Following public outcry and the realization that China’s dancing aunties cannot and will not be tamed, Chinese sports officials have clarified what they meant about “regulating” square dancing, a widely popular and somewhat notorious hobby among elderly folk in the country.
China’s sports and culture authority announced earlier this week that it planned on putting dancing aunties in line with “unified national routines” that would be decided upon by a panel of expert dancers and fitness trainers.
The plan naturally became a subject of mockery among media outlets and a cause for concern among China’s square dancing communities, consisting primarily of elderly and retired citizens who merely want to promote a healthy form of exercise while boogying down with their bad selves.
Aside from the bizarre and unnecessary bureaucracy behind it all, the so-called “regulated” square dancing doesn’t even help to address the main issue among residential communities when it comes to aunties’ courtyard cavorting—the noise.
Residents, fed up with the blaring music that often accompanies the dance sessions, have tried to deal with the noise by giving the dancers headphones, installing sound-directing speakers, locking them out and, as a last resort, by throwing feces at them. A set of 12 standardized dance routines set to the overplayed tune of “Little Apple” isn’t likely to resolve this, and ultimately (some might say most importantly), it makes the dancers unhappy.
“The spirit of square dancing is in its easy-goingness,” a Xi’an dancer surnamed Chen told the Huashang News. “What are they thinking trying to get everyone to do the same moves? That’s not even dancing. If it’s all mechanical moves set down by regulations it would look awful.”
After similar criticism started pouring in from the public, officials with the General Administration of Sport made clear in a statement yesterday that the move was done only to ‘provide scientifically sound alternatives’ to current routines.
“We saw that some people on the Internet were worried that the new regulations meant all over China people would only be allowed to dance these twelve routines,” official Liu Guoyong said to media. “Of course that’s impossible. It’s a misunderstanding.”
Considering the battle wounds some walk away with after the dirty turf wars that break out between gangs of dancing aunties, we wouldn’t want to get them angry either.