From September, Chinese students' education will encompass a new art, that of dancing. Every day at school, students will be trained in one of seven group dances, such as the waltz, in a new compulsory activity.
Students dance during a break in a high school in Beijing.
The Beijing Morning Post reported that China's Ministry of Education had decided on a series of dances for the students, with three for primary pupils, two for middle students, and three for high school youths. High school students will be initiated to the art of waltz, a hand-in-hand dance. Each dance is set to last four or five minutes each day.
Educational experts took two years to determine the best dances taking into account the characteristics and mental particularities of students in different age groups.
The report revealed that the dancing lessons will occur as part of students' sports education after school or during spare time, not encroaching on the traditional physical exercises held between classes.
The first move will be to train dancing teachers and to provide schools with training discs in June before the nationwide campaign begins in September.
The report gives the right to schools to choose one or more dances for their youngsters, depending on time and resources. A source within the education department said that group dance would provide more exercise for students and increase their perception and appreciation of the aesthetic arts.
Furthermore, the Ministry of Education's team of experts will seek to compose new dances and increase the repertoire every two years.
Recent efforts to promote more exercise in schools has drawn much attention, even among top state leaders with President Hu Jintao urging for an increase in exercise amongst youngsters at a conference on April 23.
(CRI June 4, 2007)