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27-31 August 2019
Poznań, Poland
Europe/Warsaw timezone
programme last update: 23 August 2019
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Contribution Paper

Poznań, Poland - Morasko Kampus, room: 3.160

People' recation towards the public square dancing in China - through a survey in central China



Primary authors


In China, square dancing or plaza dancing is an exercise routine performed to music in squares, plazas or parks of the nation's cities. It is popular with middle-aged and retired women who have been referred to as ""dancing grannies"" in the English-language media. Due to its low cost and ease of participation, it has been estimated to have over 100 million practitioners. Most of the women who square dance came of age during the Cultural Revolution. Some have confirmed that this nostalgia is one of their reasons for taking part, although the benefits of the exercise and socialization opportunities also play a role. The hobby began in the mid-1990s, as middle-aged women who had been forced into retirement began doing it to keep themselves occupied. Its popularity notwithstanding, square dancing has been the subject of considerable controversy in the 2010s China due to complaints of noise pollution in the evening or morning hours. In 2015 the Chinese government reacted to these complaints and incidents by prescribing a set of standardized routines for all dancers to follow, claiming they would be culturally unifying and healthier. The move was met with widespread criticism. How the ordinary people respond to the change? Based on the data from a survey, this study will probe into the question: What does the square dancing mean for both the people and the government? The study will especially focus on different views of square dancing concerning the solidarity of human relationship and healthcare in the country.