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Dance – an art and a sport

(Image is designed by the student of Hong Kong Design Institute) Dancing is more than an art. It is also a sport which helps to maintain health, to boost immunity, and to improve mental wellness by releasing emotions.An accumulation of at least 30 minutes of dance (at least 10 minutes per session) every day persistently can bring you the following benefits: - Improving your cardiopulmonary functions and blood circulation;- Enhancing the mobility and flexibility of joints to lower the risk of injuries and falls;- Strengthening your muscles and reducing the risk of osteoporosis;- Reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, hypertension, stroke and diabetes mellitus as well as preventing some types of cancer (e.g. colorectal cancer);- Relieving stress, boosting confidence and improving mental health;- To broaden social circle; and- To burn calories to help you maintain a healthy body weight. There are many types of dance, each with its own characteristics, some of which are as follows:Social dance    In the old days, Social dance was a classy social and recreational activity that catered for minority interests. With growing popularity, it has been taken up by people from all walks of life. Today, social dance is not only a kind of art performance, but also a competitive event in the sports arena. Modern danceOnly becoming popular in Hong Kong in the mid-70s, modern dance has developed rapidly since then. With different schools and distinctive styles, it has multiple expression techniques that stress the uniqueness and creativity of the dancers.    Jazz danceJazz dance with strong beats and diverse steps, is very popular among young people. Since it has fewer rules as compared with social dance, dancers can express themselves freely through dancing. Chinese danceChinese dance is divided into classical dance and ethnic dance, reflecting Chinese cultural characteristics and traditional customs of ethnic groups. Rich in content and varied in forms, it enables dancers to understand more about the culture and arts of our country through dancing.    Folk danceFolk dance is a very common form of entertainment in festive celebrations and gatherings. Though easy to learn, its clear rhythm calls for co-ordination and co-operation among dancers. Cultural characteristics of different places can also be displayed. It is such a dance suitable for all. Children danceDance tailor-made for children can be called children dance. It adopts basic techniques of various types of dance (such as ballet, jazz dance and folk dance). Light and lively in mood, it helps children to develop an interest in dancing.    Street danceOriginated in the United States, street dance is an umbrella term which includes a fusion of many dance styles associated with different street cultures or music styles. Hip-Hop and break dance are the two most common types of street dance. The common characteristic of street dance is strong swinging movements, a variety of improvised moves and that there are no rules on what you wear. The best aspect of street dance is its rich vibrancy and passion. Regular practice can improve your whole body co-ordination. Line danceLine dance is a type of Contredanse and is widely popular across the world. It has its origins in the western United States at the time when disco was dominating the dancefloors. It is made up of simple dance moves and does not require a partner. The dancers stand in lines and dance the same steps with the sound of cheerful music and repeated turns. In addition to improving cardiopulmonary functions, joint mobility and hand and foot coordination, line dance can also improve memory and sense of direction.    Group danceGroup dance includes various types of dance from line dance to jazz dance, Chinese dance, folk dance, social dance and Latin dance, etc. A partner is not required for these dances. Props such as fan, sleeve, scarf, tambourine and bamboo clapper are normally used by dancer to move with pleasant music. If you are interested in dance, please visit the website of Hong Kong DanceSport Assciation or Hong Kong Dance Federation for further information. You may also check out the activities about dance published on our website.

Hong Kong Ballet's Ballet101 “The Art of Pointe Shoes” Part 3: Pointe shoe dyeing and the process of “pancake”

Pointe shoes come in different models and sizes, but they also appear in different colours! The final part of Hong Kong Ballet's Ballet101 “The Art of Pointe Shoes” series will talk about pointe shoe dyeing and the process of “pancake”. Featured Hong Kong Ballet dancers: Leung Saulong, Corps de Ballet; Amber Lewis, Coryphée; Yang Ruiqi, Soloist (Video courtesy of Hong Kong Ballet) Please visit Hong Kong Ballet website for more details.

Hong Kong Ballet's Ballet101 “The Art of Pointe Shoes” Part 2: how to darn your pointe shoes?

The second part of the Hong Kong Ballet's Ballet 101: The Art of Pointe Shoes will take you through how to darn your pointe shoes and other tricks to prepare them. Don’t miss it! Featured Hong Kong Ballet dancers: Yuen Ao Xin Hennes, Apprentice; Leung Sze Chai Cindy, Apprentice; Zhang Xuening, Corps de Ballet (Video courtesy of Hong Kong Ballet) Please visit Hong Kong Ballet website for more details.

Hong Kong Ballet's Ballet101 “The Art of Pointe Shoes” Part 1: Dancing "en pointe" may appear effortless?

Dancing "en pointe" is one of the most distinctive and visually captivating aspects of ballet. Therefore, pointe shoes are a ballerina's most important accessory - almost a part of their bodies! During a performance, dancing "en pointe" may appear effortless (as it should!), but it is actually extremely difficult and requires years of training.In this 3-part Hong Kong Ballet's Ballet 101 episode, Hong Kong Ballet dancers share about their love/hate relationship with their pointe shoes and show how you can fit and prepare your own pointe shoes. You’ll learn some special dyeing tricks and how to "pancake" your pointe shoes! (Video courtesy of Hong Kong Ballet) Please visit Hong Kong Ballet website for more details.