Innovative morning exercises enrich campus life in China

LANZHOU, China, Dec. 20 (xinhua) — Thousands of students in the northwestern Chinese city of Dunhuang performing classic flying Apsara dance movements during their morning exercise has become the latest hit on Chinese social media.

The famous Dunhuang mural dance, a genre that draws inspiration from the iconic figure of the flying Apsara, is in vogue in local middle schools.

“It’s an innovative way to spread traditional Chinese culture among teenagers. It’s also fun to see them dance something special during the morning exercises,” a netizen said on China’s Twitter-like Sina Weibo.

Students in China do morning exercises between classes to increase their physical activity. Usually, the routine lasts for about half an hour every school day.

In recent years, Chinese schools have introduced more popular and fresh elements into the morning exercises to motivate students’ interests in sports.

With trendy music ringing out, students in Lexiu Township Primary School, northwest China’s Gansu Province, dance with dynamic movements on the school’s playground.

“Every day, we organize students to do different exercises. Modern dance, street dance, and even folk dance,” said Tenzin Dorji, headmaster of the school, adding that the gymnastics combine elements from aerobics, dancing, and martial arts with a clear rhythm.

According to Tenzin Dorji, more dynamic and entertaining exercises help students build up their bodies and release pressure at the same time.

“We learn different movements and dance to rhythmic popular music. It’s more enjoyable and also more challenging than the traditional gymnastics we did before,” said Zhao Li, a pupil from the school.

Deng Yunling, an associate professor with the College of Physical Education at Northwest Normal University in Gansu Province, said attempts to innovate school exercises are necessary since it can better meet the changing needs of fitness in schools, and also serves as a way to stimulate students’ enthusiasm on bodybuilding.

“The vogue also reflects that COVID-19 pandemic urges schools and students to attach more importance to keeping fit,” said Deng. She suggested that the design of the gymnastics should consider students of different ages and physical fitness.

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