Did You Know Late-Night Dancing Can Get You Arrested in Japan?

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Tokyo used to have one of the best nightclub scenes in the world, but all that has changed dramatically ever since the local police started enforcing a very old law that had been ignored for at least half a century. According to this law, commercial establishments cannot host dance parties unless they have a valid license.

In order to obtain such a license, venues must have at least 66 square meters of unobstructed floor space for dancing. They also need to make sure that all dancing stops at 1 am, which the law says is the curfew. Failure to comply with the rules could get club owners into serious trouble, including getting thrown in jail for weeks, or having their businesses closed down.

“Dancing is not a crime,” pointed out Ryo Isobe, a music writer from Tokyo. “But the current situation can easily make people believe that dancing is a crime. Under this law, there are almost no legal nightclubs in Japan. All-night dance parties are against the law.”

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Chinese Girl Rotates Non-Stop for Four Hours during Spring Festival Celebration

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15-year-old Wei Caiqi, the niece of Chinese dancing star Yang Liping, twirled nonstop for four hours straight during China’s New Year celebrations. The annual China Central Television (CCTV) gala was aired live on January 30 and watched by 704 million viewers across the nation.

Wei, clad in a white gown, spun on a special stage as the rest of the festivities went on. Her performance was meant to represent ‘the passing of time and the changing of seasons’. But all it did was create a huge controversy online, where people called the event ‘cruel’.

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You Think Tractors Can’t Dance? Check Out Tractor Square Dancing

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It’s strange, but true – tractor square dancing is a real thing. It involves daisy chains and do-si-dos too.  But instead of people dancing on their feet, four seated couples maneuver vintage tractors to complete the moves.

Laurie Mason-Schmidt, the caller for Farmall Promenade (the most popular tractor square dancing group), said: “We are all from Nemaha, Iowa. We have real jobs, believe it or not.” Since it isn’t an organized sport, there are no real statistics available on how many other such groups exist. Most people only come together to perform at one-time events.

The origins of tractor square dancing can be traced back to the fifties. An ad campaign in 1953 by tractor manufacturer International Harvester is believed to have started it all. The ad aimed to show off the fast hitching abilities of their Farmall Super-C tractor. It came with the latest technology (back then) that allowed farmers to switch implements as easily as changing dance partners.

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The Dancing Inmates of the Philippines

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The Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center, in the Philippines, has become internationally famous for using choreographed dancing to rehabilitate dangerous inmates. Videos of their dance routines have registered tens of millions of views on sites like YouTube, and the prison itself is now a tourist attraction of sorts.

Prison life is tough everywhere – well, maybe except Norway – and the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center is no exception. Inmates sleep on hard pallets, share their cells with around a dozen other roommates and have a very strict schedule of work. But at least they get to dance. The truth is they don’t have a choice, because apart from the elderly and the sick, every one of the almost 2,000 prisoners is required to take part in the jail’s now-famous dance routines. Most of them enjoy doing it, because it takes their minds off their problems, keeps them away from drugs and violence, and teaches them discipline. In fact, two former inmates went on to become professional dancers when they got out. Introducing dancing as a rehabilitation technique was the idea of security consultant Byron Garcia. He was brought in to Cebu Prison in 2004, to deal with the constant riots. He moved the prisoners from an ancient stockade to a larger, more modern facility, fired dozens of corrupt guards, broke up gangs, banned the use of cash and introduced dancing. That last measure made the biggest difference. Violence subsided and the inmates health and behavior improved dramatically. Yet no one took notice…

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Danza Voluminosa – Cuba’s Plus-Size Dance Group

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If you thought the world of ballet dancing was reserved exclusively for the slim and petit, well, it’s time to think again. Because the Cuban dance troupe ‘DanzaVoluminosa’ (literally meaning Voluminous Dance) is here to prove you wrong. Comprising of eight dancers and a combined total weight of over 1,600lbs (more than 200lbs per dancer), these heavy beauties have taken the tutu way past its traditional size ‘zero’.

In a recent video report on DanzaVoluminosa by the Associated Press, the founder of the troupe Juan Miguel Mas explains, “The most important thing is that it elevates the self-esteem of the overweight. It helps them to not be sedentary and get out and move, live, work, investigate and love their bodies, too.” Juan says that the purpose of the dance troupe is to find harmony, and the fulfillment of being human. The group was founded way back in 1996 and had been a hit in Cuba ever since. In 2004, it was the subject of a documentary film called Defying Gravity. Hailing from Cuba’s capital city of Havana, the group is focused on breaking traditional stereotypes and giving overweight performers a chance to realize their dreams. The dance troupe is the brainchild of Juan Miguel, who wanted to find a way to adapt modern dance techniques to suit the physical possibilities of overweight people. It has so far produced three full-length choreographies and thirty shorter works. The latest offering from DanzaVoluminosa is called ‘Crisalidas’ or ‘Chrysalis’.

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Lunch Beat – Sweden’s Unusual Lunch Break Dance Parties

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The time just after lunch hour is perhaps the sleepiest in a typical workday. Over the years, people have come up with very creative solutions to keep themselves awake and in a working mood, but nothing can beat Sweden’s Lunch Beat, a truly original way to spend lunch hour.

Dancing in a club, at noon probably doesn’t seem like the perfect way to spend your lunch break, but it’s exactly what more and more Swedes are doing to re-energize themselves. They just groove to the music for about an hour and then get back to work. The first Lunch Beat was organized in an underground parking lot in Stockholm, in June 2010. Only 14 people attended that first event, but it was so much fun that the word spread pretty quickly. Today, hundreds attend the monthly Lunch Beats organized in the Swedish capital. The phenomenon is slowly spreading to other Swedish and European cities as well.

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Brazil’s Ballet School for the Blind

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Reports of visually impaired people performing regular activities with finesse are not new. However, such stories never cease to amaze us. The resilience and confidence displayed by some of the blind leave us awestruck, and sometimes the blind are even able to do things that people with normal vision are not.

Dance is one such activity. While it is almost inconceivable to think of a blind person being able to perceive and enact the dance moves of a beautiful and classical form like ballet, a Brazilian ballet school has managed to do just that – train blind dancers. And how they dance!

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Pole-Dancing Is the New Yoga

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More and more Chinese women turn to pole-dancing to keep in shape.

Great news for Chinese men, an increasing number of their women are registering for pole-dancing classes, to keep fit. These photos, taken in Luoyang, central China, show women learning to master the pole, under the guidance of professional instructors. It appears this is the latest trend in Chinese exercising and practically every gym and dance studios is offering classes.

Damn I hope this trend goes international real soon, I know a few guys who would gladly pay for their wives’ classes.

via CCTV.com

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