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August 19, 2019

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Baoshan swings to ballroom dancing

The British Blackpool Dance Festival, known as the “ballroom dance Olympics,” started at the Baoshan Arena yesterday.

A record 8,500 groups of dancers from 150 countries and regions are competing in the century-old international dance festival being held in Shanghai this year.

This is the fourth time the festival, which began in 1920 in the English seaside resort of Blackpool, has been held in Shanghai. It was held outside the United Kingdom for the first time at the Shanghai Grand Stage in 2016, attracting over 20,000 dancers and audience members. Last year, more than 6,000 groups of dancers from around the world took part in the event, which attracted an audience of 25,000 and over 2 million viewers online.

All the tickets for the opening session of the festival, which will run through tomorrow, were sold out around 4:30pm yesterday.

“It is a great opportunity for us dance lovers to witness the world’s top standards of dancing,” said Zhang Ye, a local living in Yanghang Town of suburban Baoshan District. Zhang is the leader of the community line dancing group in the town.

Dance lovers are encouraged to perform on the sidelines of the professional competitions, with street dancers and line dancers welcome to showcase their skills, said Wen Zheng, a representative of Blackpool Dance Festival China.

Baoshan is hosting the international event to promote the haipai, or Shanghai-style culture that combines the East and West traditions, said Wang Yichuan, director of the Baoshan culture and tourism bureau.


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