WSJ: Dance Craze: In China, Retirees Raise a Ruckus.

LOL!  What a sight!  Chinese seniors dancing up a storm in plazas and parks, and annoying the younger neighbors…


WUHAN, China—Months after “Auntie” Su and a dozen or two retirees began squeezing into a small outdoor square every night to dance to music supplied by a brick-sized portable music player, residents of the tony Hankou Center Gardens apartment complex began to complain about the noise. When that didn’t deter the dancers, they started to hurl abuse.

Auntie Su’s dancers say they have been pelted with water, sand, coins and, once, feces. “One resident threatened me, saying, ‘If you continue to dance, I’ll throw a knife at you!” says the 79-year-old. “I said, ‘I’ll keep dancing even if you shoot at me with a gun!'”

In China, there is a new group stirring up controversy: middle-aged and retired city dwellers dancing together in parks and squares.

Residents in nearby buildings say the noise makes relaxing after work hard and, worse, disturbs their children’s studies. Participants say the dancing keeps them active and healthy.

“Are we just supposed to sit around and wait for death?” says Ms. Su, who credits dancing with helping her recover from throat cancer surgery. Ms. Su, who other dancers call “Auntie,” wanted to be identified only by her surname. “This is a national issue now,” she says.

Efforts to regulate public dancing are under way in several cities to quell the outcry from apartment-dwellers, many of them first-time homeowners.

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