Square dancing or 广场舞 (guǎngchǎng wǔ) is an exercise routine set to music staged in public areas – kind of like public jazzercise. Despite originating among middle-aged aunties, it has become a very popular form of exercise for young and old alike. 

Square dancing is named as such because it is performed in a public square. It began in the mid-1990s, where middle-aged, retired women would meet up in parks or plazas after dinner and choreograph group dances to popular ’50s and ’60s era songs. Dancers line up in rows. The most proficient dancers stand in front, so dancers in the back can follow their lead. The women used these gatherings to stay fit, relieve boredom and socialize.



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Erin Dumke

Erin Dumke is the head editor at Chinosity. She is a journalist who recently graduated from the University of Kentucky. She hopes to bridge the education gap and promote international communication.