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