It’s come to this: China’s sports and culture authorities have demanded that square dancing be regulated and choreographed.
According to China.org, more than 600 instructors have been trained for 12 choreographed drills by a panel of expert dancers and fitness trainers.
The panel will be led by fitness trainer Wang Guangcheng, whose square dancing team shot to notoriety after performing on China’s Central Television Spring Festival Gala in February.
These 12 drills will be accompanied by pop music, and introduced to local fitness sites across 31 provinces and municipalities over the next five months.
Aunties and their noisy square-dancing antics have sparked debate across China in the past couple of years, most recently in Xi’an and at the Shanghai Zoo. Residential communities have complained that the dancers’ gatherings disturb public order, despite their intentions of merely promoting a positive form of exercise for elderly groups of people.
However, Liu Guoyong, the chief of China’s Administration of Sport, admits that ‘square dancing represents the collective aspect of Chinese culture‘. He therefore maintains that it will be not banned, but simply guided ‘with national standards and regulations’.
By Freya Twigden