Fall 2018 Newsletter

Good Day Everyone!

I just returned from the Gay Games 10 and International Federation of Same Sex Dance Association World Championships in Paris and what an experience it was!  If you're curious about how it went, check out my article at the end of the newsletter!  I have used various photos taken at the competition in this newsletter to give you some of the "sights" at the competition.

Over the summer I have been voted to serve as a board member for the North American Same-Sex Partner Dance Association.  It's a nine-member board and I'm the only Canadian - so I'll be working hard to represent the Canadian voice.  We're responsible for promoting same-sex partner dancing (ballroom, Latin, swing, etc.) in the social and competitive circles.  With Gay Games 10 just wrapped up, we've already started the dialogue for administration for Gay Games 11 in Hong Kong 2022!

In terms of classes in the fall term, I will have the usual beginner standard, beginner Latin and intermediate ballroom classes at U of M.  For my Osborne Village studio location, I'm trying something new and I need your help!  If you're interested in learning something, let me know and let's see if we can get a class going.

All the best!
I'm the coordinator for the Out There Winnipeg dance workshops which are meant to give the queer community a chance to learn ballroom dancing. These classes are aimed at absolute beginners. Currently we are offering a 1.5 hour workshop once a month from September until December at the Ted Motyka Dance Studio (460 Main Street).  All workshops are separate so you can come to any one or all. Both singles and couples are welcome to attend.
These workshops are partially subsidized by the Outreach Fund from the North American Same Sex Partner Dance Association to encourage more people to try out same-sex partner dancing! Money collected from the workshop will go to cover contributions to Out There Winnipeg and future floor rentals.

September 29 - Argentine Tango
October 27 - Cha cha and Waltz
November 10 - Jive and Tango
December 8 - Rumba and Foxtrot

Time for all workshops: 5-6:30 pm

Cost: $5/person/workshop

Click here for more information.
Do you recognize these two?  They're the Sugar Dandies!
Private Lessons @ Ballroom on Roslyn
Private lessons are available at my Osborne Village studio location.  Cost is $50/55 minutes.  Please contact me by email to book your time!
Workshops @ Ballroom on Roslyn

Dance Workshops

Saturdays, 11 am -12 pm
$12/person each workshop
Is there a dance step or technique in standard, latin or Argentine tango you've always wanted to learn? Let us know what you're interested in learning, how many session you're willing to commit and we'll orchestrate the workshops to teach that to you. Minimum of four people per a workshop is required.
Workshops start September 8 and are offered until December 15 (there may be a couple of Saturdays where we can't offer a workshop)

My photos from April Follies in Oakland, California (April 2018)

Classes at U of M

"Try Before You Buy"

Beginner LATIN Ballroom

Tuesdays (6:45-8 pm)
Sept 18-Dec 4 (12 classes)
You will learn the basic steps of Latin Ballroom dances including international style cha-cha, rumba, jive and samba. These dances are a lot of fun and can be used in a variety of social settings. Lead and follow numbers cannot be guaranteed.
Cost: $127.80 (individual); $204 (pair) 

Beginner STANDARD Ballroom

Tuesdays (8-9:15 pm)
Sept 18-Dec 4
Wednesdays (6:45-8 pm)
Sept 19-Dec 5
(12 classes)
(This is a very popular class so we're offering two class times)
Want some basic steps for the dance floor? We will cover the classic ballroom dances including social foxtrot, international style waltz, quickstep and tango. These four dances are easy to learn and will provide you with a breadth of dance moves to a variety of music. Lead and follow numbers cannot be guaranteed.
Cost: $127.80 (individual); $204 (pair) 

Intermediate Ballroom

Wednesdays (8-9:15 pm)
Sept 19-Dec 5 (12 classes)
This class is for those who have taken the beginner ballroom dance class or have previous ballroom dance experience. Instruction will focus more on technique and advanced steps to two or three dances, to be decided by the class. Lead and follow numbers cannot be guaranteed.

Cost: $127.80 (individual); $204 (pair) 

Beginner Tai Chi

Mondays (7-8:15 pm)
Sept 17-Dec 3 (11 classes)
No class Oct 8.
Although not a dance, tai chi is an excellent way to gain balance, centering, sensitivity and kinesthetic awareness. This class provides an introduction to traditional Chen style Tai Chi. Students will learn proper body alignment and movement through foundational silk reeling exercises for the first two classes, which sets the stage for the more complex movements during forms practice for the remaining classes. There will be an emphasis on relaxation, breath work and proper usage of the body’s core, while keeping in mind the self-defence applications of this ancient martial art. 

