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24 July


Older people in China can now dance online

A new app helps retirees to relax, even if they did not know how to dance

Photo: Reuters

/NOVOSTIVL/ In public squares across China, groups of middle-aged women and seniors regularly gather at dusk and dawn to dance in unison to music blaring from loudspeakers. This article appeared in the South China Morning Post.

Thanks to the internet, the public square is no longer their only stage. Tangdou, a social media app that teaches grannies and grandpas how to dance, has 200 million users in China – more than the population of Mexico and Britain combined.

Tangdou, which means "jelly bean" in English, was launched in 2015 as a dancing video app by Beijing-based Xiaotang Technology. It features tutorials that break down the choreography for a variety of dance styles including Chinese folk dance, jazz, ballroom and even hip-hop.

While the instruction videos on Tangdou feature original choreography from professional dance teachers, users can post videos of themselves hoofing it, aided by filters that make their skin look fairer and body shape slimmer. They can also share pictures and text with connected friends on the app via the social media page named "Square".

"Tangdou represents a new form of social activity exclusively for middle-aged and the elderly users," said Jeffery Li Zhaohui, managing partner of Tencent Investment, said in the statement issued on Monday. "We hope Tangdou can enrich their cultural and entertainment life and become a leading platform for this group".

Senior citizens represent one of the fastest-growing demographic groups on WeChat, with 63 million of its more than 1 billion users aged over 55, the company said in January.