Compulsory Cha-Cha for Chinese Chubbies

"Student waistlines have expanded almost as fast as the Chinese economy," reports the Guardian. The solution? Mandatory dance lessons:

The Ministry of Education said the dances were designed to "suit the physical and psychological characteristics of students at different ages". New steps and melodies will be introduced every two years. (Ed--For now, there's actually no cha-cha, only waltz. But can it be far behind?)

The routines--which will supplement rather than replace regular physical education classes - are reportedly aimed at turning a generation of chubby cheeks into twinkle toes....Studies suggest one in five children are obese. Rising affluence, reduced exercise and the growing popularity of fast food such as Kentucky Fried Chicken and McDonalds have hit school fitness levels badly. The average pupil today is slower and weaker than 10 years ago.

Alas, this seemingly flawless plan has its detractors:

"The dance plan makes no sense. Running and callisthenics are a more effective way to lose weight. Our school needs to hire a special teacher to teach dancing and it will take up a lot of time," said Ma Yanling a teacher in Beijing, whose class of 37 includes only five overweight students. "Most importantly, letting students waltz will create hotbeds of adolescent love. That is not good. Schools work very hard to prevent students from falling in love too early."

To dig into the full reason obesity archive, go here.

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  • Cesar||

    Who wants to take up a collection fund to send MeMe Roth to China? I'll throw in my $20.

  • thoreau||

    I've gotta say, if Physical Education is mandatory it's hard for me to get too upset when they change the activity from swimming to dancing or whatever. I mean, whatever the merits of a particular form of PE, it strikes me as tinkering with the program rather than expanding it.

  • Grotius||

    According to John Calvin dancing detracts from true piety.

  • ||

    Schools work very hard to prevent students from falling in love too early

    Any totalitarianism which fails to recognize my unrequited crush on that cute brunette in homeroom goes too far.

  • VM||

    The person in the foreground kinda looks like Cartman when he tried cheating at the special olympics...
    hier

  • ||

    It's no worse than this idea:

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0736001654/reasonmagazineA/

    Yes, it's a book about teaching kids to exercise, not about testing them for drug use.

  • Grotius||

    VM,

    Well, he definately doesn't look like this this version of Cartman.

  • Grotius||

    VM,

    Beefcake!

  • VM||

    LOL!

  • SugarFree||

    Just pipe in a little C+C Music Factory. Those kids won't be able to help themselves.

    (YouTube Link)

  • VM||

    I'm not fat. I'm big boned!

    Sugar - or this hier

  • GILMORE||

    Most importantly, letting students waltz will create hotbeds of adolescent love.

    Just look what happened to Vienna in the 16th century!! Social upheaval!

    God knows what the macarena might do.

  • Grotius||

    VM,

    "Remember, reading Bibles plus accepting Jesus equals food." - Female Missionary in Starvin' Marvin In Outerspace

  • dhex||

    "Who wants to take up a collection fund to send MeMe Roth to China?"

    cause what she really needs is the opportunity to research authoritarianism firsthand.

    somehow this strikes me as not a wise idea.

  • Grotius||

    GILMORE,

    And later on in the 18th century don't let that bastard Mozart into your country. ;)

  • ||

    dhex,
    What are you worried about? That she'll return as a Kung Fu master and launch a successful Cultural Revolution from behind the Manchurian Candidate?

    I'm in for twenty Cesar.

  • SugarFree||

    VM,

    That gets me just too hot and bothered here at work. That'll have to wait for a little alone time at the house...

  • VM||

    Just remember: it is lucky that it was the Janitor and not your boss that caught you BATIN in the bathroom!

    Or so I have convinced myself.

    *imagines a polka arrangement for "Mony Mony"

  • Grotius||

    VM,

    Yeah, just what I want to see - a butt being shaken not stirred. ;)

  • ||

    If this doesn't work, just tell the fat kids they'll be sent to feed the North Koreans. Just like the giant rabbits.

  • Cesar||

    Dhex, it would be a one-way ticket, of course!

  • Grotius||

    VM,

    BTW, these days isn't that video a bit un-PC?

  • SugarFree||

    Grotius,

    Beat's me, I watched it on a Mac.

  • VM||

    Gro - you bet!

    IIRC the 1995 Copenhagen UN Convention declared Olivia Newton John to be an environmental threat *AND* that she may cause kidney stones!

    This is another danger of the one child policy. They make a really humongous one that weighs as much as several.

    for shame.

  • ed||

    New steps and melodies will be introduced every two years.

    They should get to "the hustle" right around the year 2145.
    Followed in 2147 by "disco sucks" nights in Tiananmen Square.

