Students in local primary and secondary schools will begin learning group dances in the upcoming fall semester, the Shanghai Oriental Morning Post reported Thursday.
The city has kicked off dance training for some teachers, the report said.
The initiative comes in response to a notice issued by the Ministry of Education in June, ordering all students in primary and secondary schools around the country to learn to dance. It designated several sets of student group dances for different age groups.
Students are scheduled to learn group dances during physical-education classes, which will take only four to six classes, said Ping Jie, an official of the Shanghai Education Commission.
The commission suggests students dance during class breaks or during extra-curricular physical exercise time but has no compulsory rules on how much time students must spend dancing every day, the report said.
Marks students earn from dancing could be calculated into the total sports score for those who take high-school entrance exams, according to the report.
Beijing won't promote group dances citywide in the coming semester but will select several schools as a trial, the Beijing Morning Post reported.
The capital won't promote group dances citywide until after the 2008 Olympic Games.
The Education Ministry's initiative had sparked controversy among parents as some of them are concerned that making dancing classes compulsory at school will lead to extra fees and heighten the risk of puppy love blossoming between their children.
(Shanghai Daily August 31, 2007)