Ahead of the Galaxy Entertainment Group Asia International Dance Championships this weekend, PRESTIGE HONG KONG talks to Lynn Hsieh about why ballroom dance still captivates society today
What initially got you interested in ballroom dancing?
My elder sister learned how to ballroom dance in Taiwan and my friend also introduced me to it. I had dancing experience from when I learned ballet as a teenager.
Why have you kept up with the sport, what do you love about it?
Exercise keeps me young and in good health. However, I find exercising in the gym very boring, which is why I turned to ballroom dancing. I love music, and since the year 2000, I’ve been learning how to ballroom dance. I love meeting different people, friends, and teachers in the studio. They are like family, and we have fun learning together.
Which dance do you like best, and why?
My favourite is Latin, because it is very lively and I am able to control the movement by myself, instead of following the teacher. When I dance Latin, I feel free and lively.
Tell us about your first classes. How did you find it, what did you learn and were there any mishaps?
My sister introduced me to my first class. I learned the rumba walk, but the dance is very challenging, as you need to be able to control your eyes, legs, hands and body all at the same time. Luckily, I was able to find a good teacher who guided me.
How long was it before you could confidently dance with a partner? Who were you dancing with, and how did it feel?
Since I practiced ballet as a teenager, it wasn’t very difficult to pick up ballroom dancing. In addition, I love music and am very sensitive to it. In the beginning, my friend introduced me to a world-class teacher, Slavik Kryklyvyy. I believe that a good teacher can teach good technique, so I was excited to learn from him. He was a very strict teacher but my technique improved a lot from him. He said that I have talent and suggested me to join ballroom dancing competitions. But for me, dancing is more a sport.
What’s your fondest memory of ballroom?
My favourite memory of ballroom was at the Pink Ball 2014 Charity Show. I promised the organiser that I would be a part of the show the year before. However, two years ago, my mother passed away and also I had back problems, so I wanted to give it up. But I realised that if I give up dance now, in the future, I won’t be able to do it again as I get older. With encouragement from others, I picked it up again. Fortunately, I met great teachers, Ina and Troels, who made my return to the sport comfortable.
How much time do you devote to ballroom?
I’m not a hardworking student; I only practice two to three times a week. If the guest teacher, Mark Robertson, came to Hong Kong, I attended all of his classes. If not, I didn’t take lessons. When Mark moved to Hong Kong, I started to have regular classes twice a week.
Check out our interview with Asia International Dance Championships co-founder Mark Robertson here.
What’s the most difficult step or move that you mastered?
Chinese people often say that practice makes perfect and that you can’t be lazy. You always need to spend more time practicing, and even a genius needs to practice. You only reap what you sow.
What couples are you most excited to watch if you attend the Asia International Dance Championships in Hong Kong and why?
I’m waiting to see my teachers Ina and Troels compete, especially in Latin.
+Prestige Hong Kong