Today has been filled with wonderful cultural experiences. In the afternoon, we visited the school of fine arts to watch performances of student dancers. We first started with a performance from the freshmen girls class. The girls performed a quick segment of some traditional ballet including a few plie´s, pointes, and coupe´s. From being a dancer for 13 years, I paid most attention to the dancers' technique. What drew my attention the most were the girls' feet. I observed the lack of pointed toes when doing kicks and leaps; Whereas ballet in the US is all about pointed toes, regardless. The reason why we stress pointed toes is to make the dancer look more beautiful in terms of alignment, the goal in ballet is to always look like a needle. I also noticed the strength of the dancers here in China. I wasn't too sure if the girls were just going through the dance casually but I didn't feel all of their energy. That also made me think about how competitive Americans are when it comes to sports in general. For instance, we have made dance so competitive to the point where judges and the audience are analyzing every single inch of the body and form. China isn't that competitive when it comes to sports, so maybe in the dance world they aren't too concerned with strength and the ability to form into unison and they want to focus on the ability and beauty of what they really can do.
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