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China: Around The Nation

Not just for aunties? China’s hottest square dance instructor is only five years old

Dailan Jingyi picked up square dancing only months ago and is already leading adults in the hobby every evening

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 04 April, 2017, 2:12pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 04 April, 2017, 5:02pm

A five-year-old dance enthusiast in southwestern China has found herself many new fans after a video of her leading a team of adult square dancers went viral on Chinese social media.

The kindergartner, Dailan Jingyi, has been leading the square dancers in Chongqing’s Shapingba district since last November, according to Xinhua news agency.

A video of the girl square dancing, posted on Global Times’ Weibo account, has garnered some 10,000 likes, thousands of shares, and has been re-circulated elsewhere on social media platforms in China and abroad.

Dailan learnt to square dance just two months before that but picked up the moves very quickly, the report said.

The district’s lead square dancer, Hong Shuangshuang, who is in her 40s, quickly spotted Dailan’s gift for dancing and took her under her wing for training before letting the girl join her in leading her square dances, according to the report.

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Dailan now leads her group of adult square dancers, shimmying to more than 20 songs for an hour and a half at 7.30pm every evening if the weather permits.

On rainy days, she practises on her own at home, her mother, Xiao Wei, told reporters.

Internet users have lavished praise on the girl after viewing her video online.

“This girl has excellent body coordination ability,” one user wrote on Weibo.

“She’s so good, I like her very much,” another said.

“The girl is going to be a leading figure in the future of China’s square dance,” one user proclaimed.

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Dailan’s talent has won her many fans.

One ardent fan, a woman surnamed Ran, said she had even moved house from Yangjiaping district to Shapingba in order to dance with Dailan every evening.

“I’ve made friends through dancing here. Dancing makes me happy,” Ran told reporters.

Dailan has also inspired many residents to pick up or persist in the hobby, according to her mother.

The little girl isn’t the only one who has been inspiring people with her dancing.

A couple of videos have been making their rounds on Chinese social media lately, showing elderly men and a granny showing off their moves.

The clips have been well received by internet users both in China and overseas.

On YouTube, which is blocked in China, an internet user, William Stewart, commented in response to a video of the dancing granny: “Very rare to see an older woman dance so well ... This is a form of taichi for her.”

Another user, Ada Batsaki, wrote: “Age is just a number!!”