Journey to Venus

By Liu Wei (China Daily)
Updated: 2008-05-13 09:19


  Jin Xing at her modern dance master class.

With three swift, agile moves, Jin Xing whirls her long, black hair into an elegant bun and fixes it with a silver pin. She wears a tight black shirt and loose fitting crimson trousers, clothes that cover a slim but powerful body. Her expressive gestures manifest the traits of a great dancer.

Music plays in her classroom. "Shoes off, please," she tells her students, who are attending a "master class for common people" to learn about modern dance.

After a one-hour practice session, Jin and her students sat on the floor, chatting about children and how they kept fit. When Jin mentioned she is already 41 and has three children, a middle-aged woman seemed very surprised. "You have three children? How can you preserve your shape? Look at my waist!"

Jin smiles and remains silent.

Pregnancy and giving birth are impossible for Jin, who is now a wife and the mother of three adopted children.

Up until the age of 28, Jin was technically a man.

But undergoing a sex change operation was not the only dramatic event in Jin's extraordinary life.

Jin's dancing story begins at age 9 when she joined the army to learn how to dance.

At 18, Jin won a national award and built a name as a top dancer on international stage after five years of performing in America and Europe.

Jin now runs her own dance company and is planning to build her own theater.

Jin Xing means "golden star" or Venus. Although her friends describe her as the sun, rather than any star - because of her warmth and passion - Jin believes she shares something in common with her namesake planet.

While most planets in the solar system orbit the sun in a counter-clockwise direction, Venus spins the other way.

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