In the past couple of years, there has been a wave of street dancing in Thailand. Most of it, of course, is advertising an event, a product or some kind of dance school. Several of the street dances I’ve seen have been very good but small. But this street dance put on to advertise the 4th GATSBY Dance Competition is huge and absolutely amazing.
It took place outside Central World Plaza, one of Bangkok’s two largest shopping malls (it’s massive). Obviously it was planned and choreographed, but for the people watching it was probably incredibly fun. It also showcases the work of some of Thailand’s best student dancers. Pretty darn cool, I say.
If you’re not from Asia, you probably won’t have heard of the GATSBY Dance Competition. It’s one of Asia’s biggest dance competitions with student dancers competing in regional competitions in Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Taiwan, Korea, Malaysia and Thailand. The winners from each country then get flown to the finals, held in one of the seven countries every year (last year in Tokyo, Japan) where they represent their country in the GATSBY Dance Competition finals.
The rules of the competition are simple. You have to be a student dancer to be able to enter, there are no more than three members allowed in a dance team (1-3 members total), but your dance style can be anything – hip hop, reggae, popping, freestyle etc. The winners of the entire GATSBY competition get to go on an all-expenses paid trip to one of the eight participating countries for a “Dance Exchange” program. So, as you can imagine, there are a lot of student dancers from all eight countries that enter. The whole event is sponsored by GATSBY, the makers of men’s hair styling gels and other hair products.
Student dancers from Singapore won last year’s event. The 5th Annual GATSBY Dance Competition will be held later this year. You can guarantee there are thousands of Thai dancers already practicing. You can get more information, if you read Thai, by visiting Thailand’s GATSBY Dance Competition website.