Ballroom Dance Studio Las Vegas - Every Sunday at 2 a.m., the narrow building in Manhattan's Chinatown echoes with footsteps and 1950s Chinese antiques. In the large portrait dance studio on the second floor, Irene Ng knows how to get the party started. He turned on the bright neon lights and clasped his hands as if to embrace his invisible companion. Her quick feet graced the dance floor. A black scarf draped over her back. Accustomed to Ng's constant motion, guests surround him. Before they knew it, they were on the dance floor.
On Chinese New Year, which falls on February 1 this year, an elderly Chinese community blocks the studio's small entrance to perform a balloon dance for the studio's planned Lunar New Year display. On a recent Saturday, more than 80 seniors were on the dance floor, some in pairs. Except for the masks, the room looks like a nostalgic Wong Kar-wai movie.
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“I always tell the elderly, don't worry about your stepsons; Have fun,'' said Ng, 57, owner of Imperial Ballroom Dance Studio.The family business, which opened in 1995 as one of Chinatown's longest-running dance studios, offers Chinatown's 50,012 Chinese immigrants a place to connect and feel at home.
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The holiday isn't the only cause the organization has proven important in recent years. Social isolation is a profound problem for many Chinese immigrants, especially those who speak English, amid a growing epidemic of anti-Asian hate crimes in the United States. The stakes are very high. Social isolation and loneliness can pose serious health risks, according to a report from the Universities of Engineering and Medicine. Risks include depression; depression and premature death. Meanwhile, Chinatown's population is aging rapidly, with a median age of 40 in 2010 to 50 in 2019, according to the Asian American Census Center's 2021 City Council Summary. One reason Chinatown's seniors face isolation is that younger family members often leave the area. In Chinatown, 14% of the population is under 18; According to the 2020 census, it is below the share in the city.
"Older parents often tell their children, 'We can do better,' so they move out," said Wellington Z. Chen, executive director of the Chinatown Partnership Local Development Corporation (CPLDC). "The caterpillars worked hard to free their butterflies, what do you do with the shell?"
Feelings of loneliness can get worse during the holiday season. But no one is alone in the Empire. Starter Kits are non-competitive materials. Some acted awkwardly or pointed in the wrong direction, but laughter was everywhere. A group of women sitting on a sofa in a studio chatter in Cantonese about where to buy winter coats as they share homemade almond cookies.
"Almost all the people who come here are old Chinese," he said, pointing to a group of diners in the corner. "They are very lonely and need companionship."
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Raymond Kahn, 77, who immigrated to the United States in 1978, has been dancing in the studio for more than 20 years. "We old people can't rest, otherwise I'll pass out," he said.
Kang's son lives in Las Vegas and rarely comes home, so Kang and his wife, Sylvia Hong, spend every Sunday at the Imperial Ballroom to catch up with old friends and catch up.
"There is a cultural difference between American and Chinese family values," Kang said. “American families value children's independence, while Chinese families emphasize the morality of the Five Noble Phantasms. As my son grows up in America, I am learning to let go. As you get older, you learn that friends are the most important thing in life. "
Lack of ability to communicate in English increases communication barriers for older adults. About half of the city's Asian population has limited English proficiency, so they don't recognize English as "only" or as speaking English, according to a summary of the city council. The proportion of Asians who speak English in Chinatown is even higher at 54% in 2019.
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Liqun Yang, 65, who owns a Chinatown restaurant serving cuisine from his hometown of Fuzhou, comes to the studio three times a week. She has been learning balloon dance for three years and recently took it seriously.
"At first I just danced to exercise my arms." But now I really want to own it," she said. "After I retire, I want to be busy because I don't have a job at home."
Yang moved to New York at the age of 30, but did not speak English. But he found it easy in the dance studio, where many people spoke Fuzhounese, his mother tongue.
Ng and her husband, Ming Chau, have never closed the salon except for a 15-month closure during the pandemic. They took what Ng described as a small PPP loan and wanted Chinatown's seniors to open as soon as possible under regulations approved last June. However, the spread of COVID-19 and attacks by anti-Asian bigots are common among studio service providers.
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"There used to be a lot of parties, but not so much anymore because the elderly in Chinatown are afraid to go out," she said.
“Last July, Chinatown resident Minerva Chin was attacked in a fit of rage on Mulberry Street. "He is a retired school teacher and a good friend of our organization," he said.
So Ng and Chau work not just to dance, but to lure customers back with a family feel. However, with the spread of the Omicron version, Ng said that the studio doesn't have many people these days. He plans to reschedule the studio's Lunar New Year show until the epidemic subsides.
Otherwise, customers will remember previous batches to continue. Last year on Thanksgiving Day, the music stopped as the Imperial dance floor was more crowded than ever. Chow played a birthday song over the speakers for the traditional dancer, and Ng brought out a piece of rose butter cake. At the birthday candlelight, she was too shy to say anything to the crowd despite Ng's invitation.
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"I understand this community," she said excitedly as she watched the dancers handing out the cake. "I understand what it takes."
Community leaders fear Eric Adams' plan to stop shootings will drive people away from 'Public Safety' Frank Anthony (R) and Braxton Knowles (L) compete as a couple at the National Fred Astaire Ballroom Dance Competition in Las Vegas last summer. They're all set to take to the dance floor this weekend in the DanceSport Challenge, the first gay men's competition in its 22-year history. (Photo by Andrea Bisconti)
OHIO -- Ballroom dancing has long represented homosexual ideals -- male lead and male-female partnership -- but that may be changing.
Pop star JoJo Siwa successfully paired with a female protégé on Dancing with the Stars. Although same-sex football matches are played at international gay games, it is rare for same-sex couples to compete in major league football.
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For the first time in DanceSport's 22-year history, tonight is Friday. On the night of September 23, there will be a gay race.
Frank Anthony and Columbus' dance partner Braxton Knowles perform the American rhythm genre "ChaCha". Rumba Swing Male-female pairs will compete in Bolero and Mambo.
Anthony and Knowles only competed twice at the Fred Astaire Dance in March. They also competed again this summer in the Fred Astaire Tournament in Las Vegas. Both are Free-Time Instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studios - Anthony teaches at the studio in Willoughby and Knowles in Knowles, Ohio. Teaching in Delaware.
“Of course, we're not the first to do this. But we are a big part of the next change in the world," he said. "I've always been inspired by people knocking on doors.
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"Dancing in Vegas is bigger than being in that ballroom," he said. From being bullied as the only boy in an all-girls dance class to gay dancing in Las Vegas - he's fought against the stereotypes as an openly gay man. Free and strong; Not just for myself, but for everyone trying to break down barriers. "
"They opened the door to the world of professional dance," said Marina Tarsinov, judge of the World Dance Council (WDC) and the National Dance Council.
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