Blackpool dance festival to be held in Baoshan

The British Blackpool Dance Festival, known as the "Ballroom Dance Olympics," will be held in Baoshan Arena from August 16 through 22.
Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

The world's top ballroom dancers compete in a range of Latin and ballroom dancing disciplines at the Blackpool Dance Festival in Shanghai in 2017, known as the "Ballroom Dancing Olympics."

The world’s top ballroom dancers will take part in an international dance festival in Shanghai next month.

The British Blackpool Dance Festival, known as the “Ballroom Dance Olympics,” will be held in Baoshan Arena from August 16 to 22, organizers announced yesterday.

Dance performances, training sessions and public lectures will be held during the festival to promote ballroom dancing among local residents, said Chen Xiaojie, deputy director of Baoshan District.

This is the third time the festival, which began in 1920 in the northern English town of Blackpool, has been held in Shanghai. In 2016, it was held outside of the UK for the first time at the Shanghai Grand Stage, where it attracted over 20,000 dancers and audience members.

This year’s festival will feature judges and live bands from previous festivals in the UK. All equipment at the arena also meets world-class standards, said Wen Zheng, a representative of Blackpool Dance Festival China.

Ballroom dancing is an increasingly popular activity in Shanghai. Large numbers of ballroom dance enthusiasts can be found at local parks, public squares and communities, said Li Weiting, vice chairman of the Shanghai Sports Federation.

“The festival offers the best opportunity for local amateur dancers to communicate with the world’s top masters,” Li said.

Over 20 of the world’s top ballroom dancers will give talks and teach basic skills during the festival.

Baoshan, which has long been known for its heavy industries, is striving to improve its cultural scene. In recent years, the district government has built a number of cultural venues including the Baoshan Arena, which features an NBA-standard basketball court.

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

The world's top ballroom dancers compete in a range of Latin and ballroom dancing disciplines at the Blackpool Dance Festival in Shanghai in 2017, known as the "Ballroom Dancing Olympics."

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

The world's top ballroom dancers compete in a range of Latin and ballroom dancing disciplines at the Blackpool Dance Festival in Shanghai in 2017, known as the "Ballroom Dancing Olympics."

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