My Experience in the Hong Kong Salsa Festival 2010

The Hong Kong Salsa Festival which was held this year was my very first experience travelling with ACTFA Dance School overseas to dance. I must say that this trip was an eye-opener where it was also the first time I travelled overseas apart from Malaysia with family members.

This trip was a four days three nights event and everyday was filled with loads of activities and programs.

I remember that on the first day in Hong Kong, a group of ACTFA dance friends who were already in the country and I did what tourists do. Since it was my first trip to the populated country where buildings are squeezed as close together due to the lack of space and that the living standards of the majority is not high, we did some sight-seeing around the area where our hotel was situated.

Day one in Hong Kong for me was really an eat-and-walk-and-eat-and-walk event. We had lunch at a stall which served mouth-watering noodles soup that left my hungry stomach satisfied. Subsequently, we took the MTR (which is equivalent to the MRT in Singapore) and sightsee interesting parts of the country.

One exciting sight that we saw was by the river where there was a promotional event going on that tried to increase the public’s awareness of the Hong Kong Salsa Festival. Over there, we saw Yanqing, Libin, Ivy and several others who were there to promote the event. Libin was conducting a free basic salsa dance workshop for the crowd that had gathered round the stage. The music that they played could be heard from afar and thus it attracted a rather significant number of people to see what was happening.

Day two was when the workshops began. For this day, the workshops were held just opposite our hotel so it was really convenient to go over to have our workshops after we had breakfast. I can vividly remember that the first workshop I attended was a shines class conducted by an exceptionally tall Australian man. The class was really refreshing for me since I am learning salsa from someone else that is not from ACTFA Dance School in Singapore. As such, I get exposed to another dance school’s style of dancing the same genre of dance.

After that session, there were about three to four more dance classes that went on and we attended them. Also, one cool observation that I made was that the dance schools all had their own products to sell such as shirts and halter tops printed with their school names or salsa related wordings as well as dancing shoes. This reminds me of ACTFA having its own line of products that it has brought over to Hong Kong to sell. Of course, they advertised their most popular black platform heels that are known to be “super-spinners”. On top of that, they sold a box of over twenty instructional videos in it that are painstakingly recorded by the instructors and dancers of ACTFA Dance School.

Anyway, the most eventful day was the following day where the Hong Kong Salsa Competition commences. In the afternoon, there was the dry run by all the competitors be it in the group or couple categories. The real show began in the night where the dancers represented their country to vie for the top three positions of each segment.

For me, I took part in the group category with Letitia and Dawn. Actually, this participation was a sudden decision made. Initially, I did not make plans to go Hong Kong with them but there was a change of plans and went over to the country. Dawn and I already had choreography between ourselves but the panel disallowed the similar gender competing in the couple category so we tied in Letitia to do a group item. Thus, in the end, our whole thing was a rather haphazard experience and dance. Nonetheless, it was certainly an exposure for me where I got to stand on the international stage to compete.

On the last day, there were the usual workshops in the day and by night, it was the major finale to close off the Hong Kong Salsa Festival 2010. There were several performances lined up for all the participants of the festival. And they are all put up by the artists and instructors who performed and taught us for the past few days. The show was really entertaining with the dancers displaying high standards in their genre. The event ended off with all the performers standing on stage and dancing with one another to the music that did not seem to end.

Well, that is all that I have for this amazing experience in Hong Kong, the weather, the people that I met, the time I get to spend with the ACTFA dancers and lastly the memories that will be edged deeply in my mind for good.

- Dionne Wong 2010

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Starlinn Actfa DanceSTARLINN CHOO YANQING joined the SFDF program in 2004 while studying in NUS, training 12 hours a day; she completed her SFDF, Diploma & IHDC courses in 3 years, using her teaching income to finance her classes in Diploma & IHDC. In 2008 she pursued her IMDC Dance Business & is now doing her 3 years IPHDC Dance Product Research. While pursuing her IHDC she was already traveling around the world for assignments. more

Bianca Actfa DanceBIANCA enrolled in the SFDF course after A-levels. Within 6 months she was dancing as a backup dancer for MTV. She has also traveled to many countries like Germany, UK, Taiwan & Hong Kong to teach & perform, & was offered a position to dance in a few Musical plays. 

 Libin Actfa DanceLB, a masters degree holder working for a MNC, decided to do a career switch after he completed his SFDF. He then worked as an International Sales Manager in dance products, an international artist & dance instructor. He is the Singapore Bachata Champion 2008 and the 1st runner up in the Asia Salsa Championship behind Serge and Polina from Russia in 2010. more

manfred Actfa DanceMANGGOH was one of the elite few selected for the Mediacorp Dance Academy in 2000. He graduated from NTU with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and used to work as a Project Manager in the IT Industry. He passed his examination & evaluation for SFDF and is currently doing his Diploma & IHDC. more

maricel Actfa DanceMARICEL, a professional dancer from the Philippines, joined SFDF in 2009. In less than a year, she has performed at the Esplanade Da:ns Festival 2009, Salsa Cruise Asia 2009, & has also been to China to teach & perform. In 2010 she was offered a full time dance instructor job in Singapore. She has since gone on to set up a dance studio in the Philippines and comes back periodically to upgrade her skills.

rachel Actfa DanceRACHEL an undergraduate in NTU joined the SFDF in 2010 and was offered to open a dance studio in China.  She has taught and performed in Guang Zhou, Shen Zhen, Hong Kong, Singapore.

 derrick actfa danceDERRICK has over 20 years of dance instructor experience with more than 30 types of dance. He was granted an exemption from SFDF after taking an examination & evaluation and signed up for the diploma & IHDC simultaneously.

tamil actfa danceTAMIL, a professional dancer & teacher actively involved in competitions & performances for Hip Hop, Bollywood, Indian Dance. He was teaching dance in secondary school and choreographing for SYF. He joined the IHDC program to further his training as a dancer & teacher in 2009.  Since joining the IHDC, he has taught, performed & competed in Hong Kong, China, Taiwan.

brenda actfa danceBRENDA joined the SFDF when she was 13 years old and was hired to teach and perform both locally and overseas after 6 months. She was also financing her own dance study while teaching private dance classes.  Under the SFDF, she was the 1st runner up in the Asia Salsa Championship 2010 and Singapore Bachata Champion 2009.  She was given opportunities to teach in Malaysia, Hong Kong, China.

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