athlete of the week
Each week we talk to HK's brightest and best
Name Chan Hing-wai, Chan Chui-mei
School Pok Oi Hospital Tang Pui King Memorial College
Grade Form Three
Sport Dancesport - Latin
Achievements Hing-wai and Chui-mei, both 15, have danced together for about three years. They were the under-15 champions in all five types of Latin dance - cha cha, samba, rumba, paso doble and jive - at the 2006 and 2007 Inter-school Dancesport Championships.
The partners also swept the five Latin dance categories (under-15) at the first Hong Kong Dancesport Festival IDSF International Open Latin Competition and the second Hong Kong Community Dancesport Championships last year.
Soundbite 'I first took up Latin dance when I was about 10 years old. My body was weak at the time. Latin dance was new to me and I thought it should be interesting. So I took up Latin dance as a sport to improve my physical strength,' said Hing-wai.
'At the beginning, I found the steps and training very boring. After I mastered more difficult steps, I enjoyed learning Latin dance. Rumba is my favourite.
'Besides, Latin dance has made me healthier and broadened my horizons.'
His partner, Chui-mei, agreed. 'Latin dance has opened my eyes. We've taken part in many competitions. The most memorable event was the International Championships held in England in 2006. We met lots of top dancers. I was happy to make friends with them,' she said.
'I started learning Latin dance when I was in Primary One. I attended several dance classes and I found Latin dance most interesting. My favourite type is the cha cha.'
From their coach 'Both of them have good skills and work very hard. They can deal with tough training which surprised me. They are talented but not arrogant,' said Rachel Yang Chang-hui.
'The boy can follow the music very well and is elegant. On the other hand, the girl has a great physical advantage, with her strength and strong muscles. The pair is a good match as they make up for each other's weaknesses.'
Ambitions 'I hope to represent Hong Kong at the 2009 East Asian Games,' said Hing-wai.
'It would be great if we could achieve a good result at the large-scale sports event,' said Chui-mei.
'In the future, we'd like to be professional Latin dancers,' the pair agreed.