Interview with Tang Yi Ming and Huang Xin Yi

Interview with Tang Yi Ming and Huang Xin Yi

Přidáno v neděle, 24 XII 2017, 12:02 autorem admin
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We have talked to Tang Yi Ming and Huang Xin Yi from China who won the Amateur Rising Star Latin event in Blackpool in 2017. This conversation took place before they danced the main event there. Their teacher, Lu Ning, was present as well to help them with English language.

Let me congratulate you on winning the Rising Stars

Tang Yi: Thank you!

Let's start with the usual question of how each of you started to dance.

Huang Xin: I started when I was 12 years old

Tang Yi: Actually, in China, children can go to the dance school after they turned 12 years old. Before that, when they are very young, they can go to the club. From the age of 8.

So what kind of dancing did you do then?

Huang Xin: Latin American

Latin from the beginning?

Tang Yi: Kids usually have some ballet as well

OK, did you have any partners then?

Huang Xin: Yes, I had a partner. But not Tang Yi (laughing).

How many partners did you have since starting in the dance school?

Huang Xin: I am 25 years old now, so between age of 12 and now I did not have that many. Maybe three partners only.

And you, Tang Yi?

Tang Yi: I also started when I was about 8 years old in a dance club. I had many partners, but I did 10 dance.

How did you meet?

Tang Yi: We were classmates in the dance school.

So was it your teacher who suggested you dance together?

Tang Yi: No, it was our own decision. We were 17 years old.

Why did you decide to choose each other?

Tang Yi: We fall in love first (laughing)!

I see! So you are a couple in private life as well?

Huang Xin: Yes (laughing).

But I am guessing that you also chose each other based on your abilities (laughing) or was it just based on feelings?

Huang Xin: Yes, of course!

What was your best competition ever?

Tang Yi: This Blackpool! (laughing)

What other competition do you like?

Tang Yi: UK Open in January. We love that competition as well.

Huang Xin, what do you like the most in your partner?

Huang Xin: The fact that he loves to dance, and tries to improve all the time. He works very hard.

OK, what don't you like about him?

Huang Xin: Sometimes he doesn't have the right attitude during practice. He gets quite intense, angry even. Too stressed. He wants to be perfect.

Is it the same in life or just in dancing?

Huang Xin: Only in dancing (laughing)

OK, so what is the best and the worst quality about her?

Tang Yi: Well, she pushes very hard. This is good (laughing). But sometimes it is too much. One cannot breathe!

Who designs your costumes?

Huang Xin: We have a Chinese designer called Michael.

Do you go to him with your suggestions, or do you trust him to come up with the design on his own?

Huang Xin: He designs the dresses for me. We trust him to make a nice dress.

Which dance do you like the most?

Tang Yi: I like Rumba. It is sexy (laughing)

Huang Xin: Rumba or Paso (laughing)

Who is making decisions in your partnership?

Huang Xin: Our teacher (laughing)!

Tang Yi: If we have any problem, anything we cannot agree on, we go to our teacher and trust him to show us the direction. We have a big trust in him.

What about in private life?

Tang Yi: She does, and I follow (laughing).

Who is cooking at home?

Huang Xin: No cooking! We never cook.

Do you always eat out?

Tang Yi: No, we order food. In China it is so easy to do that.

What kind of food do you like?

Huang Xin: Chinese.

It is a big country!

Huang Xin: OK, I like spicy food from Hunan province where I come from. Everything is spicy there.

What do you do outside of dancing?

Huang Xin: I like to meet with friends, go out, or have some tea. Sometimes we see some films.

What kind of films?

Huang Xin: Anything. You know, in China YouTube either doesn't work or is slow so you don't have that much variety. So when you want to see a film, you have to choose from what is available.

Lu NIng: We can see things which are produced for the region, for our country, and there are not many foreign films which can be distributed in China. So that's why there are so many good movies we never see. We can only see them when we go abroad but there might be a language problem. It means that we may not understand all the subtleties...

Is there a difference between competitions in China and here?

Tang Yi: China has amazing competitions! But the difference is who you compete against. When we are dancing in China we can only dance against the top European or American couples because maybe only top 12 come to China. You don't see couples from the middle level. While in here we can compete against everybody, as it is Open to the World and everybody who loves dancing can come here. So you see a lot of new couples who are also very good. You see the variety, lots of different styles.

What about the Chinese couples?

