The National Danish Performance Team is a Danish team of top skilled gymnasts who go around the world to spread the message of healthy living and community building through gymnastics. They do this through different workshop and of course their impressive live performance of gymnastic. This year the team is planning to visit both Taiwan, Indonesia and Thailand when they set off on their world tour in mid-October. Some of these plans are still uncertain because of the difficult corona situation, but the team is hoping to be able to confirm their schedule before long.
Who are the National Danish Performance team?
The NDPT has been travelling the world for 25 years, explains Thomas Dahl, who is the Tour Director for the team. And the objective is much more than just showing of a gymnastics performance.
“We tour the world for 10 months visiting 15 to 20 countries, where we do a lot of workshops for kids, youngster and adults to deliver the message of healthy living and that sport should be for everyone, it should be fun, and it should create a memory for life for the participants. And then the icing on the cake is the big gala performance where we gather host families, partners and the community we visit,” Thomas explains.
The team itself is made up by a handpicked group of elite gymnasts.
“The team consists of 28 young athletes – 14 of each gender – and a leadership team of five. All of them are part of a local community-based sports clubs in Denmark and they are selected at an audition out of usually 200 to 250 applicants,” Thomas says.
This year’s tour will, according to the preliminary plan, take the team to four different East Asian countries.
“Planning in a Corona lockdown world is an uphill task. But so far, the plan is to go to Indonesia and Taiwan from mid-November until the end of the year. And we are planning to go to Thailand and South Korea from mid-January and forth, but a lot of things are still up in the air”
The world team has a long history in East Asia which they have visited numerous times before.
“We have a history of visiting Indonesia where we have been four times before. We have been in Taiwan twice before, and Thailand is always a very welcoming host for the national team, and we have spent a lot of tours in Thailand. In 1999 we were so lucky that we were invited to celebrate the birthday of his majesty the King of Thailand,” Thomas says.
Touring in Asia is a very educational experience for both the team and the communities they visit who, like much of the world, have a very different relation to sport than in Denmark.
“These countries are very interested in knowing how you can use sport as community building factor and how you can involve more people. Not to forget that many governments are looking into how you can improve public health through sports and other activities. We believed that we deliver the message on how to do this,” Thomas says.
These meetings are however also a significant learning experience for the young gymnast that are part of the team.
“There is cultural bridge building as well. We tend to stay with a host family and involve in the local culture, to educate the young Danes of the team,” Thomas adds.
This year’s show is called “Qua” and it is a story about fitting in and redefining yourself, and according to Thomas there is a lot to look forward to.
“The show consists of various dance movements, vaulting, tumbling, mini trampolining, choreographies and a lot of colorful costumes. It’s built on Danish gymnastics, and the gymnasts are highly skilled acrobats who are considered some of the best in the word in tumbling and mini trampolining, so I can guarantee a dazzling show that people will be amazed and moved by,” Thomas says.
Footage from this years tryouts for the National Danish Performance Team