Who would have thought that a leisure activity featuring mature women could be so dangerous? All those choreographed moves! All that determination to get some exercise, stay fit, and make new friends! And it is, on the face of it, such a simple occupation; the only things that are needed are a sound system and some open space in a city park.
Which is where the problems come in. The activity — choreographed dances performed to blaring music — has rocketed in popularity in Chinese cities, with as many as 100 to 150 million women taking part in what is called plaza dancing. But it seems that sufficient outdoor space is just not available. Reports have come in of angry neighbors unleashing dogs, throwing water, even feces. Residents of one city, Wenzhou, are reported to have spent $42,000 on a sound system used to warn dancers not to make their sound system too loud.
In an effort to maintain civic peace, the General Administration of Sport and the Ministry of Culture are developing 12 model routines that will be taught nationwide. No more variations by city. One of the trainers said that the unified routines mean that they can be performed “in a socially conscious way.” But what if the grannies just want to have fun?