Fudan Ballroom Dance Association Wins Championship of CBDF International Competition
Recently in the 20th Ballroom Dance Open organized by China Ballroom Dance Federation (CBDF), Fudan University won the first place after 12 rounds of competition in 3 genres with world-renowned universities home and abroad, including Tsinghua University, Harvard University, Yale University, University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, and Moscow State University.
Ballroom Dance Association of Fudan University, founded 21 years ago in 1997, has participated in many high-level competitions and received a number of awards. “Ballroom dance is not only an art form, but also a sport, which makes it very unique,” said Zhao Yanan, President of Ballroom Dance Association of Fudan University and an undergraduate student of Journalism (Class 2016), “Ballroom dance is a sport that is applying to enter the Olympic Games, and requires a professional level of physical fitness.” Members in the association also agreed that ballroom dance is different from other dances, which made the training more difficult. Basic skills, physical strength, and intense practices are all musts, and the dancers have grown more persistent and mature along the way.
Gao Jiqiao, an experienced member of the association and a graduate student of ecohomics (Class 2016), was very proud of his teammates. He remarked that his teammates also excelled in their academic performance and that there were a lot of national and governmental scholarship winners in the team. Hard work is indispensable to great academic achievements. The association members made use of every minute of their time, reading their class materials on the subway, during the waiting time, and in midnight after training. “We love dancing, but we also understand the importance of coursework. That’s why we are willing to sacrifice our sleeping time,” said Li Aishan, former President of the association and an undergraduate student of Information Science and Technology (Class 2016).
“Members in the Ballroom Dance Association have an all-out spirit that is contagious,” said Zhao Yao, the youngest member in the team and a student of International Relations and Public Affairs (Class 2015), “The spirit is maintained by training of high intensity and further guides them strive in their pursuit of excellence in dancing and academic study.” Dancing and study are not contradictory but mutually beneficial. Together they facilitate the individual growth of these members.
Musikverein in Vienna, World Dance Competition, the 110th Anniversary of Fudan University…The association has presented brilliant performances on different stages. Being international is what they have always wanted to achieve.
There is a special person in the team. He is a teacher, a member, and the one that makes everybody feel safe. His presence can make the teammates brave and his high standard for himself can give them strong motivation. He is Kang Zhe from Bosnia and Herzegovina, an undergraduate student of International Cultural Exchange (Class 2016).
Kang Zhe started to learn dancing since the age of eight. It only took him three months to win the national championship. Since then, dancing has become an indispensable part of his life. And it is dancing that has brought him to China and to Fudan University.
In 2003, Kang Zhe came to China to participate in a ballroom dance competition. He said, “The openness and inclusiveness of this country have deeply attracted me. More importantly, I can have more opportunities to learn dancing here.” Soon after he went back, he began to prepare for his application to study in China. Three years later, he was enrolled as a student of Fudan University.
“China gave me hope, and Fudan fully opened the door of dancing for me.” Although he has only learned Chinese for one year, he can speak fluently and vividly, which, from his perspective, was the result of dancing trainings and competitions.
After joining the association, Kang Zhe started to train other core members in the team. As a teacher, he instructed other members on dancing skills. As a member, he went through intense trainings to prepare for high level competition. Winner of the 8th Huairou Cup Ballroom Dance Open, the 20th CBDF Ballroom Dance Open, the 31st CBDF National Championship, etc., the trophies he got last year could occupy a whole desk.
He has danced in many Chinese cities as well as on the stage of Musikverein. Wherever he goes, he always uses the following introduction. “Hello. I’m Kang Zhe from Fudan University.” He explained that he represented not only himself but also Fudan University on every stage. A passion for dancing, a sense of belonging, and a positive attitude. These are what Fudan’s students have shown to the world.
During the summer of 2017, some members of Ballroom Dance Association volunteered in Tacheng in Xinjiang Province. It took them entire three days to arrive at the city at the border of China and Kazakhstan where the environmental condition was very harsh. There was few teacher at Tacheng, and thus dancing education was a great challenge. Students from Fudan University brought hope and knowledge to the place. As Zhang Yao recalled, despite the hot weather, the members taught ballroom dances to the kids there every day and talked about their experiences in all the competitions. They helped those kids to see a totally different world and gave them motivation for the pursuit of art. Through the volunteer teaching, the members themselves also realized the significance of dancing and cherished it more.
Members of Ballroom Dance Association are very diverse. They comes from different majors, including history, economy, information science, engineering, etc. Some of them started dancing since the age of four while others knew nothing about dancing before joining the association. They have all developed their own understanding of dancing in the association and also made great impacts on their audience. They are both beneficiary of and contributor to the dancing education at Fudan University.
Wang Shaobin, Instructor of Ballroom Dance Association, believes that dancing is not simply a few moves, but a combination of music, body and story. The emotion and concepts behind these moves are indeed the essence of dancing. Hence, he explained to the members the origin and culture of dancing in order to help them form a comprehensive understanding of dancing. Speaking of the future, Wang Shaobin looked forward to a more professional Ballroom Dance Association where contestants and non-contestants were equally important and the beauty of dancing could be enjoyed by more people.
Source: Ballroom Dance Association of Fudan University
Author: Written by Zhang Li；Translated and Edited by Wu Yunyao