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Grannies Dance Hip Hop
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A group of old women, at an average age of 57 years, have been practicing hip hop dance for three years in Beijing. Their performance, which was originally disapproved by their friends and relatives, has now been widely praised by audiences.



The old women are all dressed in red T-shirts and camouflage trousers, wearing sports shoes and colorful headbands. Originally, the dancing team had only five members. Now, about 60 women join in the dancing team. The team head, Mrs. Wu, is 68-years-old. In spite of their old age, their flexible steps and colorful dressing make them look much younger than their actual age.


However, when the dancing team was first established, Mrs. Wu said that they had met a lot of difficulties.


“I had the idea of setting up a hip hop dancing team in 2003, when I happened to watch a national hip hop dancing competition on TV. At that time, I thought, ‘why not establish a hip hop dancing team among old people?’”


With this idea, Mrs. Wu went to various parks in Beijing and tried to persuade some old people to join her. However, many people thought her idea was just crazy.


“Some people told me directly that the dance is performed only by bad people. Some people, who had been abroad, said that in foreign countries, the dance was only performed by people at the bottom of the society.”


With hard efforts, Mrs. Wu finally managed to persuade only four people to join the team. On February 10, 2004, the old people’s hip hop dancing team was officially established.


Some dancers in the team told the reporter that at first, they were also not sure whether this kind of dance was suitable for them. After dancing for some time, they asked some experts from a sports university to do each a physical check. The checks showed they were all in a good physical condition. And they didn’t feel anything wrong with their body after dancing hip hop. Sometimes Mrs. Wu would make slight changes in some difficult movements so that they are easier for the old people.


Now all the dancers in the team said they become healthier than before.


“I am able to hold my granddaughter in my arm now,” said Mrs. Liu, who is 58. Mrs. Liu is able to take care of her granddaughter while practicing the dance at the same time.


“My daughter is 40 years old and she also practice the dance with me. We even danced together in Henan once we made a performance there,” said Mrs. Wu.


Now the grannies practice hip hop dance for at least three times per week. They become much busier than before. In addition to practicing dancing, they will still have to find time to make performances and video recordings for dancing companies.


(Chinanews.cn January 19, 2007)

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