- Decadent dance subculture began in public parks but has become a hit nationwide thanks to live-streaming
- So-called ‘dirty dancers’ have gained cult status thanks to their often sexually provocative routines
A video of a Chinese park official warning performers of risque public dance routines to clean up their acts has gone viral on mainland social media.
So-called “dirty dancers” have emerged as a popular subculture on the mainland but for one urban management officer in northeastern China’s Shenyang Labour Park, their often sexually provocative antics went a step too far.
In a video recorded on March 7, the patrolling officer reprimands one of the dancers, saying: “You can dance, but don’t be dirty.”
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“Remember, you are being watched by the whole nation now,” he added, specifically asking the dancers to “not writhe on the ground or crawl between another person’s legs”.
The unnamed official’s warning was targeted at a group of middle-aged amateur dancers whose fame extends far beyond the park.
The “dirty dancers” have shot to national fame via live-streams thanks to their sexually provocative freestyle moves and their “do not give a damn” attitude.
Among the park celebrities are a professionally dressed dance duet, Uncle Wen and Xiaozuan, a man and woman pair who perform difficult acrobatic moves.
One of their routines involves Xiaozuan slowly crawling between Uncle Wen’s legs while she is lifted by him.
Another man in his 60s, nicknamed “Skyrocket”, is famous for his writhing-on-the-ground monkey dances.
The park has become a place of pilgrimage for novelty-seeking young people. Some of the performers have become legends among fans.
However, the “dirty dancers” have been branded “risque and a blight on the cityscape” by the majority of people on Chinese social media who have applauded the official for warning them.
“Well done. Their behaviour should have been corrected a long time ago,” one person said.
“The dancers and live-streamers have made the park unfriendly for those who only want to take a rest or a walk,” said another.
“Since the dancing at Shenyang Labour Park has become famous, I can’t even tell people I’m from Shenyang,” said a third commenter.
Others, however, criticised the official for going over the top: “The dances are not beautiful but people should dance freely as long as they don’t break the law,” one person said.
The dancing sessions at Shenyang Labour Park are considered by many to be a throwback to ballrooms that were popular among young Chinese in the 1980s and 90s, some of which remain today and are patronised by older people.
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This article originally appeared on the South China Morning Post (www.scmp.com), the leading news media reporting on China and Asia.
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