A Passion for Dance

By Hebe Jiang 2023-07-25 15:21:23

Build a platform for all international school dancers to perform, communicate and compete. If you would have told the younger me who just started dancing that I accomplished that, I would never believe you.

My interest in dancing can be traced back to kindergarten. Perhaps it’s the genetics of my father, who loved breaking dancing when he was young, or perhaps because of how I grew up with the influence of different music. As a kindergartener, I already enjoyed performing, especially the “Hebe dance” style that I invented. My parents saw my potential and sent me to my first ever dance class, a Chinese folk dance class.

The road to pursuing my passion was not easy. I tried folk dance, did not like it; ballet dance, did not enjoy it; contemporary, did not have the motivation to stick to it. But luckily, I did not give up, and the sparks finally appeared. It was in the summer of 2016, I moved back to my birthplace, Auckland, New Zealand, and I fell in love with street dance. The energized movement, rhythmic groove, and unlimited possibilities of this dance all deeply attracted me. Street dance includes powerful hip-hop, funky locking, sensuous jazz, sinuous waacking, smooth urban dance, rowdy krump, and more. Although the moves I first learned from YouTube dance tutorials were not fun to watch, I could not be happier now to see that the old me was a risk taker. Now I have grown so much from that innocent, cute dancer.

When my old homeroom teacher realized that I was a dancer, she asked me to organize the class show for the school’s Christmas party. Surprisingly, I directed the show and choreographed every year for five years. Through this process, I was able to connect students and raise the school’s spirits and give the talented dancers a chance to perform. However, I realized there were limited opportunities for dancers in my old school. My old school did not provide many extracurriculars for students, and we never got the chance to connect with other international school students. An idea popped into my head. Why not create a community? I am a go-getter. In that October of 2021, I wrote an outline of the principles and goals of Shanghai International School Dance Community (SISDC). Furthermore, I designed the logo and created social media accounts to propose this organization.

By the end of 2021, I was able to connect with over 20 schools, and the number of schools and students continues to grow. The dance activity we host attracts more than two hundred participants and 500 viewers. Our WeChat account also reached thousands of views.

At the end of the day, I never realized that I had the capability to accomplish all of those things. But I did it with my passion for dance.


Hebe is a Grade 11 student at Concordia International School Shanghai who enjoys dancing and writing.