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Archive for Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Waltzing plans revised amid parents’ concerns

July 17, 2007

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— Chinese educators are toning down plans to teach students to waltz after parents said they worried about puppy love and falling grades, local media reported Monday.

The revised dance steps allow students to dance by themselves or in large groups, the Xinhua News Agency said, without explaining exactly how that would work.

"They don't have to dance with specific partners, which will be more easily accepted by both students and their parents," Yin Guochen, an official with the State General Administration of Sports, was quoted as saying.

Xinhua also quoted an Education Ministry official as saying another version would see students organized into groups of four and changing partners with each song.

"This way, the risk of young love would be lowered," a ministry official, Yang Guiren, was quoted as saying.

Concerns that students would "fall in love and lose track of exam results" already have pushed back plans to introduce dancing from September to the end of the year, the report said.

Although Chinese schools are mixed, parental disapproval and academic pressure mean relationships between students are unusual before the university level.

Ballroom dancing has long been considered a form of healthy exercise in China, with large groups gathering in parks or sports grounds to whirl away to piped-in music.

The idea of introducing it in schools was inspired primarily by worries over poor health and rising obesity among students.

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