Those who have ventured to Phnom Penh’s Olympic Stadium early in the morning may have observed groups of people grooving and working out to the Madison – a style of line dancing initially made popular in the United States in the 1950s, but which has become extremely popular among today’s Cambodians.
Now, hordes of young people from throughout the Kingdom will gather in Phnom Penh this Saturday as part of the Loy9 Challenge to take their love for the Madison to the world stage.
The Loy9 Challenge is being organised by BBC Media Action, the production company behind the popular, youth-themed Loy 9 TV program, in an effort to break the Guinness World Record for Largest Madison Dance – a distinction held by France, which gathered 459 participants in 2011.
“Cambodia needs to show the world that we can also make history simply by uniting and participating,” says Pissey Pech, project co-ordinator of BBC Media Action.
“The purpose is to encourage our young people to participate in cultural events in a positive way, and we also want to create a world record for our Kingdom.”
Organisers are expecting about 1,000 participants to come from various provinces for the occasion – a number that would easily put them in the record-holding position. They will dance along to the Loy9 Madison theme song.
“We’re also thankful to the municipal officer who gave us permission for the gathering there and has supported us so far,” says Pissey Pech. “Actually, they’ve never allowed a gathering like ours before.”
The Loy9 Challenge was organised to coincide with the conclusion of the first season of the CTN-TV program, which often deals with social issues affecting young people.
Light-footed dancers interested in becoming Madison world record-holders can join the challenge by writing their names on Loy9’s Facebook page, or can enrol on the day of the event.
The Loy9 Challenge will take place in front of Wat Botom Vathey from 2:30pm to 6pm this coming Saturday, April 28. Wat Botom is located on Sothea Ros Boulevard, at the corner of Preah Soramarith Boulevard, Phnom Penh.