Tang Yi: In China, you see people who are in your dance school. You don't see other people coming to practise, so you don't see many other Chinese couples. Everybody sticks to their own clubs or schools. Only at competitions you see the other couples. But when you compete at the same time, you cannot really watch them! That's the feeling.

Huang Xin: When you go to Europe or America you can watch the others, you see so many people.

How big is the typical dancing school in China?

Tang Yi: The big ones may have like a thousand children. For clubs there is no limit, they may have two, three thousand people.

A lot!

Lu Ning: Yes, it is a lot. One usual competition is easily over ten thousand people. Big comps may be over thirty thousand people.

So Blackpool is really a small competition for you?

Huang Xin: Before we came we thought it was a large one, but in China we have many like this. Just not necessarily a high level.

Tang Yi: But a lot of people (laughing)!

So you learn how to fight on the floor to get your space (laughing)?

Tang Yi: It is not that bad. They split the competition into many different floors.

What do you like in England or what don't you like? I guess there is no proper Chinese food here (laughing)

Tang Yi: You can get some (laughing).

Huang Xin: What we like is that we can concentrate on our own dancing, our own lessons and practice when we are in London. In China we have to teach as well!

Tang Yi: When we come here we are more relaxed. At home we have to work to earn money (laughing). Here we can spend the money (laughing).

Do you have a chance to visit places when you are here? Or do you come to dance and leave as soon as you are done with the competition?

Lu Ning: I always tell them to visit other places, go to places in Europe as well, see things. But they are so busy with dancing, it doesn't happen. They dance and they go back home.

What is the most interesting or unusual thing you have seen in England or in Europe?

Huang Xin: The culture is completely different. It seems that European people care a lot about the family. For instance, on Sundays or holidays, they want to be with their family. While in China, when there is holiday, you want to do the fun things with your friends, go to karaoke or party. Not necessarily spend all your time with the family (laughing).

Lu Ning: For people our age, you are usually the only child for your parents. Now it is open, people can have more kids. But for us, the family is only your mother and father so it is a little different. Here, there are some families with one child, but many have more. So people have brothers and sisters so it is easy to go together, spend time together.

What would you do if you couldn't dance?

Huang Xin: I don't want to think about it! OK, I would open a café, and I would have access to all the deserts! (laughing)

Do you like sweets then?

Huang Xin: I would like to simply run a café and offer things like afternoon tea. I like that idea a lot.

Tang Yi: Or better, you should open a bar where people can drink some other things than tea! (laughing)

You are together for eight years now? Are you married? Or planning to?

Huang Xin: No, we are not married.

Tang Yi: I am not telling! It would have to be a surprise for her.

What are your plans for the future when you retired from competitions? Open your own studio?

Lu Ning: Don't give them ideas (laughing)!

Huang Xin: We would like to open a studio, or work with our teacher of course! (laughing)

Did you ever dance Ballroom? What is your favourite dance?

Huang Xin: The Tango

Tang Yi: The Viennese Waltz. It is fun.

Going back to my question of what do you like to do in your spare time. Huang Xin said she liked to party. What do you like?

Tang Yi: I like to go to the bar and have a drink. Normally, she doesn't really give me that much time on my own, it is always practice or gym or lesson. So when I have a bit of time on my own, I like to relax with a nice drink.

What is your favourite drink? Something strong?

Tang Yi: Just a beer.

Huang Xin: Chinese vodka is very strong. It is like 53%, seriously. But he is OK with a beer.

How often do you come to England?

Huang Xin: In China we compete a lot. One or two competitions per month. We come to England three times a year, and to some other Asian competitions like Asian Tour.

Tang Yi: This year we will go to German Open (in Mannheim) as well. Last year we went to the Embassy Ball in USA. We try to travel more but it is difficult. It is far, and a time difference is hard. It is actually worse with USA. Twelve hours, compared to eight hours with Europe.

Huang Xin: That's why we go less to USA.

Who chooses the competitions to go to?

Tang Yi: We usually discuss with our teacher, there is lots of planning involved.

Who organises things like tickets?

Lu Ning: It depends. When there is a big group wanting to come, say, to Blackpool, I organise the tickets for the group. But I want them to learn to do these things themselves, to learn the system, because when they have their own students, they will have to be able to help them (laughing).

How many people from your dance school are here this year?

Huang Xin: Ten couples.

That explains all the noise from the audience when any Chinese couple happens to be on the floor! Good idea, bring your own support with you (laughing).

