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  • Be fit, be happy.

    Zumba, a combination dancing and fitness craze, arrived in Vietnam for the first time in 2010. This internationally-popular dancing style quickly became a hot trend here too, giving exercise enthusiasts another way to get fit to a funky, rhythmic Latin soundtrack. Feeling the Rhythm at Live Fit zumba center California Fitness & Yoga Centers (CFYC) was the first club to bring Zumba to Vietnam under the instruction of Mike Thomas, a world-famous dance master, who served as a Zumba Training Specialist for the Asia-Pacific region to all trainers at CFYC Hung Vuong club in District 5 at the time. One of the biggest Zumba clubs in Ho Chi Minh City today is Nicky´s Zumba Fitness Club | 84 8 66807226 / 84 934 060735 (Nicky) | email . Nicky’s offers Zumba Fitness classes with an international team of certified Instructors from the UK, Indonesia, Vietnam, Taiwan, Japan, Germany, Mexico, Chile, and the USA. They hold classes for adults, children, and companies at various levels from beginner to dancer, sport enthusiast, and Zumba Lover. Course fees are VND700,000 /4 lessons/month. Venues are as follows:       Panorama-Fitness | 206 Tran Van Tra, Dist. 7 Zumba ® Fit&Fun Club D7 | Sky Garden 2 (next to Yofi`s swimming pool) Pham Van Nghi, Dist. 7 Nicky`s Zumba ® Fitness Club at D2 | Riverside Residence, 53 Vo Truong Toan, Thao Dien, Dist. 2 Nicky`s Zumba ® Fitness Club at D1 | Somerset HCMC, 8 Nguyen Binh Khiem, Dist. 1 City Garden Apartments | 59 Ngo Tat To, Binh Thanh       As well as instructing in many other kinds of dancing, Dancenter (53, Nguyen Dang Giai, Thao Dien, District 2, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam | 84 8 35194490 | email ) is also a venue offering Zumba classes and attracting

  • Breaking the boundaries of the dancing arts, here in Saigon.

    If dance is a form of language – and in many ways, it is – then contemporary dance is a foreign tongue in Ho Chi Minh City. First emerging in this country in the 1990s, contemporary dance has undergone many challenges in winning the hearts of the public. The form began to be culturally recognised in the early noughties as an important area of the dancing arts that went on to develop under the general umbrella of ballet – and from that point on, Vietnamese contemporary dance became something to take notice of. It was the Vietnam Opera Ballet Theatre (based in the Hanoi Opera House) that literally provided a platform for the development of contemporary dance in Vietnam. Initially, this kind of dance was only accepted by a small group of artists in Ho Chi Minh City, who eventually opened a door for this genre to survive here. Similar to other Western art forms, contemporary dance is a challenge for artists who wish to devote themselves to this style – only a small number of contemporary dancers can realistically build a career out of it and perform in Vietnam. Creating an official stage for this kind of new art form has met with a lot of difficulties, which is a harsh reality for the artists concerned. Express yourself! Despite the slow uptake of contemporary dance in this country, Vietnam has been particularly favoured as a place where international contemporary dance groups can come to perform and showcase their own dance cultures. French, Spanish, and Polish contemporary dances are most often performed in Vietnam. Many artists from Vietnam have also proved their love for the form by studying abroad and learning from countries where it is far more established. Famous artists to be mentioned in this category are Michiyo Pham

  • Find the right spot, but keep your eye on your rear view mirrors.

