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Let's Dance! Dancing Competitions Bring out Students' Enthusiasm for Dancing

Let's Dance! Dancing Competitions Bring out Students' Enthusiasm for Dancing
Each year the Ministry of Education holds two major dancing competitions-the National Student Dancing Competition and the National Original Dancing Competition-to allow students to demonstrate their originality and enthusiasm.

The National Student Dancing Competition has been existence for a long time. The Kaohsiung City Government, Taipei City Government and Taiwan Provincial Government took turns holding the event until the Taiwan Provincial Government was downsized in 1999. After the Taiwan Provincial Government was downsized, the event has been held by the Ministry of Education. The event is currently the biggest students' dancing competition nationwide and aims to promote dance education and cultivate students' interest in dancing.

The Ministry holds the event in an effort to encourage students to take part in healthy physical activities through the study of dance. In addition, through the event, the Ministry hopes to raise the standard of dance in Taiwan so that our dancers can compete internationally.

The dance education planned by the Ministry primarily goes hand in hand with the three streams of education for the gifted, basic education and extracurricular activities. Dance education for the gifted is specifically designed for schoolchildren gifted in dancing. Dancing classes, programs or departments are accessible to them from the 3rd grade to college to provide them with professional dance education. The dance course of the basic education curriculum is within the realms of "health and physical education"and "the arts and humanities". The former regards dancing as a physical activity and considers it part of physical education, while the latter regards dancing as a medium for expression and communication and classifies it as a performing art along with the theater.

Dance is an integrated activity. It incorporates the senses of sight and hearing as well as kinesthesia (the sense of body movement) and is an integrated and complex expressive activity that has an irreplaceable position in education.

According to Annual Reports on Physical Education of 2005, 2006 and 2007, in 2005 the number of students taking dance classes was 32,959. The numbers were 36,602 in 2006 and 33,229 in 2007, relatively small when compared with those taking part in other educational, social service, sports or arts activities.

As a result, the Ministry in 2008 has begun holding the National Original Dancing Competition. Students are encouraged to demonstrate their originality and enthusiasm for dance in the areas of costume, movement, background music and thematic characteristics. The Ministry hopes to encourage students to take part in dance activities by holding competitions and giving them a sense of achievement.

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