A Form Five student from Subang Jaya has done Malaysia proud.
Muhammad Daniel Mohammed recently beat 50 participants from across the globe to win the top prize at the Blackpool Dance Festival 2017 held in Lancashire, England.
The Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) USJ 12 student partnered with his coach Sylvia Yeoh in the competition and the duo successfully won A1 for all Single Dances and A1 for Multi Dances in Latin and ballroom dance.
Daniel has been dancing for seven years and has emerged victorious in several competitions held locally and internationally, including Indonesia, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, Thailand as well as the 6th Hong Kong Ballroom Dancers International Cup this year.
But this was his first win in Europe and he couldn’t be happier because he had only managed to qualify for the second round during his first attempt at the Blackpool Dance Festival last year.
In an interview with Bernama
, he said he took up dancing to lose weight after watching his younger brother, 15-year-old Muhammad Adam, having fun at dance class.
The dance school principal at the time encouraged the siblings to take up ballroom dancing and they eventually participated in their first competition in 2010 – the 17th Penang International Ballroom Dancing Championships.
When the brothers first started dancing, people would usually question their newfound interest and comment that it was very girlish.
But Adam would tell them that it isn’t just about dancing. You also learn about self grooming, socialising, facial expressions, acting, and Latin dance actually brings out the manly characteristics within you.
Adam will be competing in a Latin dance competition in Penang this month after having won a competition in Singapore earlier this year.
The dancing brothers are also fortunate to be in a school that supports dance competitions as a co-curricular activity.
Although both Daniel and Adam will be sitting for important examinations, SPM and PT3 respectively, this year, Yeoh believes that there is a way for them to balance between dancing and studies with the right time management and support for their family.
The duo dreams of opening a dance studio one day to educate and instill the love for Latin and ballroom dancing among the young generation, and hopefully inspire more Malaysians to take up the art.