    There are many obvious conveniences to owning a car, but it has its downsides too. Not only will you have to worry about traffic jams and theft; with 300 new cars being registered every day in this town, it’s getting tough to locate a good parking spot when you do go out in your vehicle. Although Ho Chi Minh City is very much the modern face of Vietnam, right now it still doesn’t have a reliable infrastructure for cars. Generally, the streets are too narrow to leave sufficient space for parking a vehicle. As a result, many parking lots have been opened to serve car owners. The rates are fairly high in the public lots, however – not to mention the private ones – and people going to the city centre often target parking lots inside shopping malls. If you’re choosing a car as your main method of transportation, be prepared to drive around looking for a park at times here. Keep in mind that there are four options when parking cars in Ho Chi Minh City – free parking at the kerb; in reserved streetside parking areas; temporary parking on the pavement (common, although not exactly encouraged); and in basement parking lots. Streets with enough space to fit in a car parking area are not exactly plentiful in the city centre. Generally, you can only park your car at specific times, even in those spaces that charge for the service. Cars in Vietnam are usually only allowed to park at such lots on specific days or during limited hours. In the middle of 2013, the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee issued a legal text regulating 37 streets for parking by the hour and another 30 streets by the day in districts 1 and 3. Besides the above, cars are completely forbidden from parking on 111 other streets in the city centre, such as Nguyen Hue, Le Lai, Le Loi, Le Duan, Alexandre De Rhodes, Ham Nghi, Mac Dinh Chi, Suong Nguyet Anh, and so on.

  • Developing great minds.

    Expats are an unusual breed in themselves, and they live differently to most folks. It not just that they live overseas – they tend to be open minded, highly independent, and they generally hope that their kids will be the same. It’s for this reason that Montessori schools tend to win a lot of support in cities like this one with a strong expat community. Perhaps unfairly, the Montessori Method is sometimes considered a little on the fringe in a number of developed countries with good public education sectors, but in places where expats like to roam, the idea of a schooling system that fosters independent thinking, decision making, early reading skills, and respectful relationships with one’s peers is just what the doctor ordered. The Montessori Method uses phonetics to accelerate reading skills The method originates from the work of Italian educator Maria Montessori, who developed her ideas about the natural development of children’s psychological makeup at around the turn of the 20th century. Essentially, Montessori believed that children have an innate ability to create and develop their own personalities, and that under optimal conditions – in a stimulating, free environment within reasonable limits and with the encouragement of trained professionals – a child will independently achieve their own balance. They will become communicative, diligent abstract thinkers; they will engage in creativity and actively explore their environment; they will develop precision of mind and behaviour and learn to adjust their own environment to suit their goals. Maria Montessori In order to help children make these achievements, Montessori developed an ideal learning space for children that she called a ‘prepared environment’. Montessori-style classrooms even today still exhibit these standard features, including:       An arrangement that facilitates movement and activity Beauty, harmony, and cleanliness Materials limited to those that support

  • Assisted conception in Ho Chi Minh City.

    Couples experiencing difficulty trying to conceive in HCMC aren’t alone (according to the Ministry of Health, 7.7% of married couples here suffer from infertility), and there are now a number of well-respected hospitals equipped to help. If you’re an expat and seeking to facilitate pregnancy, you’re not going to have to head home for treatment quite yet, as there are plenty of local options. There are a range of services available in this city:       Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) Places sperm directly into the uterus without manipulation of a woman’s eggs. In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) The fertilisation of eggs outside the human body. Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) Sperm is directly injected into an egg in vitro. ICSI in action Frozen Embryo Cycles (FEC) Stimulating a fertilised egg to create several embryos in vitro, only one of which is transferred to the uterus with the rest remaining frozen for possible later use. Assisted Hatching Method to improve the chances of an embryo fertilised in-vitro to attach itself to the lining of the uterus after insertion. Blastocyst Culture The transfer of embryos to the uterus cultured in vitro at a significantly more advanced stage than is usual. In-vitro Egg Maturation (IVM) The in vitro fertilisation of eggs removed from the uterus while still immature. Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspiration (PESA) Sperm extracted via butterfly needle from the epididymis in men where normal transport is usually blocked. Testicular Sperm Extraction (TESE) Surgical removal of a small portion of testicular tissue for extracting sperm from that tissue. Micro-Epididymal Sperm Aspiration (MESA) Surgical procedure to open an epididymal tubule and remove sperm directly via pipette       Still not clear? Help is available. Hanh Phuc International Hospital Floor , Binh Duong Boulevard, Vinh Phu, Thuan An, Binh Duong, Vietnam | vphone | email Hanh

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