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When Ming Wang, MD, PhD, is dancing, he is truly living. The Nashville corneal and LASIK surgeon followed a long road to the ballroom dance floor and, today, the Chinese-born doctor is a competitive dancer and encourages others to appreciate the fine arts of music and dance.
Starting with music
"Music is the soul of dance," said Dr. Wang.
"I became a student of the traditional Chinese violin (er-hu) and was forced to drop out of school in order to escape the deportation," said Dr. Wang. "For 15 hours a day, I practiced the er-hu on street corners and watched enviously as other students walked by with knapsacks on their shoulders as they went off to school." Through the melancholy music of the er-hu, young Ming Wang expressed his longing for the opportunity to study again and to have a better life.
The first dance
In 1987, after obtaining his PhD in laser physics, Dr. Wang was admitted to Harvard Medical School and MIT. His interest in ballroom dancing began there.
"I was at a Harvard formal ball and found that most of the students hadn't a clue what to do when the waltz music began," said Dr. Wang. "I resolved to change that, to defy the stereotype that Harvard students are only serious bookworms, and to learn the fine art of ballroom dancing."
He joined fellow Harvard students and formed the Harvard Ballroom Dance Team. The ambitious newly formed team won the U.S. national collegiate championship in 4 short years.
"Standard classical ballroom is my favorite," said Dr. Wang. "In standard ballroom dance, you express elegant and supremely beautiful music; it exalts the sublime in life.
"The British slow waltz is my absolute favorite dance," said Dr. Wang. "It is the most romantic and elegant dance. It's subtle, and its beauty is both internal and external."
The second ballroom dance style Dr. Wang described is Latin American dance, which consists of the cha-cha, rumba, samba, paso doble, and jive.
"This group of dances is rhythmic, powerful, sensual, and romantic. They embody the vital and dynamic aspects of our lives," said Dr. Wang.