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Beijing to further regulate public square dancing
   2017-02-22 18:50:34    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Zhang Guanghao

Chinese Dama is dancing in public square in Qionghai, south China's Hainan Province. [Photo: Xinhua]

People who gather to dance in public places in Beijing - so called Square Dancers - could be punished if their activities cause a public nuisance.

According to the revised regulations on Beijing mass fitness programs which will take effect next month, individual or collective group exercise programs should not disturb other people's life, work or study.

Similar regulations have already been implemented in other provinces, including Shaanxi, Anhui and Sichuan.

In 2015, the General Administration of Sport of China and the Ministry of Culture introduced 12 choreographed practices to regulate and promote outdoor square-dancing.

Most participants say it's a good way to keep healthy, although some dance for fun. In recent years, however, the practice has become controversial.

It was developed as a positive form of exercise. Very often, groups of older people, mostly women, aged from 50 to 80 years old, dance in tight formation, waving fans to loud music in open spaces around malls, parks and squares. They are sometimes called 'Dancing Grannies'.

Usually, they use boom boxes to play music and are led by dance leaders, who demonstrate the moves in front of the rest of the dancers.

However, the square-dancers often draw complaints for blasting music late into the night, or for disturbing local residents.

In response to the noise, some people have hurled rocks, coins and even feces at the dancers.

The craze has also traveled well beyond China with performances popping up in Red Square in Moscow, outside the Louvre in Paris, and also in Times Square in New York.

It's a far cry from the Square Dancing you might find in North America and in European countries, where participants usually dance to Country music in groups of four couples.



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