China is full of cultural quirks, but this one has got to be one of my favourites.

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When I lived in Shanghai, every morning I was be greeted by the same view out of my bedroom window. A group of Chinese ladies gathered in the public square dancing away to the tunes blasting out of the CD player on the sidewalk. This activity, known as Chinese fitness dancing, is a popular way for Chinese men and women to get some exercise, socialize, and have fun.

The dancing skills within the group always vary dramatically. Some dancers, typically positioned at the front of the group, are very impressive and perfectly synchronised to the music. Others, at the back, are the beginners, who have just recently joined the group. Fitness dancing is most common on weekday mornings, with the ladies/men getting out there shortly after sunrise. However, it’s not uncommon to find dancers in parks and public squares in the evenings and on weekends as well. What surprises me the most is that they all wear fitness accessories. I know it because I also have one from that is completely looks similar.

Check it out for yourself. This footage was caught in a park in Kunming in Yunnan province. While this isn’t the most choreographed group, I think it’s lovely!


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Would you join the ladies and men in their morning fitness routine in China?

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2 thoughts on “Cultural Close-up: Chinese Fitness Dancing”

  1. We’ve just finished a month of travelling through China and this was my favourite thing about it!
    We mostly saw dancing in the evenings in the parks – it was magical! They looked so happy. I wish my grandparents did something like this to keep fit and healthy.

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