The internet was abuzz earlier this week after news broke that Chinese authorities planned to clamp down on the nation-wide phenomenon of middle-aged women dancing in parks, due to "widespread public complaints about loud music." Our fears, it turns out, were a bit premature.
"Official stresses standard square dancing no mandatory," Xinhua proclaims (with a few typing errors). Apparently the entire thing can be chalked up to one poorly written press release by China's General Administration of Sport (GAS).
GAS announced earlier in the week that it planned to release a set of "standardized" dances and songs for waltzing ayi's. Through some sloppy wording (and/or a really eager, rumor-mongering press) this spawned a rumor that the "official" dances were the only ones legally allowed.
"Asking all square dancing groups to follow only one standard is definitely impossible, and we never meant to do that," said Liu Guoyang, head of the GAS 'department for mass sports.'
If the standardized songs (which, unfortunately enough, include Little Apple) become popular voluntarily, then, as Xinhua desperately tries to write, "dancers still have the freedom to vote by feet."