I hope to start a tai chi "weapon" (like sword or fan) class in the winter term so this would be a great opportunity to get your feet wet.
Cost: $112.75 (individual)
Registration for any of the U of M classes can happen online or in person at the Customer Service Desk (U of M Active Living Centre).
The Gay Games 10 Experience
The debut of the Gay Games was in 1982 in San Francisco and are held in various cities around the world every four years.  During these games sporting and cultural activities are undertaken.  For this year's Gay Games, there were 36 sports represented and almost 11000 athletes representing 91 countries to participate in those sporting events.  Some of the participants come from countries where homosexuality is illegal (e.g., Egypt and Saudia Arabia). For dancesport we had 360 athletes from places as far away as the Philippines and Australia.  
I participated in the Games for a couple of reasons- challenge myself and support the overall movement of bringing equity to the dance floor.  Since I was unsuccessful in finding someone to dance with in Winnipeg, I ended up partnering with a fellow (Milo) from Vancouver.  His background is in Latin and not standard ballroom so we needed to work together as much as possible.  I spent the May long weekend in Vancouver training with him and my coach Faye Hung at Crystal Ballroom.  I really missed that intense training environment and to be surrounded by exceptional ballroom dancers (we were training alongside couples heading to the prestigious Blackpool Dance Festival the following week).  After May, the next time I saw Milo was in Paris (we rented out a ballet studio for training) so we probably spent ONLY about four to five days training in total prior to the competition!  

The Gay Games opening ceremonies took place in a stadium and has been televised by a French television station
The way the dancesport competition works in the same-sex dance competitions is very different from what I have experienced in North American mainstream competitions.  Mainstream competitions have the competitors dance under a strict dress code and declare what level they dance at and for syllabus level competitions, the competitors can only use dance figures up to that level.  In mainstream ballroom. professional (those who get paid for dancing) and amateur competitors are in separate divisions (or in a division called pro-am if the partnership is comprised of one of each (one professional and one amateur). 
In the same-sex dance stream, professionals, amateurs and pro-am couples all dance together according to the couple's gender.  There are three couple divisions - womens, mens and mixed.  Typically mixed couples have the lady lead and man follow although at the Gay Games there were mixed couples where traditional roles were kept.  There are two age categories - open (all ages) and senior (senior being defined as a couple with combined ages of 90 and youngest partner at a minimum age of 40.)  Initially all couples in the same sex division will dance for a general presentation (just to give judges a general feel for the couples).  They will then dance a classification round where competitors will dance three dances (standard: waltz, tango, quickstep/Latin: cha cha, rumba, jive) and judges will place them into one of four grading categories (A, B, C, D; A being the top level).  The couples in the same sex division will dance a second classification round to ensure that where the couples are assigned is appropriate (some couples may be bumped into the next grade category).  Unlike mainstream ballroom, costuming is up to the couple and will not be part of the assessment.  There is a limit of having up to 12 couples on the floor at any one time so there could be multiple heats in the quarter finals and elimination happens until six couples remain in the final round.
The dancesport event took place between August 7 until August 10 at Gymanse Japy in Paris.  The days typically started at about 9:30 am and went until 8-9 pm with very little down time.  Participants competed in Latin or standard ballroom dancing, 10 dance (competitors compete in both Latin and standard dances on the same day and grading is done over all ten dances), Argentine tango, showdance and handi-dance.  Milo and I competed in the adult standard division and given that he and I only had minimal contact, I think we did exceptionally well.  We were grouped into the C grade (where there are many seasoned and experienced competitors) and we made it to semi-finals - placing 9th (there were quarter finals which meant that there could have been up to 24 couples). 

Here are some videos posted on YouTube and Facebook (check out group: Gay Games 10 - Dancesport Community) from the competition (some links will require you to have a Facebook account to access):
Women's 10-dance Waltz (final round)
Women's champions dance cha cha
Argentine tango
Men's Jive
Men's Waltz
Men's Viennese waltz
Women's Quickstep

The dancesport competition ended with a gala where the top couples presented their dancing as well as having a few guest performances.  There was general dancing until late into the night.

The closing ceremonies were held at the Gay Games Village (in front of City Hall).  There was a range of entertainment and of course a flag handover ceremony to Hong Kong since they'll be hosting in 2022.
Overall, this has been an exceptional experience - the training, competition and comradery.  Call me crazy but I wouldn't mind doing all of this again...but have to find the partner first!
Gay Games Pictures - Day 1
Gay Games Pictures - Day 2 is unavailable because I formatted the card by mistake!
Gay Games Pictures - Day 3
Gay Games Pictures - Day 4
Dance Partner Wanted!
I've been bitten by the competition bug and now I crave competing in same-sex dancesport!  So I'm looking for someone to co-infect/work with!  It doesn't matter whether he's an experienced dancer or completely new to dancing as long as the enthusiasm and willingness to learn is there.  I think the biggest requirement is financial stability since there will need to be some travelling to competitions (the first one could be as early as April).  So if you or someone you know might be interested, please contact me.
Field Trip!
The Ted Motyka Dance Studio's Retro Dance Party will be held Saturday October 6 from 8 pm-1 am.  Details of the dance have not been posted but tickets typically cost about $20/person.  Please let me know if you'd like to attend and want to sit with the HLSB group.
The HLSB newsletters are likely being filtered into junk mailboxes for some folks depending on what email service they use.  Please feel free to forward this newsletter to others!
Copyright © 2018 Horace Luong Strictly Ballroom, All rights reserved.

Horace Luong owns copyright to all photos in this newsletter.

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Horace Luong Strictly Ballroom · 407-60 Shore St. · Winnipeg, MB r3t2c8 · Canada

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