Tang Yi: Our teacher Lu Ning won the Amateur Rising Star Latin at Blackpool ten or eleven years ago. And now we did. There was no Chinese winners in Latin for eleven years. Long time.

What are your immediate plans for the future, what are you planning to win next?

Huang Xin: Big expectations now (laughing)

Tang Yi: Realistically, we want to make the semi-finals of the Amateur Latin here in Blackpool. But ideally, we want to be the first Asian couple to win it (laughing). It needs a lot of work.

Huang Xin: There was never a winner from Asia in Amateurs.

German Open is in two weeks' time in Germany. Do you stay in Europe or go back to China and then back again to Europe?

Huang Xin: We go back to China because we have a competition.

Lu Ning: And they have to do the visa as well. They need a different visa to go to Germany.

We always ask the couples we interview what was the most exotic food they have ever eaten, and the answer is usually something Chinese or other Asian. But I wonder what is the most exotic food for you?

Huang Xin: Chinese people eat everything (laughing). But I would not eat the insides, you know, offal.

Tang Yi: I try everything, but not things like brain.

Lu Ning: I think only Chinese people have foods like this.

No, people used to eat things like that in Europe, and some still do. But my question was, what you have actually tried, maybe something European?

Huang Xin: The strangest thing I have eaten is Spanish ham. I did not like it.

Lu Ning: They both told me they did not like the taste of many things they had tried in Europe. The food is so completely different.

I understand, that's why it is interesting for us. Something normal for you is exotic for us, and vice versa.

Lu Ning: In Europe people eat a lot of meat like steak. In China we like rice and noodles and vegetables.

How do you use computers? Do you use a laptop, tablet, phone?

Huang Xin: IPhone mostly.

Not Huawei?

Lu Ning: When you work for the government you have to use Huawei.

What kind of applications do you use on IPhone?

Huang Xin: WeChat, which is a kind of Chinese WhatsApp. You can message people, you can transfer money, you can go shopping there, everything. You can pay with it, you don't have to carry cash in China.

Lu Ning: All Chinese people use this. You pay with your phone, using Alibaba, not many people use Apple Pay.

Huang Xin: It is very easy with Alipay.

What websites do you visit?

Huang Xin: Dancesportinfo.net (laughing)!

Very polite, thank you (laughing)

Huang Xin: YouTube.

Do you visit dancesportinfo.net English version or Chinese?

Huang Xin: Chinese version as much as possible

Maybe you can help to translate to make it better?

Lu Ning: Yes, as a lot of information like news or articles on dancesportinfo.net is available in English only and many our people do not know the language.

What is the best Chinese dancing website?

Lu Ning: There is nothing available really. There are small websites but not updated on a regular basis so not much use.

Huang Xin: All couples go to dancesportinfo.net to check the results.

But we do not have many Chinese results. We will be happy to publish Chinese results if you send them to us.

Lu Ning: Yes, we can try to send you some result when we have some.

Do you think there will be big expectations now from you, as you won Blackpool? Are you worried about the pressure, stress?

Huang Xin: I think it will make us more confident. It proves we have improved a lot.

Tang Yi: We will use this momentum to push higher, to aim for more.

How many teachers do you have?

Huang Xin: The main teachers are Lu Ning and Jasmine.

Lu Ning: We, as a school, try to invite many other teachers representing various styles to come to China. It is easier for us than to come to Europe or USA for lessons. But at the same time, I want my couples to come to Europe, to London to understand the history of dancing, the character, to feel the atmosphere. It makes a difference.

What are your dreams?

Tang Yi: All my dreams are related to dancing at the moment. I want the Blackpool finals!

Where would you like to go for holiday?

Huang Xin: Too many places to say, but beach holidays would be nice

Tang Yi: I just want to do nothing. Just relax and do nothing.

How often do you take holidays?

Huang Xin: Very rarely. Most of the weekends or other free days we go to competitions.

Tang Yi: We dance, come back, prepare for the next competition and go again and so on.

All year round?

Tang Yi: It is either in China, or some other place in Asia. Or Europe, or USA...

Don't you need time to relax?

Tang Yi: That's why I go and have a drink! (laughing).

When was the last time you went for holiday?

Huang Xin: Over one year ago. We went to Switzerland in January last year.

I thought you wanted a beach holiday?

Tang Yi: She went to Bangkok in Thailand with her girl friends as well. But together, we went to Switzerland for skiing.

Thank you very much for talking to us! Good luck with your dancing in the Amateur Latin event.

All images taken on the day by Peter Suba

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