Bend and stretch: Sweating it out at a Vietnamese dance college

By Giang Huy   August 13, 2017 | 11:55 pm PT
Contortionists are grinding from dawn until midnight to prepare tough circus acts for the international arena.

Senior students at Hanoi Dance College have been practicing from dawn until midnight to prepare for an international contest next month.


They start the day with contortion acts. Mien, who is pictured, said she started dancing late and her body is not as flexible as her classmates. “I have to use more force, it’s very painful,” the 21-year-old said.


Another student stretches her legs before a dance routine. She has been studying ballet at the college for more than six years.


The students will be performing precarious acts on jars at the contest.


A student practices an act with her head inside a jar.


Another dancer balances on the edge of a jar. The students said many parts of their routine are like circus acts.


The students are allowed to choreograph their own acts. 


The practice sessions are intense.


The school provides courses of between four and a half to six and a half years, depending on how old the students are when they enroll. Unlike most other colleges in Vietnam, they also accept students who have not graduated from high school and put them through extra classes.

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