THE attractions of ballet to a certain type of idealistic young woman are not hard to fathom. An alluring mix of refinement, rigor and a romantic outlook on life has led to ballet becoming a booming extra-curricular activity for schoolgirls across the world. And in recent years the popularity of classes in China is proof that its appeal isn’t limited to Westerners.
A fact that Tina Chen, executive principal of the Ting Ballet School in Shanghai has long been aware of. Born in Hong Kong, she started classes at an early age in Beijing before moving to London to study at the Royal Ballet School, eventually qualifying as a registered teacher of the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD).
Ms Chen is now the RAD’s chief representative in China, and her long experience in the industry accounts for a major part of the success of the school, which today occupies 1,500 sqm of studio space and classrooms on East Yan’an Road.
“She has devoted her life to this artform and the breadth of her knowledge is plain for everyone to see,” said Chris Xu who is in charge of the school’s marketing and operations. And although the school caters to dance enthusiasts of all ages, it primarily admits students between the ages of 4 and 16, and who all follow the RAD-formulated ballet curriculum.
负责学院营销与业务的Chris Xu 说：”她把生命献给这门艺术，而她知识的渊博是众人可见的。“虽然学院面向各年龄层热爱舞蹈的人，但主要招收4至16岁的学生，且遵循英国皇家舞蹈学院特定的芭蕾舞蹈课程安排。
However, as Chris points out, it isn’t the fate of all students to end up a Darcey Bussell, Carlos Acosta or even homegirl Tan Yuan Yuan, (the Shanghai-born ballerina, now principal dancer with San Francisco Ballet).
但是，Chris指出，并不是每个学生都能够成为达西布塞尔(Darcey Bussell)、卡洛斯阿哥斯达(Carlos Acosta)、或谭元元（生于上海的芭蕾舞者，现任旧金山芭蕾舞团首席演员），这是难免的。
“If you really want to be a professional dancer, you need to have the right physical attributes to begin with,” he told Enjoy Shanghai. “And we can usually tell from a young age whether a student has what it takes. Sadly, it isn’t all just a question of dedication and hard work.”
Chris告诉Enjoy Shanghai ：“若你真的想成为专业舞者，你从一开始就需要有正确的体格特征。而我们常能从学生很小年纪时就判断他是否具有成功的特质。很遗憾的是，这并不只是勤奋与努力的问题。
But even those never destined to appear at Sadler’s Well are encouraged to continue their classes, albeit at a less pressurized pace. The school points out that ballet offers a lot more than simply good exercise and the opportunity to keep fit. “It is a whole lifestlyle experience that encompasses good grooming, posture, manners, dress, and proper etiquette,” adds Chris. “Ballet has the capacity to shape and form the lives of young people beyond the studio.”
但就算那些无缘出现在莎德勒威尔斯剧院(Sadler’s Wells)的学生也被呼吁继续课程，虽然会以较轻松的节奏进行。学校指出，芭蕾舞不仅提供良好运动以及保持健壮的机会。“它是个整体的生活体验，其中蕴含良好的仪容、姿态、举止、着装和正确礼仪，”Chris 补充道。“芭蕾舞具有塑造和建立年轻人在舞蹈室之外的人生的能力。”
For the lucky few deemed talented enough to make the grade, years of training lie ahead with the ultimate goal of achieving the coveted Solo Seal Award (an additional exam for students who have already attained the Advanced Certificate). And the school insists it’s not simply a case of pushing students through the program as long as they can keep paying the annual fees.
那些较幸运的，被认为有足够天赋并合格的学生，必须花上几年的训练，最终目标是获得众人渴慕的独舞大奖(Solo Seal Award，为已获得高等证书的学生开设的额外考试）。而校方坚持，并不会在学生只要付得起每年学费的情况下就让他们通过课程。
“Absolutely not,” says Chris. “Everyone has to pass the end-of-year assessment which is overseen by our school’s director of training Miss Ivy Huang a supervisor for the RAD herself. Only then can they be admitted onto the next grade.”
But it isn’t all arabesques and ‘pas de deux’ at Ting Ballet: the school offers a robust program of non-classical dance classes such as jazz, flamenco, hip hop, contemporary, Pilates, yoga and more. The classes are open to all levels and all ages. To find out more, visit www.tingballet.org (Chinese only), email email@example.com, or call 400 8802 625.
但婷芭蕾提供的课程种类也并不只限于阿拉贝斯克舞和芭蕾双人舞。学院也提供一系列强劲的非古典舞蹈的课程，其中包括爵士舞、弗拉门科舞、街舞、现代舞、甚至普拉提、瑜伽等。课程开放给各能力水平与年龄层。欲知详情，请浏览www.tingballet.org （只限中文），电邮 firstname.lastname@example.org或致电400 8802 625。