Thursday, November 25, 2010

Guangzhou Asian Games 2010

I went to the Games at the invitation of the IDSF Communication Commission, they arranged for me to stay at the Media Press Center (MPC) at Haibang a small village outside Guangzhou. I carry with me a photo journalist pass and was given the right to watch and photograph dancesport within the parameters of the Dance floor. The access given to me a photographers dream so to speak. 
As I landed in Guangzhou Baiyun airport and having collected my luggage, everything was a breeze. I cleared immigration without a fuss and with my accreditation card, I do not need a China Visa. My identity was verified very quickly by touching my card on a sensor and all the details appeared on the monitor.
The distance from Baiyun to Haibang takes about 90 minutes and that is with a traffic police car escort.
Reaching the MPC, the security was extremely tight and they even managed to detect my small Swiss Pocket knife. They told me politely that I cannot carry weapon in the Media Village. China is technically still a police state and I am not in the mood to argue with the security, if they call a swiss pocket knife a weapon, a weapon it shall be. I handed the knife to security and they gave me a chit without any fuss. Once I passed Security Check point, I had volunteers to help me carry my luggage into an extended Golf Cart and was brought to the Reception and registration. That was quick and I was given a two room apartment will all amenities of a Hotel room and they gave me a card for meals. With the card I can go to any vending machines and get soft drinks, Mineral water , Taiwan Beer without charges. Breakfast is free except we were told that we have to pay RMB 50 per meal other than breakfast and we can top up our card at specific counters. At this juncture let me tell you the meal charges were subsequently reduced to RMB 10 per meal.
The meal caters for Guanzhou Cuisine, Asian Flavour, Western Cuisine and Muslim Meals. Apart from the Muslim Meals, I regret to  report that the meals of the Western, Asian and Guangzhou are similar. You get veggie dumplings in all three, you get fried noodles in all 3 and so on. Now for RMB 50 the food served is not worth the money, however for RMB10, you cannot complaint and I believe that is the reason for the reduction in price. All said I sincerely believe when they state international cuisine, they must be referring to the condiments, for you can get good old English Mustard, HP Sauce; Wasabe, Kim Chi, Vinegar and believe it or not Tabasco and heap full of Parmesian Cheese that you use for Spaghetti Bolognaise. When I took photographs one of the volunteer told me that I cannot take pictures in the Dining Hall especially the food counter. I had no problem photographing the Dinning Hall in the Vonchalavikut University in Korat at the SEA Games and the MPC is not a military installation. You add up you can guess the reason why I was not permitted to do so. 
I hope to pen my thoughts about Dancesport in the Zhencheng Gymnasium and the long journey from Haibang to Zhencheng. 
One fact I need to praise Guangzhou, their volunteers are University students and many of them can manage English well. You find them almost everywhere in tube station, bus stand and popular tourist spots. If you have your accreditation card, they will go out to assist you to your destination. During the Games it is not possible to get lost.  



Sunday, August 1, 2010

A new beginning

This is the new beginning for  DanceSport in Malaysia. On the 26th of June 2010 , the Sports Commissioner has decreed that the governing body for DanceSport in Malaysia is the Malaysia DanceSport Federation. It is regrettable that its forerunner the Malaysian Professional DanceSport Council (MPDC) have so many obstacles to over come from two Association that are not involved in Dance Sport at all but finally this issue now is put to rest. Effectively MPDC has lost 15 months and within that period we could have done a lot. We see no further need to harp on the past and like the proverbial Phoenix , we hope to rise and bring DanceSport to a new dimension in Malaysia. 

So what is MYDF and why MYDF? The short answer is all the acronym like MDF or MDC has been used by Macau Dancesport Council, Mongolia and Moldovia. It was decided that internationally MY has always been the abbreviation for Malaysia  apart from MR ( Malaysian Ringgit)  or MH ( International airlines call sign for MAS). Like it or don't like it MYDF is the name of this new body Malaysia DanceSport Federation. 

