China's dancing seniors gain corporate backers
China's dancing grannies or 'dama' have sparked controversy in recent years, with many residents complaining their music is disruptive. Now though, the country's twirling pensioners may have more support to keep their hobby alive - corporate sponsors.
They may be retired. But they're not retiring. Meet the Nanguan dance troupe, led by 51-year old Dai Ping.
"I dance to keep my body in shape and to stay healthy. I like the old songs best. They let me forget life's troubles," Dai Ping, leader of Nanguan Dance Troupe, said.
Since 2008, she and more than 40 other seniors danced their troubles away. At a park in south Beijing. But trouble still found them. Residents said they were too loud. So they moved.
This dance group are famous for their Mao-era dance numbers - and now occupy a regular spot outside this busy shopping mall in central Beijing. Thanks to an unexpected endorsement from China Citic Bank.
In an email, Citic said they provide costumes and chairs to the dance troupe. After launching an outdoor dance campaign for pensioners, in 2003. Since pitching up here, crowds have also gathered to watch. Boosting traffic into the mall.
"We dance here now because this place is non-residential, so it does not disturb anyone. No one sponsors us," Dai said.
Despite denying sponsorship, Dai confirmed off-camera that they received money for props from Citic. And that some of them bought wealth management products from the bank. For the dancers though, it's not about money.
"I dance for the exercise and because it makes my life more colourful."
In a rapidly aging society, the pressure on China's seniors is mounting. But that doesn't keep them from dancing.
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