do more lectures and workshops and aim to help more, especially in the Philippines, where information is limited to a few.

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P.S. The best part about my job is I get to do what I love and explore different places and cultures. I've been to Bangkok more than 10 times since I started dancing and it still amazes me each time. Here are some snippets of my time there after the lecture. Enjoy!

The Pan Pacific Serviced Suites in the Sukhumvit / Thonglor area is the best accommodation! I love the spacious rooms with your own kitchen. The gym is awesome complete with the perfect lounge area for after work out. The best part about this is the location. I spent an entire day just walking outside and the street is packed with the best cozy little cafes - both independent and chains. There were a lot of Japanese, Thai and Korean restaurants and they were delicious (see picture below). And most of all, there was about one massage salon every block - offering affordable prices! I'll definitely stay within this area from now on everytime I go back to Thailand.

The Pan Pacific Serviced Suites in the Sukhumvit / Thonglor area is the best accommodation! I love the spacious rooms with your own kitchen. The gym is awesome complete with the perfect lounge area for after work out. The best part about this is the location. I spent an entire day just walking outside and the street is packed with the best cozy little cafes - both independent and chains. There were a lot of Japanese, Thai and Korean restaurants and they were delicious (see picture below). And most of all, there was about one massage salon every block - offering affordable prices! I'll definitely stay within this area from now on everytime I go back to Thailand.

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At Siam Paragon: And my favorite part about Bangkok? SHOPPING! There's something for everyone. From high-end brands to trendy fashion items at wholesale prices (I love Platinum Fashion Mall for this).

At Siam Paragon: And my favorite part about Bangkok? SHOPPING! There's something for everyone. From high-end brands to trendy fashion items at wholesale prices (I love Platinum Fashion Mall for this).