Two Latin exponents talk to Sunny Tse about the sacrifices that need to be made and the determination required to achieve success
Twelve year-old Latin dance champions Vivien Heung Wing-yan and Alex Chan Kwun-lung, both from Pok Oi Hospital Tang Pui King Memorial College, are mature for their tender age.
'If you want to get good results in what you are doing, you have to sacrifice your free time, work hard and never give up,' says Alex who well understands the sacrifices in terms of fun and time with family to achieve triumphs. Vivien knows too. She says: 'Before beating others, you have to win over your own self.'
It is hard to believe such words are coming from Form One students but, when they take to the stage and dance, you can see commitment and devotion in their eyes.
Both started dancing to success for the most ordinary of reasons. She loved dancing; he was forced.
Vivien has been dancing since she can remember and formally trained in ballet and traditional Chinese dance before switching to Latin dance almost four years ago.
'I saw some senior schoolmates dancing ... and I wanted to learn to dance like them before even knowing it was called Latin dance,' she says.
Alex, on the other hand, was coerced - sometimes bribed with toys - into learning dance because his younger sister needed a companion. 'I was reluctant and shy. I thought it was weird and embarrassing for boys to do Latin dance,' he says.
Fortunately, an older boy from the dance school who is now Alex's idol showed the unwilling boy how cool Latin dance can be, giving him the chance to win city-wide recognition and praise - literally step by step.
Vivien and Alex were teamed up by their dance teacher because their styles and heights were similar. The move started their waltz to fame. After practising together for 10 hours a week for the past three years, the young couple was ranked No 1 in their age group for the last two seasons.
They are on the Hong Kong Latin Dance Youth Team and are hoping to bring honour to Hong Kong in the East Asian Games and Asian Games some day.
But their ultimate goal is every dancer's dream - the Blackpool Dance Festival. 'I would be thrilled to get a chance to go to Blackpool and maybe get a place in the finals,' says Alex.
Vivien is even more ambitious. 'My goal is to take part once we are old enough and become world's number one!' she says, adding that she expands her goals every time she achieves one.
But training together and sharing goals are not all that's required for great teamwork, the pair says. 'It is pointless to argue with or blame the other half for mistakes. We have learned to talk through problems and compromise to reach the common goal,' says Vivien.
Organised by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council and co-organised by the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, the Arts Ambassadors-in-School Scheme aims to nurture young people's artistic talent and promote arts in the community. Arts ambassadors must be nominated by school principals before December 4.
|Learn more about the Arts Ambassadors-in-School Scheme here|