In line with the decision taken at the last IDSF meeting in Vienna in June, IPDSC has merged with IDSF and IPDSC is a division of IDSF regulating the Professionals. Likewise in Malaysia and like all IDSF members throughout the world this has taken place. One of the arguments tabled at the Annual General Meeting in Vienna that apart from the Professional Circuit where professional compete for prize money, the competition format of DanceSport is the same as amateur. In the Olympic Family Games there no longer exist a distinction that the competitor is a professional or an amateur. The athletes that represent the country can select the best from both. 

Please be so advised that this term DanceSport is a word coined by IDSF. It refers to what was known as Ballroom Dancing before, now in its sporting form is called DanceSport. Invariably if you see an event that uses the name DanceSport, chances are that event is an IDSF sanctioned event or if it is in Malaysia, an event sanctioned by MYDF. 

As at 1st August 2010, this Blog will be know as The Sports Directors Blog for the Malaysia DanceSport Federation.                  

Friday, April 23, 2010

MPDC Nation Ranking 18th April 2010

MPDC has just concluded the 1st National ranking for 2010 and we congratulate all the dance athletes that took part in this competition. This year we have fewer participants in ther Grade A National ranking in both Standard and Latin American but it is as expected.
We have given you the best of what Malaysia have to offer and we hope these athletes will one day represent the country in all the international games. As I have mentioned in this Blog before, only the best in Malaysia would dare to compete in the MPDC championships. Those who have turned professional we can understand for they are looking at dance and dancing as a career. As a professional they have to consider their rice bowl. To those who refuses to join the National ranking that is their right and previledge to do so. This is what I call freedom to dance and some would migrate to join the other dance body. But why ? Is the grass greener over the other side? Perhaps so , because if you dance in the other camp you stand a chance to be a champion. You know like they say, in the land of the blind the one eye person is king.
Just imagine competing with blind people and you emerge Champion, all this so that you can bask in the glory of reciving the first prize. Hey ! if that is how you like it , by all means go for it. In a competition  up north of Kuala Lumpur the Malaysian Amateur Closed is four (4) dances only. Man! you can be called a Malaysian Amateur Champion by doing only 4 dances that is if you can be the Champion. Go to Blackpool and compete in the Amateur Championship. You will be surprised to know that it is a 5 dance competition.
Our MPDC athletes are honoured to see a couple cheering our Grade A for they know that they do not belong to this league of MPDC Grade A.
What is sad is to see not a cripple body, but people who have a broken soul and their priorities are tangled up for they do not know where they are going. To the couple concerned good luck to both of you.      

