Rocking start to Sri Lanka’s first Rhythm World Dancesport Championship

By Dhananjani Silva

They have mastered Latin and Ballroom Dancing. They did the Waltz, Tango, Viennese and Quick-step round the floor in perfect style while their Jive, Samba, Cha cha and Rumba moves were quite electrifying.

It was a rare treat for dance enthusiasts in Colombo last Sunday when the Grand Ballroom of Galadari Colombo hosted the First Sri Lanka International Rhythm World Dancesport Championship – a mega dance challenge which brought together over 175 professional Latin and Ballroom dancers from around the world on a common platform.

The participants included couples from Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Brunei, Russia, Philippines, Italy, China, UK who competed in different categories such as Beginners Open, Junior Under 12, Open Viennese Waltz, Teacher-student, Senior Over 35, Senior Over 40, Novice A, Novice B, Pre Amateur, Pro Amateur, Amateur Rising Star, Amateur Open, Professional Open and Gents Solo, Ladies Solo, showcasing various Latin and Ballroom dance styles.

The show began with traditional Kandyan dancers opening the grand night which was then followed by the competitors parade which brought all the participating couples on the floor in their sequinned glittering costumes.

When the floor was opened, both local and foreign contestants were soon in stiff competition. The juniors representing leading dance schools in Sri Lanka as well as abroad deserve praise for the high standards of dancing they displayed especially in the Latin American segments. The constant support of the audience who cheered and called out the names of their favourites spiced up the evening.
The show dances featuring Argentine, Tango, Twist, Salsa, Bachata, by the Malaysian duo Johnston Lim and Nicole Tan and Luo San and Chan Wing Man from Singapore was a highlight of the event while the audience seemed to relish the Hip Hop and modern show dance act by young Sri Lankan Ramod Malaka.

The show was concluded with prize presentations for the winners who were selected by the judges using a special electronic i-pad system of marking for the first time in Sri Lanka.

The panel of adjudicators consisted of Marcel De Rijik from Holland, Aleena Tan (Singapore) Walter Wat (Hong Kong), John Lim( Malaysia), Dirk Bastert (Germany), Upan Schnivongs (Thailand), Sammy Soo (Singapore), Lawrence Chan (Hong Kong), Fan Tao (China), Dharshan Wijesooriya (Sri Lanka), David Ng (Malaysia), and Anushan Perera (Sri Lanka). The event is endorsed by the World Dance Council Asian Amateur League, Ballroom Dancers Federation International and Sri Lanka Tourism while Shiromi Perera from Sri Lanka and Aleena Tan from Singapore were the co-organizers of the show. The Sunday Times and Daily Mirror were the print media sponsors of the event.

All in all the First Sri Lanka International Rhythm World Dancesport Championship was a huge success.

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