Monday, 11/04/2011 08:57

Dance contest promotes HIV/AIDS awareness

Breaking barriers: A poster for Start Dancing, Stop AIDS which aims to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS among young people.

Breaking barriers: A poster for Start Dancing, Stop AIDS which aims to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS among young people.

HA NOI — A hip-hop dance contest titled Start Dancing, Stop AIDS has kicked off and is open to all high schools students in Ha Noi and HCM City.

The contest is the first of its kind organised by Dance4life Viet Nam and Big Toe Dance Crew to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS among young people in a positive way.

Young contestants can express their enthusiasm and willingness to become agents for change in the fight against HIV/AIDS, and stand to win a chance to stage a performance with this multi-award-winning dance crew at the contest's final performance events in May in Ha Noi and HCM City.

Contestants may perform three to six minute hip-hop dance routines individually or in groups of up to eight members with free choice of music.

They can choose to create and upload their own clips to You Tube and send the link to organisers by email to or have their performance filmed by Dance4life staff.

Auditions will start on Sunday at Kim Lien High School in Ha Noi and Hung Vuong High School in HCM City.

Audiences can then vote for their favourites at The results of the public vote together with an assessment by a judging panel will select six dance crews from each city to advance to the second round.

The judging panel includes Dance4life Viet Nam's ambassadors such as Big Toe Crew's leader Nguyen Viet Thanh and pop singers Kim and Pappy Mukunzi (from Rwanda).

The judges will evaluate and select the top three performances in each city based on their teamwork, music choice, creativity, performance style and conveyed message.

Their performances will be shown to young people around the world and within Viet Nam through the Dance4life International and Dance4life Viet Nam websites.

This activity is just one example of Dance4life's initiatives to engage the local youth in its programmes. Other activities include the annual Dance4life art contest and Dance4life event which attracted 1,000 young people in Ha Noi last year, said Lieke Berghauser Pont, representative of the organisation in Viet Nam.

Start Dancing, Stop AIDS will engage Vietnamese youth and provide them with a platform to showcase their creativity and dancing talents, and inspire them to actively contribute to the fight against HIV/AIDS, she said.

The Dance4life approach inspires and educates young people to become actively involved in pushing back against HIV/AIDS and the taboos that surround it. Its innovative approach uses dance and music and involved a large number of young people living with HIV to attract young people's interest in the subject and to promote their activism. — VNS

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