There are so many genres of dance in the world. Malaysia itself has its unique traditional dances. These traditional dances - Malay dance, the aboriginals dance, Chinese dance and Indian dance - are fascinating.
Apart from that, Malaysians are also influenced by other types of dances such as Hip Hop, Kpop, Ballet and Contemporary. If you can see, there are a lot of dance studios springing up like mushrooms in any cities in Malaysia. This means the demand for dance classes is huge!
Where to find the best dance classes in Kuala Lumpur?
There are so many dance lessons that you can find in Kuala Lumpur. Here are the top 5 dance academies that you can check out if you are looking for a dance class Kuala Lumpur.
1. Dancesteps Studio
The dance academy offers many dance classes like Ballet, Tap, Modern, Jazz, Hip Hop and Contemporary. Whether you are an amateur, junior level or even professional dancer, you are welcome to join the classes. It is located at Solaris Mont Kiara and opens from Monday to Friday from 3.30 PM to 6.30 PM and Saturdays from 9.30 AM to 2.30 PM.
Dancesteps has an extensive faculty of dance teachers. They are qualified dancers with either Bachelor Degree in Dance or registered with the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) or the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD). There is no doubt that these instructors are the best in what they are doing.
2. Mustang Dance Academy
If you are looking for a dance class near Bukit Jalil, the Mustang Dance Academy is one of the best classes that you should check out. It has two main studios that can fit 20 pax and 40 pax at a time. The studios are also equipped with air-conditioning and perfect sound systems.
The academy has a line of impressive dance instructors that can help you enhance your dancing skill. Each of the instructors is an expert in their dance genre. You may want to check out the instructors - Faris Azim for dance choreography, Tristan Tan for Hip Hop dance and Cheah Yee for Kpop dance. They are superb!
3. Rhythm Identity Dance Academy
Rhythm Identity Dance Academy or RI for short, has been educating dance lessons to people of all walks of life. Holding true to their motto ‘Now Everyone Can Dance' RI offers various genres of dance courses that fit the whole family. Be it for adults or children. Whether you have dancing experience or not, the academy can provide suitable lesson plans for you.
For adults, the academy has a series of dancing programs such as Salsa, Bachata, Brazilian Zouk, Kizomba, Zumba and Contemporary. On the other hand, kids can enjoy two programs - Baby Ballet and Kids Latin Fusion. Interesting dance genre, isn’t it?
4. Uncommon Dance Studio
Have you heard of the Malaysian girl group called Dolla? The group is well-known for its four members’ great vocal and dancing skills. Their first debut single called ‘Dolla Make You Wanna’ is superb! And guess what? They have been practising their powerful dancing moves at Uncommon Dance Studio.
Uncommon Dance Studio has a line of great dancing instructors that you can’t miss out on learning. Whether you are going for Kpop, Street Dance, Dance Art, Freestyle, Breaking, Popping or Choreography, the dance school got you covered. It even has another dancing academy located in Shah Alam.
5. Federal Academy of Ballet
Federal Academy of Ballet is one of Malaysia’s top dance schools. It has five branches throughout the Klang Valley. The Kuala Lumpur branches are located at Pandan Indah and Bangsar Baru. You can also enrol into the Federal Academy of Ballet’s dance classes in the Petaling Jaya branch.
The dancing lessons offered at the Federal Academy of Ballet are Ballet (from age 3 to 8), Classical Ballet, Adult Ballet, Contemporary, ISTD Tap, Rhythm Tap, Hip Hop and Zumba. You can also sit for the RAD (Royal Academy of Dancing, London) and the ISTD (Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing, London) Examinations once you enrol into the program.
What are the most popular traditional dances of Malaysia?
Malaysia has 13 states. And each state has its unique dance style to tell a story. Here are the most popular dances for each state.
Johor - Kuda Kepang
Kuda Kepang is usually performed in an open area or on a large stage. Typically, it is performed in groups of at least 25 people. The dancers will be ‘riding’ a woven statue shaped like a horse without legs and dance according to the music.
Terengganu - Ulek Mayang
Ulek Mayang used to be performed to worship the spirit of the sea. It was used ritualistically to heal sick people. Ulek Mayang dance tells a story about a shaman who was trying to save a fisherman from 7 young sea princesses.