  • GILMORE||

    Rock Rock Rock Rock, Rock and Roll High School

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rock_'n'_Roll_High_School

  • ||

    I'm just imagining a bunch of chubby Chinese kids attempting to dance around the room. It makes me giggle :)

  • VM||

    This group hier can double as the PE teachers AND border guards!

  • Grotius||

    VM,

    Perhaps the Chinese government is also concerned about this?

    SugarFree,

    *groan*

  • George O.||

    'WANG!' screamed the shrewish voice from the telescreen. '6079 Wang X.! Yes, you! Bend lower, please! You can do better than that. You're not trying. Lower, please! That's better, comrade. Now stand at ease, the whole squad, and watch me.'

  • VM||

    mercy! oh my!

  • VM||

    They could also dance to this, hier

  • SugarFree||

    Grotius,

    Sorry. The really obvious joke said in the mocking tone is popular around the office.

    We also went through a bad jag last year of replying "Your mom!" to almost every question.

  • Grotius||

  • Eric Cartman||

    'AY! I'm not fat, I'm big-boned!

  • ed||

    That kid has a head like a cheese wheel.

  • Grotius||

    SugarFree,

    Well, Urkobold will be around to collect soon enough I suppose. ;)

  • Minion of URKOBOLD||

    TO THE PAIN.

  • SugarFree||

    I answer to no mere minion. Especially one with a pubic wig.

  • ||

    At my elementary school, they used to regularly bring in a square dance caller and have us do-si-do during gym class.

    Of course, the people in charge were nuns, so no evil statism was involved. Most of the kids said that they hated it, since what smacked more of fogeydom than square dancing? The argument that doing the Frug, Pony or Monkey would yield a better workout wouldn't cut any ice with the penguins.

    I used to get matched up, by height, with the prettiest girl in my class, which made me sweat more than the exercise! My nerves were partly from holding hands with a cute girl, and partly from fearing that she'd say something critical of me to her boyfriend, an eight-foot tall thug who had been left back at least twice, had to shave twice a day, smoked three packs a day and tended bar at his dad's bowling alley. :) Once they introduced picking our partners, I left her alone.

    One advantage of holding square dance during gym were that we didn't have to change from our school uniforms into workout clothes. Our school had a nice gym, but we didn't get much use out of it, as the floor was set up for Bingo Night or Sunday Mass* more than half the time. Our custodian took personal affront every time our CYO basketball teams wanted to use it for practice or games, since that meant he had to schedule his setting up chairs and tables or kneelers around us.

    It won't surprise anyone that our teams sucked.

    Kevin

    *At the height of the baby boom, during the phase-in of the Vatican II reforms, suburban Catholic Churches in my area were packing them in like the Tokyo subway. Our parish had a pastor and 3 or 4 curates. It held about a dozen masses each Sunday, half in the church building and the other half in our gym/auditorium. There was also an Italian chapel down the road that held daily and weekly masses.

  • ||

    Most importantly, letting students waltz will create hotbeds of adolescent love.



    Just look what happened to Vienna in the 16th century!! Social upheaval!

    God knows what the macarena might do.



    Early 19th, actually. And the waltz was unbelievably scandalous when it was invented: it was the first dance where partners faced each other in a closed position while dancing.

    I mean, really. Isn't this just shameful?

  • Rhywun||

    Is that picture for real? Well. I've been to China and while it was about five years ago, I don't recall seeing any obese people whatsoever. This is probably propaganda to convince the subjects that the economy is just swinging along smashingly.

  • Urkobold®||

    SUGARFREE, URKOBOLD CONDEMNS YOU TO A LINUX BOX FOR ONE YEAR. THINGS WILL WORK FASTER, BUT YOU WILL BE CONFUSED, APPLE-LOVING FOOL.

    URKOBOLD DESPISES THE MAC CULT.

  • ||

    SUGARFREE, URKOBOLD CONDEMNS YOU TO A LINUX BOX FOR ONE YEAR. THINGS WILL WORK FASTER, BUT YOU WILL BE CONFUSED, APPLE-LOVING FOOL.

    URKOBOLD DESPISES THE MAC CULT.


    All hail Urkobold!

  • Sandy||

    Urkobold: I sentence thee to live with Richard Stallman.

    He is polyamorous and does not believe in your mortal bathing rituals.

  • ||

    "The dance plan makes no sense. Running and callisthenics are a more effective way to lose weight."

    ...and if that doesn't work, they could always go with forcible gastroplasty.

    Don't they have some precedent for mandating medical procedures over there?

  • ||

    I thought the baby looked like this friendly totalitarian

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