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Dancesport helps mould youngsters' characters

Parents planning activities during this summer vacation for their children may consider dancesport, an activity that not only benefits participants' physical health but also helps form their character in a desirable direction.

For 14-year-old Chan Hing-wai, dancesport has not only brought about a positive change in his personality but also led to him being chosen to join the Leisure and Cultural Services Department's School Sports Programme. Under the training of the programme, Chan Hing-wai recently became the champion in an open dancesport competition.

Chan Hing-wai said he cared little about the feelings of others before he learned Latin Dance. But now he had become more caring and considerate after undergoing two and a half years of Latin Dance training which had brought about a significant improvement to his social skills, including his proactive attitude to his dancing partner, Chan Chui-mei.

Sharing similar views, Chan Chui-mei said dancesport was a healthy extra-curricular activity which elicited positive learning attitude for students, and their academic performances were better than before they took up dance training.

Chan Hing-wai and Chan Chui-mei became champions in the Latin 5 Dances (12 to 15 years) in the International Dancesport Extravaganza last month. The award they got with their excellent performances in front of local and international adjudicators at the Extravaganza was attributable to the high-calibre training they had received from the“Dancesport Joint Schools Training Programme”, a subsidiary programme of the School Sports Programme subvented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. The“Dancesport Joint Schools Training Programme” trains students by progressively enhancing their techniques in specialised areas through step-by-step and in-depth continuous training for local competitions.

The International Dancesport Extravaganza, on July 7 and 8, was organised by the Hong Kong Dancesport Association and subvented by the department to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

Cheung Hing and Yiu Kin-tai, who were the first runners-up at the Latin 5 Dances (19 to 25 years) in the International Dancesport Extravaganza, are also receiving training under the Dancesport Joint Schools Training Programme. This pair also agreed that dancesport could help mould one's character.

Yiu Kin-tai said she was rather quiet with reading as her hobby while she was in primary school. She became more active and energetic after joining the training classes in Latin Dance at secondary school.

Her dance partner, Cheung Hing, who specialises in Jive, a subgenre of Latin Dance, also praised dancesport. He said participation (in dancesport) really broadened his social life. Displaying their dancing talents in dancesport, Yiu Kin-tai and Cheung Hing were nominated to join the Joint Schools Training Programme in dancesport.

Apart from upgrading his dancing skills, Cheung Hing said the joint schools training programme greatly eased his financial burden as tuition fees for training in a specialised dance offered by private dancing schools could be quite expensive. The Dancesport Joint Schools Training Programme enabled him to receive professional and systematic training at a lower cost.

In the 2006-07 school year, about 130 students from 43 schools took part in the programme. For details of the Dancesport Joint Schools Training Programme and the School Sports Programme, please call 2601 7602 and 2771 8171 respectively.

Ends/Saturday, August 4, 2007
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