Chinese authorities move to crackdown on old ladies dancing in public parks and squares

By Ryan Kilpatrick, March 24, 2015

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Responding to "widespread public complaints about loud music," authorities in China are set to pounce on the nationwide phenomena known as square dancing, which sees older ladies regularly occupy huge swathes of public space to conduct choreographed exercise routines.

PHOTOS: Changchun installs obstructions to deter dancing grannies

As well as concerns over the the reckless use of city parks and squares, opponents complain that loud music emanating from the rigorously choreographed dance parties often keeps them up late into the night.

The government's solution to address this problem is, predictably, to bring the whole thing under strict state control.

Instead of impromptu gatherings initiated by amateur enthusiasts, square dancing will now be regulated by the country's sports and culture bureaucracy.

Hundreds of certified instructors have been trained in 12 officially sanctioned songs including fresh underground ditty Little Apple, and will soon fan out across the nation to teach aunties 12 officially sanctioned dance movements.

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Instituting a recommended volume of music, permissible times for practice and prohibited sites for dancing - i.e. what people were actually complaining about to begin with - have all been left out of the new ruling at this point.

But at least there can be no more contradictory views on what to dance to or how to dance to it.

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