Getting kids to exercise can be a challenge. First, you need to pry them away from their devices. Then, you have to find an activity they actually like doing. That’s what’s so great about dancing. It can be a really fun way to get kids active without them even realizing they’re working out!
Zhang Pengfei, a headmaster at Xi Guan Primary School in northern China, is using dance to fulfill the country’s requirement for students to perform a workout in school each day. Every day during their break, Pengfei leads the students in a 30-minute choreographed dance. It’s called “guibu,” which means “ghost steps,” and it looks like so much fun.
Tons of videos have cropped up online showing off the moves of this style of dance, also referred to as “shuffle.”
A video of Pengfei and his students performing the routine was posted to YouTube by South China Morning Post and has since gone viral. The video now has more than 500,000 views.
As you can see in the video, Pengfei is as enthusiastic as any aerobic instructor in the way he leads his students.
Pengfei has been dancing with students in lieu of traditional broadcast calisthenics, which consist of modified versions of exercises used by Japanese soldiers during World War II. Recorded instructions are played out over loudspeakers. Pengfei introduced his dance program in October. So far, it’s been a smashing success, and he feels that it’s helped students become interested in something other than their screens.
“Now the students aren’t constantly on their phones,” he told Southern Metropolis News, according to South China Morning Post. “I sometimes catch them watching different dance routine videos and learning new moves.”
Pengfei came up with the unconventional solution because he felt the rigid exercises the students were doing before weren’t keeping them motivated.
“I wanted to introduce the [shuffle] dance,” he said, “because the students and [teachers] had no interest at all in the broadcast calisthenics.”
Do you think kids here in the United States would enjoy dance as part of their physical education at school?