Don’t knock it — square dancing is a way to keep fit
committee for the 13th National Games, which will be held in Tianjin from August 27 to September 8, has for the first time included square dancing among the events. Legal Daily comments:
This is the first time the popular entertainment and keep-fit activity has been recognized as a competitive sport.
Many young people regard square dancing as a noisy pastime enjoyed only by senior citizens, and complain that the activity is a nuisance as the elderly dancers hog the public spaces in cities.
But while the square dancing can be noisy and many elderly are attracted to participate, that does not justify demonization of the activity, which — even its critics cannot deny — is the most popular form of physical exercise in China today.
That square dancing has been included as an event in the National Games is official recognition of the positive role this uniquely Chinese form of public exercise plays in helping people, especially the elderly, keep physically and mentally fit.
Square dancing can be seen throughout China, in small villages and big cities, with people in their 50s and 60s being the main participants.
Square dancing should not be a cause for generational conflicts, and it is also unfair to attribute the wrongdoings of some of dancers to all of them.
Local governments should take the move to include square dancing in the games, which will require drawing up rules and standards, as an opportunity to strengthen their management of square dancing in public spaces, designating specific areas for the dancers and setting noise limits.