Wang Lihong is trying to encourage her students to enjoy exercising – through dance. She is the most recent school administrator to become famous because of the rising trend in China.
Wang, a music teacher at the No.3 School at Ju County in Rizhao, China, is spreading the message that exercise can be enjoyable. During the daily morning exercise sessions at the school, which takes place before classes start, Wang leads 300 students in a fun and upbeat dance.
Typical exercising might not be fun, especially so early in the morning, but Wang is making it exciting. Because of her efforts, the 27-year-old’s students (mostly 13-year-olds) now look forward to working out.
This isn’t an idea that Wang created – this trend of school administrators leading their students to exercise through dance, is starting to happen in many schools in China. In mid-January, Zhang Pengfei received a lot of news attention for dancing with his students during their break time.
Zhang, a principal at Xi Guan Primary School in the Shanxi Province, learned how to do the shuffle dance (also known as the Melbourne Shuffle) by himself. Then, he taught his students – over 700 of them! – how to do the moves.
Working out every day before going to class is something that’s common in schools in China. In fact, as stated by the NPR article about Zhang, “Daily calisthenics are required each morning for all students in China’s primary and middle schools, according to China’s Xinhua state news agency.”
So, Wang and Zhang are just trying to do something to make this daily ritual more fun for their students. As Zhang said in the same NPR article, ” ‘[M]usic is full of energy…it really gets the happiness flowing’.”