Tea Party in Malaysia
2 October 2012
Rachel Wadey inspires overseas
My suitcase was packed in record time when I was asked to examine overseas for the first time. I had to pinch myself every day until I was at last on the flight to Kuala Lumpur. After checking into my hotel, I met with the Malaysian organiser, Nelly Tsen and her assistant Sae Min, to be advised of my examination itinerary. I had a wonderful mixture of Modern Ballroom, Latin American and Freestyle exams with dedicated teachers and hard working pupils and I thoroughly enjoyed my work.
However, one particular afternoon stood out, even more so because it was unexpected and very different. Nelly had been informed of my work and involvement on the Disco Freestyle Faculty Committee and especially my work with Country Western and Line Dance. A large group of Country Western teachers were due to fly off on a Line Dance holiday but before they left I was delighted to be invited to meet them and to have a chance to explain the Licentiate Syllabus. It was evident that there is still great enthusiasm for Line Dancing in their country but not very much for the partner dancing which is required at Licentiate level.
I was able to answer their many questions and explain the Syllabus. To make it easier to understand, I decided to demonstrate through a mixer dance, a set partner dance and a freestyle rhythm. Of course, I needed a partner and who better than the Malaysian Line Dance Champion, Sae Min?! The teachers soon came to realise that partner dancing was more straightforward than they had thought. It was the teachers’ first experience of Polka and I do not think they will forget it in a hurry. The concentration on their faces said it all! Before I left, I prepared a list of dances that would be useful to use as technique practice to assist pupils with expression of the rhythms.
I must thank Nelly for organising the afternoon with the teachers who now hopefully will not be afraid to take the next step forward to the Licentiate examination. It was an occasion that I shall never forget as I have never tried so many different cakes and drunk so much tea as I did that day whilst chatting and answering questions to a delightful gathering of teachers! Thank you to all in Malaysia for the care and dedication you have for dance and thank you ISTD for the opportunity to be there.