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Women welcome the shaping of things to come

A fitness program from Russia which is now fashionable among women all over the world has its participants dancing in high heels. Fei Lai puts her best foot forward.

It is not a variation on aerobics or another kind of dance-fitness craze, nor it is a widely known way of losing weight. It is Shaping, the exercise system that helps women reach their personal body shape goal.

The program has an appealing ring to it ?? Shaping.

It is a fitness program from Russia which is now fashionable among women all over the world.

It began as a training system aimed at correcting body shapes and was patented in Russia in 1988. Only in the past few years has it grown in popularity in China, says Cheng Weijun, a Shaping coach who launched the Junyao Shaping Club on Donghu Road in 2002.

"Shaping can help reshape any part of a woman's body and improve her constitution. It is actually a lifestyle, incorporating nutrition and even elements of creativity and art," Cheng says.

"It contains all sorts of secrets to help lead to a better appearance. If a woman practices this for three months, she will definitely change her posture, the way she stands and sits, even the shape of her buttocks."

For a beginner, a medical check-up is needed. Her body will be analyzed and weight, fat content, bone type and other details measured. She will have to bring along appropriate clothes for the classes as well.

Usually participants take an 80-minute session twice a week. Basically, they get together and practice various forms of dance including ballet, jazz, modern dance and gym dancing while instructors ensure they are following their individual routines.

A typical Shaping class involves a warm-up session of 30 minutes and 50 minutes of exercise wherein participants have to wear high heels. The second session includes exercises for specific parts of the body such as thighs or arms.

"This might be the most striking element for beginners," says Cheng. "High heels bring out a woman's grace and elegance and are important for image building."

Nowadays, with people much more aware of fitness, enthusiasts know that "smart" exercising can improve body fitness more efficiently.

Women who are afraid of developing pear shapes are now spending more time and money in health and fitness clubs, hoping for scientifically based customized recipes.

"Most of our customers are well educated. Office workers, university students looking for employment and housewives all take part," Cheng says. "They all demand good looks and are very aware of the importance of health and fitness."

Too many girls, not just models, want to be skinny. Cheng points out that being skinny is not always a nice look and it isn't what Shaping aims for.

"Health is not always represented by beauty but beauty must contain health," she says. "Women should love themselves. What Shaping does is to bring out a better self with a more shapely figure. Each class is like a beauty salon where the participant finds confidence and enjoyment in life."

Junyao Shaping Club

Address: 7 Donghu Rd

Tel: 5466-8611


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