I just saw this hilarious article on the BBC (China Takes Steps to Curb Passion). I’m not sure why it even warrants a story, much less a featured headline. In summary, China has introduced compulsory ballroom dance classes in school to address childhood obesity. I applaud this policy, though I certainly hope they are supplementing the dancing with more strenuous forms of exercise and teaching them good nutrition. Some people have voiced concerns that all that waltzing will cause the innocent young children to fall in love with each other, so officials are now requiring that students rotate between partners. Here’s a choice quote from an official at the Ministry of Sports:

“Four students will be grouped together to perform the waltz and they will change partners regularly as soon as one song finishes. This way, the risk of young love will be lowered.”

Anyone who has been a kid or knows kids is aware that members of the opposite sex are totally gross. Moreover, the idea that partner dancing could lead to naughty behavior is ridiculous to me. If anything, ballroom dancing teaches kids how to treat each other with respect and how to be in physical contact with a member of the opposite sex without any overtones of sexual intimacy. If you don’t believe me, rent Mad Hot Ballroom (or even if you believe me and haven’t seen this marvelous film, rent it too!).

I love partner dancing and generally dislike whatever it is they call the dancing people are doing in nightclubs these days (you know, the grinding booty shaking stuff), precisely because it is so civilized and comes with no expectations other than the enjoyment of the dance.