Dance isn’t just a way to express yourself; it’s also a way to build relationship.
by Stanley P, Carrybeans
For me, dance is mesmerising and I often find myself spellbound by the movement of body and how dancers seem entranced with their art. So, when Carrybeans was invited to the Dance World Cup (DWC) Malaysia Qualifiers and also get the chance to interview the man behind the competition, it was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up.
The Olympics of the dancing world
DWC became a full-fledged international dance competition in 2004. Since then, the dance competition has grown to become a big deal for young dancers across the world.
“Our competition is probably the largest dance competition for children (and young adults) aged between 4 and 25. We have over 20,000 children around the world from 49 countries trying to qualify for the world finals, which is in Spain this year. I believe that we are probably the only competition that has this amount of children involved,” DWC chairman John Grimshaw in an exclusive interview with Carrybeans.
But don’t think that they will just accept any dancers out there! DWC is a very prestigious event and only opened to those attending dance schools not run or sponsored by the state. According to Grimshaw, the qualifying process is much more difficult than other competitions in America and Europe. So, in other words, DWC is very much the Olympics of the dancing world!
Fostering friendship through the language of dance
When DWC Ltd was formed in 2009, it was their goal to promote friendship through the dances of the world. “We have an opening parade, so to see the children from all the countries rushing to meet their old friends is one of the main goals of DWC,” Grimshaw said during the interview. And with 49 participating countries, it is truly the perfect platform to bring people from all over the world together.
Not only that, DWC is also a great place for countries learn from each other. Grimshaw said the competition gives Malaysian dance choreographers to see the best aspects of dance from other countries and incorporating it into contemporary dance in Malaysia.
However, other countries are also learning new things from Malaysia! “The English and the Germans and other European countries are also looking at how Malaysian movement works and they are also learning from Malaysia because your contemporary dance is world class. It’s very good!” he said.
Sabahan dancers are putting Malaysia on the map of the world
If you’re not aware, Malaysia is no stranger to this dance competition. Our dancers have been with them since the very beginning and even managed to snag a few medals along the way.
One of them is Matinin Sungkin, a teen hailing from Kota Belud. He made our country proud by winning a gold medal in DWC 2017 Junior Solo Category. And he also won the Best Solo in this year’s Malaysia Qualifiers, further cementing his status as one of the best young dancers in Malaysia!
So as a whole, Malaysia is certainly a force to be reckoned with in DWC. Our dancers are famous for their impeccable choreography and high dancing standards. Not only that, our dancers are great ambassadors for our country because according to Grimshaw, everybody finds them to be friendly.
Recipe for success: Believe in the power of dreams
When asked to give any messages to aspiring dancers out there, Grimshaw has this to say: believe in yourself!
“To all the dancers, it doesn’t matter if you don’t become the world’s greatest dancer. What the arts are teaching you is how to cope with life and it’s a life skill. So, [becoming] a dancer or musician will help you for the rest of your career if you work in finance or whatever you do. Dancing and the arts are very, very important for your development,” he said.
So, to young dancers out there, don’t stop believing in yourself and keep on chasing greatness in your dance!
If you’re interested in the latest news about DWC 2018 (which will happen in Sitges, Spain), head on over to their website here.
The DWC Malaysia Qualifiers was held in KK just recently, and it was a blast!
Featured Image Credit: Ronny Cyril, TOBISA