PLAY the game; watch the movie; and now... dance to the beat! That is what 237 line dance fans from all over the Klang Valley did in Raintree Club, Kuala Lumpur, when they attended an Ola Bola-themed line dance bash.
Reminiscent of a Sunday tea dance, the ballroom came alive as dancers took to the floor and moved in unison to popular hits and showed off dance steps such as cha cha, ballroom and rock and roll.
Cajoled by line dance teacher Lily Chin, dancers continued to stream onto the dance floor at the event which started as early as 11am.
Just as what a football spectator may see on and off the pitch, the combined attire of dancers reminded guests of a typical scene from a football game.
One group appeared in cheerleading costumes. Another turned up in nurses’ uniform with one of its members carrying a first-aid kit and a giant syringe.
To complement her “teammates” Esther Choo, a 61-year-old grandmother turned up in a yellow jersey, complete with green knee-length socks and dangly football earrings.
The highlight of the event saw former Selangor FA defender Datuk Santokh Singh making a surprise appearance.
The former football great was said to have come at the behest of club general manager Lawrence Lee.
A group of women dressed in cheerleading uniforms chanted Santokh’s name upon his arrival.
Flattered and also a tad overwhelmed by the attention, the 63-year-old was visibly blushing. Nevertheless, he complied to requests for photographs and even entertained a fan to a twirl on the dancefloor.
Admitting that he was more at ease on the pitch than on the dance floor, Santokh was cheered on by Jerry Low, one of the few men in the crowd.
Low, who provided a twist to the event by dressing up as a boxer and titling himself as this year’s “Super Lightweight Champion”, had borrowed his wife’s tank top and dressing gown to look the part.
The Ola Bola theme for the club’s line dance bash was conceptualised a month ago following the movie’s popularity.
The club’s line dance convenor, Anna Wong, who collaborated with Chin, said the prevailing message here was “Goal for Glory”.
“What the movie inspired in us was teamwork. In line dancing, that is exactly what it is,” said Wong.
Camaraderie was what drew Wong to line dancing.
“When I started 15 years ago, it was still so new that when someone mentioned it, I misheard it as ‘lion dance’,” she laughed.
And there is no missing the sisterhood and fun factor.
Dancer Felycia Yee, who has been line dancing since 2008, said she had stopped for one-and-a-half years only to put on her dancing shoes again in 2010.
“I had to start again. I was missing the fun,” she said.
The party was said to have lasted till 5pm with Jake Choy, Chin’s 23-year-old son, giving a performance after lunch.