Thursday, July 15, 2010

Ballroom Dancing now a part of Asian Games

dancesport_284Mumbai: It’s the first time that competitive ballroom dancing, called DanceSport, has been included as an official sport at the Asian Games. The Games shall take place from November 12, 2010 at Guangzhou in China. And Reesha Dhulap and Diago Pereira have become the first couple from India who shall be representing the country at the prestigious event.

All India DanceSport Federation held their annual DanceSport competition in New Delhi at the end of June this year, where 63 couples participated. The participants were supposed to show their skills in five kinds of Latin-American ballroom dances including Samba, Cha-cha-cha, Jive, Rumba and Paso-Doble.

Reesha and Diago emerged winners performing better than the rest. Each couple was supposed to perform each of the five dances for one-and-a-half minutes.

Dance instructor and choreographer Sandip Soparrkar who was in the judging committee says, “The couples were judged on technique and presentation quality. There were many who tried to glamorise their movies by using drops (a ballroom dance technique) every moment. But it did not work with us. Reesha and Diago had a more thorough performance without going overboard.”

Another judge, Kay Schmutz, a DanceSport trainer from Germany, believes there was stiff competition and it was tough for the judges to choose. “It was difficult to decide between Reesha and Diago and the couple who came second (Priti Gupta and Shannon Benjamin). I had almost given more preference to the second couple for their style and character. But the first couple eventually scored more on music, co-ordination and rhythm,” he says.

Reesha and Diago will be starting thorough practice sessions for the Asian Games in November. But they still have a lot of challenges to overcome. “We will be competing with couples who started dancing very early in their life, probably at the age of 7-8 years. Because this sport is not so popular in India, we started dancing only six years back. Thus we have a lot to catch up,” says Diago who is in his early thirties.

DanceSport is an expensive sport and it is one of the prime reasons why it is not so popular in India. Dancing shoes cost Rs 10,000 and a single costume costs approximately Rs25,000. Reesha and Diago have been greatly thankful to the superstar Amitabh Bachchan and wife Jaya for granting them a sponsorship of substantial amount.

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