Every day, dozens of student dancers toil away in the Hou Kong School's gymnasium. To many of them, dancing has become a way of life. The dancing team members even give up their weekends to practise their spinning, stretching and high-kicks while other students enjoy a break from school and homework. 'Behind every 10 minutes' glory on stage is 10 years' hard work off the scene,' said Wong Ka-ian, one of the outstanding dancers in the Hou Kong dance team. Through dancing, they have also made their lives more colourful with good rhythm and a touch of elegance, said Ka-ian. With a beautiful dance telling their life story, Ka-ian and 23 other girls won the first prize of Macau's 26th Interschool Dancing Contest recently. The victory is the latest of many enjoyed by the team over the years. Life is a Dance is about a student dancer's life from the day she starts school until she graduates. Form Two student Lee Ka-man plays the lead character in her more childish form, while Ka-ian plays the same character as she matures and approaches her graduation day. The girls broke into tears towards the end of the show. 'I got emotional because it was a reflection of my life,' said Tang Weng-wa, a Form Six student on the team. 'It reminded me of all the help I got from senior students when I first joined the school.' To prepare for the contest, the girls spent more than six months doing intensive training while keeping up with their studies. Ka-man said muscle injuries were common due to too much exercise. Ka-ian said: 'At times I felt really bad and wanted to cry.' 'But I didn't want to dampen the teammates' spirit so I hid somewhere to cry.' Despite the hardship, the dancers said they had never thought of backing out.