The New Zealand Academy of Highland and National Dancing

Shanghai Day 8 - 17th Sep 2012

After a more than well-deserved sleep in… surprise surprise we were taken out for another traditional Chinese cuisine lunch. We were treated to a little Chinese dancing from some locals while we ate which included some girls with umbrellas and a questionable male, feminine belly dancer. We then sampled some fruit from a local street vendor, including juicy mangos the size of watermelons, yum! After heading back to the hotel we had a few greatly needed hours of down time before getting ready to head back to the school where we were to assemble for the parade. Whilst eagerly awaiting the final score of the All Blacks vs. South Africa game from back home, we were supplied with ‘simple food’-our dinner from the organisers which consisted of. . . Bread and water!
Our waiting time sitting on the streets of Shanghai was much shorter than last night much to our relief! We squirrelled the hotel hand towels and slippers to protect both our pumps and kilts from the concrete runway until our turn. Fireworks lit the sky and the parade was off! The atmosphere at the parade was incredible. We were up after the Italian comic band which consisted of various hand-made instruments including a toilet strapped onto one guy’s back who opened and closed the seat lid to set the beat and an old fashioned oven where the metal doors were banged. Beautifully lit floats and crowds of people surrounded us, cheering us on. Two Chinese girls held a banner with our team name and our music was played by a mascot on wheels. We stopped approximately every 100 metres and did reeling and swinging on the 2.2km journey as well as four big stops where we performed the last section of ‘the thistle and the fern’. Following us were some traditional Slovakians who were singers, dancers and musicians. As soon as we began dancing the crowds went wild which made it very easy to ‘decorate our faces with smiles’. Despite fatigue, heat and previous late nights and early starts, our performances were fantastic and we all were all buzzing. At the end of the parade our bus awaited us and we piled on and returned to our hotel. A good night sleep is in order as tomorrow we have numerous performances at various places around Shanghai.

Lana and Rachel xo

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The New Zealand Academy of Highland and National Dancing Inc., PO Box 5470, Palmerston North
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