Sunday, March 14, 2010

MPDC National Ranking 2010

I have touched this subject before and sometimes I do not know why it is so difficult for people to understand IDSF policy as regards to dancing sanctioned and not dancing in non sanctioned competition. With the coming National ranking dance athletes and their parents have asked me time and again why is MPDC National Ranking so restrictive and open to only MPDC member.
Let me tell you about MPDC and how we view things, we are the National Sports Association representing Asian Dancesport Federation (ADSF) and the International Dancesport Federation (IDSF). As the National Sports Association naturally we have to follow what our International body tells us. In the event you are talking about Dancesport competition, just go to and you can find the Statutes regarding the running of IDSF competitions.
MPDC is organising a National Championship 2010. To join in the Grade A , you need to be a member of MPDC , if you think you can barge in and as a matter of right dance in the National ranking, I am sorry to tell you that this is not possible. Of late you would have noticed that MPDC is doing an exercise to carry out the IDSF RLS. What is this RLS? It is basically a registration exercise to identify all the IDSF grade A dancers in the world. We are given a pass word in the IDSF web site and we can update all our Grade A dancers there. This RLS system is for the protection and benefits of all IDSF dancing overseas. Go to the competition site and you know that almost every week there is an IDSF open championships in the world. Protection because IDSF will be introducing a compulsory insurance scheme for all its athletes registered under the RLS.   
Most parents and dancers think that Dancesport is a social avocation and like what Donnie Burns says , 'Freedom To Dance". They do not see it as a sport govern by rules and regulations. If you subscribe to that philosophy, I say good luck to you and no one is going to stop you to dance in any competitions that will accept you. However as a sport we have to regulate the sport with rules and regulations and we have to see compliance by Adjudicators , Officials and Dancers. What do I mean by that? 
How many of you have complained that a competition is not fair and the adjudicators favours a particular couple? Sure to have absolute fairness is not possible, take the last Asian Indoor Games in Vietnam, when Vietnam took the gold in Rumba there were complaints by an Asian Country above Malaysia saying that it is unfair , although all the adjudicators are from European countries.
In the MPDC  National ranking we have 7 adjudicators of which 4 are international IDSF adjudicators and the balance 3 are from Malaysia. In artistic sports like Dancesport it is essential that we try to organise the competition to "appear" as fair as possible. The 4 international adjudicator  are to ensure that that the majority result are from the international adjudicators and that the local have no complete influence. Yes noticed that I used and bold the word appear, for it is essential that it must be seen in the eyes of the General Public that the competition is fair. Other than that we do not know what is in the mind of the adjudicators. 

The heart and soul of any artistic sport competition are the adjudicators? Now if you are going to organise a competition, and you invite dancers to join in the competition, what is the 1st question that you are going to ask.? Perhaps what are the prizes but in Malaysia , you will probably ask who are the adjudicators judging the events? What are their qualifications ? Are they competent to judge you?
I know for a fact a particular adjudicator who openly make it a point to announce to his student that he admits that another couple is better than his couple but because that couple is not his student it goes with out saying he will favor his student. Now just pause and think do you and can you accept such adjudicator? Had he kept his big mouth shut, no one can say anything for we cannot see what is in his mind, but the minute he opens his mouth, he confirms that he is prejudiced and bias and not a fit and proper person to judge in any IDSF or MPDC competition. 
Another organiser of a Dancesport competition openly tell an adjudicator to mark a particular couple first, because he is a big sponsor in his competition. Now can you accept that ? To my mind such competitions that you go to are a waste of time, even if you come out first , you do not really know whether you win because you are really good or because some hidden hands decide that you should win.
So please understand this MPDC Grade A competition are open to all Malaysian, on the strict condition that they comply the IDSF competition Rules, the MPDC rules and regulations and that they must also comply with the Sports Development Act. 
Please take note that if you cannot comply with the above regulations, we have no problems with that and we wish you well in your dancing career, but do not jump and make a hue and cry if you cannot follow the IDSF rules and you are excluded in the MPDC competitions.

If you were to dance in a competition, you cannot say it is only club level, and the adjudicator decision is not important. Most parents says participation for the sake of participation and not competition. If you truly believe in that statement then I have nothing more to say. Do not complain at all and accept the results. When MPDC does a National ranking, it is essential that we try and have a level playing field so that all the athletes have a chance. We cannot pick any tom , dick or harry to be the adjudicator for the events. 
Please understand we do not restrict our athletes to dance or not to dance in any competition or for that matter our adjudicators too. In the event you want to dance or judge in an unsanctioned competition, by all means no one is stopping you. Just as no one is stopping IDSF from telling you nicely that since you are not interested to follow the rules of IDSF, then let us part company in a civil way.     
You chaps are all adults, you decide what is good for you , don't whine and grumble if you are not allowed to join an MPDC competition. 
A note: In the MPDC competition, in the event you have a complain on unfair judging, you first bring the matter to the Chief adjudicator for a decision. If you are not satisfied with the Chief Adjudicator's explanation, you are always encouraged to bring your grouses to the IDSF Sports Director Heinz Spaeker. That is your right!