Spin to win

By Chen Nan | China Daily | Updated: 2017-08-23 07:20

Spin to win

The 5th World Dance Games, held from Aug 6 to 9 in Zhengzhou, Henan province, celebrates street dance in all its forms. Zhang Yi is one of the 11 champions. The event attracted 6,000 dancers from across the world.[Photo by Wang Wei/China Daily]

A street-dance competition taps growing Chinese interest. Chen Nan reports.

Zhang Yi sported loose-fitting pants and a white T-shirt. The 12-year-old boy stood out among the large group of dancers warming up backstage.

He practiced a few jumps. It was his turn to perform.

Zhang was soon battling a freestyle number with another boy, moving toward the front of the stage. They danced to the beat of live music played by a DJ. The audience approved, cheering the duo wildly.

Their performance helped cap the finals of the 5th World Dance Games, held from Aug 6 to 9 in Zhengzhou, capital of Henan province. The games, initiated by the Chinese Dancers Association in 2011, celebrates street dance in all its forms, including the distinctive breakdancing twists, popping movements and locking poses. The event also hosts forums and workshops to promote the art form.

This year's competition drew about 6,000 participants from across the world, including the United States, France, Japan and Singapore, as well as 20,000 spectators.

The winners were announced on Aug 9 under two categories, those younger than and older than age 18.

Zhang clinched the under-18 title with his "popping" dance style.

"I took part last year and was one of the top eight dancers. I am very excited to win this year. When I stepped off the stage, my mother and my teacher immediately congratulated me," says Zhang, who was born and lives in Cixi, Zhejiang province.

"This competition feels more like a festival. I made new friends and learned new steps."

When the event was inaugurated, it offered only five divisions. But that has since grown to 16, attracting more than 40,000 people, says Xia Rui, the secretary-general of the games' organizing committee.

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