PETALING JAYA: Malaysian teenager Muhammad Daniel Mohammed and his coach Sylvia Yeoh showed off their dancing prowess to clinch the top prize at the Blackpool Dance Festival 2017.
Held at The Winter Gardens in Blackpool, England, in May, the duo beat more than 50 participants from around the world to A1 for all Single Dances and A1 for Multi Dances in Latin and ballroom dance.
They walked away with medals and certificates for both categories.
Muhammad Daniel, 17, took up dancing when he was 10 and has taken part in competitions locally and abroad.
The Form Five student of Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan USJ 12 in Subang Jaya said this was his first win in Europe after almost seven years of hard work.
“I feel so happy to have made my family and country proud,” he said.
Muhammad Daniel’s first attempt in the Blackpool Dance Festival last year saw him qualifying for the second round.
He said he first took up dancing at Taipan D’dance World in 2010 to lose weight after seeing his younger brother Muhammad Adam, 15, enjoy himself at a dance class there.
The siblings started to take part in competitions, the first being the 17th Penang International Ballroom Dancing Championships in 2010.
Muhammad Daniel has won a few other international competitions in Indonesia, Taiwan, Sri Lanka and Thailand, as well as the 6th Hong Kong Ballroom Dancers International Cup in April this year.
“Through dancing, we also learn about self-grooming, socialising, how to catch the audience’s attention, facial expressions and acting,” he said.
Meanwhile, Muhammad Adam will be competing in a Latin dance competition in Penang this month after winning a competition in Singapore early this year.
Yeoh said the brothers had never failed to impress her since joining her academy.
“It’s very hard to get boys who are talented in Latin and ballroom dancing. So, when I first got them to join my group, I thought of how to take their abilities to another level,” she said.
Yeoh hoped the Government and private sector could provide financial aid or sponsorship to the brothers since they had the potential to become well-known international dancers.
“The minimum budget for a dancer to join international competitions, including costume, flight, entry registration, lodging and training, can amount to RM35,000,” she said. — Bernama