Russia: Rock-and-roll dancing now part of sports class

Admiralty Cup dance competition Image copyright Russian Rock and Roll Federation
Image caption Coming soon to Russian classrooms

Russia's education ministry has decided that schoolchildren will have an hour of rock-and-roll dance lessons a week as part of an improved sports curriculum.

Pupils are bored by traditional gym classes and want something new, says Tatiana Tsvetkova of the Russian Acrobatic Rock and Roll Federation, who advised the ministry on the new programme. "Children love to dance, and rock and roll is the synthesis of art, dance and sport," she tells news website. "It develops communication skills and good relations between the sexes," she adds.

Pupils will master basic acrobatics, hand-stands and the splits - and teachers will have to undergo training too. Moscow, St Petersburg, Tomsk and Rostov-on-Don will be the first cities to implement the plans, as there are already qualified teachers available. When asked why salsa and ballroom weren't on the new curriculum, Tsvetkova says these forms of dance lack the strenuous physical aspect of rock and roll. "And they don't have their own federations," she says.

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