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Sunday, December 21, 2014


Turkmenistan

  • Students and state employees have been taking part in compulsory dance and parade training since mid-September. Here, students rehearse in the eastern city of Turkmenabad in Lebap Province.
  • School and universities dismiss classes from midday to 3 o'clock every afternoon so that students can take part in training sessions in nearby stadiums.
  • After the children exit, the stadiums -- like this one in the capital, Ashgabat -- are filled again by office workers, who practice their mass dance routines until evening.
  • After initial preparations in provincial towns and cities, all participants will be taken to Ashgabat on October 10 for two more weeks of final training.
  • Training sessions take place under the watchful eyes of government-appointed instructors.
  • The dancers will perform in front of President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, who is known for not leaving anything to chance.

One Step At A Time: Learning To Dance In Turkmenistan

Published 4 October 2012

It's party time again in Turkmenistan. The gas-rich desert nation is set to celebrate its independence on October 27 with a mass dance and military parade in the capital, Ashgabat. But not just any dancing or marching will do.