Dancing is compulsory for elementary and high-school students in
the new semester, but hugging is not on the curriculum.
The Ministry of Education has introduced dancing at schools
nationwide in order to tackle obesity among students.
But it has taken into account the feelings of students by
cutting out some dance moves that trials showed caused the
Typical of this was a school in Guangzhou that found hugging
left its pupils red and sweaty with embarrassment.
"Dancing partners only need to hold hands and boy students won't
touch partners' waists in the new version of group dancing," Tan
Kun, a dance teacher with Guangzhou Guangya High School, said.
Tan is one of the teachers responsible for choreographing
suitable group dances for high-school students, which were
introduced at the start of the new semester on Saturday.
Shanghai dance teachers have choreographed dances for elementary
school students, Beijing teachers for junior-high-school students,
and Guangdong Province teachers for senior high-school
Parents have been concerned that group dancing might cause their
children to have too early an interest in the opposite sex and
neglect their studies.
"In the new versions of group dancing for junior-high-school
students, they will have to change partners and the time and
frequency for hand holding has been taken into consideration," Tan
"I don't think such dances will lead to puppy love."
Chen Miaoyuan, a high-school student from Guangzhou Guangya High
School and one of the 43 group-dance trialists, said holding hands
while dancing was natural and love was not on his mind.
"The group dancing is a good way to express emotions and good
for health," Chen said. "I have lost about 8 kg during my trial
dancing over the past few months."
Mai Qilu, another trialist from the same high school, said group
dancing was graceful.
"Dancing together it is natural to hold hands and dancers can
learn to be elegant, like at a party," Mai said.
Group dancing is a healthy means of communication, said Chen
Gengxin, a psychology lecturer with South China Normal
The lecturer said group dancing aided students in keeping fit,
helped students overcome feelings of shyness and improved their
sociability, adding that with the correct guidance group dancing
should be encouraged nationwide.
(China Daily September 7, 2007)