Friday, September 11, 2009

First Stop in Asia Tour 2009

It has been a long time since I posted in this blog. Since I can't go back in time to share all the exciting things that happened since my last post, the direction to go is forward. Thus, I will start with my recent trip to Malaysia and Vietnam to do what I love so much: teach dance

First stops: Kuala Lumpur and Ipoh, Malaysia.

Arriving in Kuala Lumpur is like arriving home away from home. Although it is on the opposite side of the globe, the palm trees visible from the train that runs 28 minutes from the KLIA airport to the Central is familiar and soothing. My dear friend Esther Tan recruited her friend and manager of her son's Outcast Dance studio to meet me and take me to her home. They brought a big van for my luggage. But to our disappointment, my luggage did not arrive with me and it took 3 days for it to be delivered to me in Ipoh, Malaysia.

After spending a very tired night at the comfortable home where I was welcomed by Esther, I rode the bus to Ipoh the next day. There, I had 3 days scheduled for workshops and private lessons hosted by Wendy at Dance Vogue Studio. Wendy is a very dynamic dancer and very friendly person. This was her first time hosting Belly Dance workshops at her studio. She had been traveling, and August was a vacation month. I was busy however, with small group workshops and private lessons. The most challenging workshop to teach was the scheduled double veil choreography because the level of participants was so different. Some dancers had never held a veil, while others were ready for the choreography. As usual, I explained that one gets from a workshop all they can, and the higher the level, the more they absorb because many of the concepts they hear in one workshop, they will have again at another and with time it gets easier. I hope that everyone got at least a new move or combination.

I really enjoyed teaching a 9 year old a new choreography with use of finger cymbals. She had never used them before, and still she got most of the choregraphy in a 2 hr lesson.

One of the highlights of my stay in Ipoh was to spend time with my dear friend Annie Ong who came from Alor Star to support Wendy's event and spend time together with me. I love to be with Annie because she is a true friend who tells you like it is, but also supports her friends with all her heart. We always laugh a lot and this time was no different. We got "invited" to crash a birthday party for a 21 year old by his Indian family. Wow, what a party that was! They insisted for us to come in and we finally did, and before we realized it we were dancing with the family, and I ended up on stage with the birthday boy... Really hilarious. Annie arranged this feat, but sat quietly taking a video as an excuse to not be dragged up with me.

Wendy and her family took Annie and I to an incredible seafood restaurant. The food in Ipoh is famous for its flavor and its thick, crunchy bean sprouts. Yummy, I always put on a few pounds in Malaysia.

After the workshops in Malaysia I had to tell everyone a sad good bye and return to KL by train. Again, Esther picked me up at the train station and took me to her house ( I can't express enough how sweet and kind Esther is). The following morning, I had to return to the airport to fly to Hanoi. Esther asked her nephew to take me to the Central and soon I was in the train along the palm trees on my way to my next adventure. I had never been to Vietnam and my heart was racing with excitement.

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