Friday, October 31, 2008

Ballerina in Viennese Ball Kuala Lumpur 2008

This may not exactly be related to dancesport, but if you recall, in my Blog on the 19th July 2008, I asked the question whether there is life after Ballet. I did put it nicely that Ballerinas are excellent material to take up Dancesport and has openly encouraged Ballet Studios to incorporate Dancesport as part of their program apart from Pilates, Yoga or aerobics.

In that Blog I wrote about a Ballerina by the name of Ellya Sam Mun-Yee. Ellya was in the top 3 winners of the 11th Classical Ballet 2008, competition in Category B organized by The Dance Society, the governing body of Ballet in Malaysia.

I would describe Ellya as a diligent Ballet Dancer, and to her it is a serious avocation. She is still doing her exams and will be completing her RAD Advance 2 by next year .

When the Viennese Debutante Ball Kuala Lumpur 2008 was announced, Jonathan a Latin Dancer approached her parents sometimes in July, whether Ellya would like to partner him to the Debutante Ball. You have to picture this, she has no inkling what this is all about and Viennese Waltz and Polonaise are understood in the context of Ballet, not Dancesport.

As this is new to Ellya, she warned Jonathan that she will do her utmost best, but it will be at his Peril. In August Ellya joined a Dance Studio teaching Standard at Plaza Damas and started from scratch Waltz, Quickstep and of course Viennese Waltz. Within that span of 3 months Ellya just about got the hang of it and the idea of dancing with a partner. Before she can say Polonaise, it was time for the Viennese Ball 2008. As they say, the rest is history.

I had the opportunity to speak to her about the whole experience. She told me it was the most exciting experience in her life. Apart from the dancing, the marching into the hall with the other participants in their resplendent gowns is so grand and memorable. All the gentlemen and ladies look so dashing and elegant. Dancing to live music to a full orchestra is so different from music coming out from a Compact Disc player.

Ellya related that the music not only surrounds you, but it really gets into your whole system and you cannot help but be attuned with the whole ambiances. Ellya would advice that should there be another debutante Ball organized by the Austrian Embassy, she would like all of you out there to experience what she has gone through. The whole process of getting ready from the make up to the Gowns and the practices are all worth the while.

Ellya & Jonathan incidentally were selected as one of the top 5 couples to dance in the Vienna Opera Ball in Austria in February 2009. Of the 5 selected couples, only the best couple selected for the evening will have their return airfare fully sponsored by the Austrian Embassy. The announcement will be made later I suppose.

The Vienna Opera Ball was started in 1869 by the Emperor Franz Kaiser Joseph and has a long and checkered history behind it. It is the most important Ball in Europe. I am sure they will not let this opportunity pass and we wish them well.

Now coming back to my point on Ballerinas, Ellya is classic example of a pure Ballerina who dares to venture into a new dance discipline. Not only did she managed to go through the evening admirably, but to be selected as one of the top 5 couples out of 50, after just 3 months of weekend classes, speaks a lot for Ballerinas and their training.

Ellya’s final aim is to be 10 dance competent in Dancesport and when the time is right she hopes to participate in some of the competitions locally and overseas. She is only 15 this year.

Congratulations Ellya!

Picture of Ellya & Jonathan by Alexander David Pon