Kelantan - Mak Yong
Mak Yong is originally a ritual dance for spirit worship and healing purposes. A Mak Yong performance includes an offering, dances, acting, music, monologues and dialogues.
Perak - Dabus
Dabus is a type of warrior and ritual dance. This dance uses a pair of sharp tools called 'anak dabus'. In this ritual performance, the dancers will poke sharp weapons into their arms until it bleeds. A 'caliph' will heal the wound with healing water.
There are many traditional dance classes in Ipoh that you can join to learn about Dabus dance.
Pahang - Tari Piring
Tari Piring is performed by holding a saucer in the dancers’ palms and rotating them in different formations with fast movements. There are various movements in Tarian Piring such as Tayang Piring, Tikam Keris and Helang Berlegar.
Perlis - Tarian Canggung
Tarian Canggung was introduced during the Japanese occupation of Tanah Melayu. The dancers will dance in pairs. The princess dancers hold a handkerchief, dance and take turns singing while spontaneously reciprocating verses with the prince dancers.
Kedah - Mek Mulung
Mek Mulung incorporates a few dances like Mak Yong, Menora and Hadrah. The dance tells a collection of about 20 stories from local legends. It is presented through dance, song, dialogue and monologue. The dance is performed in series and takes about three nights to complete.
Pulau Pinang - Boria
Boria performance usually starts with a short sketch and is followed by a dance routine. The dance is performed along with a song that features a solo singer and choral parts. It was originally performed by men only but over time women also took part in these performances.
You can look for traditional dance courses in George Town if you are interested in learning Boria dance.
Melaka - Tarian Portugis
Tarian Portugis is also known as Branyo. It was introduced by the Portuguese colonists who colonized Melaka in the early 16th century. The uniqueness of Portuguese dance is the melodies and the entertaining movements.
Negeri Sembilan - Tarian Endang
Tarian Endang is originally from Minangkabau. The dancers wear the same clothes, namely black warrior clothes and black hats. This dance requires body, hand and head movements accompanied by the caklempong music.
Selangor - Tarian Asli Bunga Tanjung
Tarian Asli Bunga Tanjung is performed solely by women. The dance represents the politeness, gentleness and gracefulness of the Malay ladies. This dance is accompanied by the original rhythm of "bunga tanjung".
Sabah - Sumazau
Sumazau is a traditional folk dance of the Kadazandusun tribe. The dance is often performed at Tadau Kaamatan, which is the Harvest Day. This dance is usually danced by men and women wearing their traditional costumes.
Sarawak - Tarian Ngajat
Tarian Ngajat is popular among the Iban people. The dance used to be performed to welcome Iban warriors back from war. There are several types of Ngajat such as Ngajat Induk and Ngajat Semaih. Each of the Ngajat dances represents different meanings.
Some of the traditional dances used to be mystically rituals but nowadays they are solely performed as entertainment.
How do Malaysian traditional dances develop?
Some of the Malaysian traditional dances have been shaped by many other influences. Some dances are brought into Malaysia from Arabic, Portuguese, Pattani and Minangkabau. However, over time the dances have been assimilated into the local culture and belief. This assimilation makes the dance more authentic and unique to Malaysia.
The future of traditional Malay dance is uncertain. More and more young people prefer to learn modern dances instead. It is worrying to see that there are not many young generations interested in this cultural heritage of dances.
If you are interested in preserving and maintaining these precious dances, you can always look for a local dance class to start with.
How to find a traditional dance class near me in Kuala Lumpur?
There are a lot of performing arts clubs and government bodies that offer dance classes. However, the classes may not be available to you due to time and location restrictions.
If you are interested in learning these traditional dances, you can always count on Superprof. Superprof is a reputable online tutoring website where you can find your ideal private teacher for just about any subject.
You can use the features on the website to filter your tutor list based on your preference - location, rate, response time and level. There is no geographic limitation as you can choose to learn Boria dance online with a dance instructor from Seberang Perai even if you are from Kuala Lumpur. Furthermore, the fee for hiring your dance tutor is indeed reasonable. You can get an average of RM30 for a good quality dance lesson.
So, what are you waiting for? Let’s learn our traditional dance.
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