Teacher motivates students with viral dance: ‘Really cool’

A physical education teacher got 400 students to bust a move together in unison. 

Zhang Guannan led the synchronized routine at Shaanxi Normal University Experimental Middle School in China. The middle schoolers danced to “Dura” by Daddy Yankee. The “Dura” dance craze ran rampant a few years ago because it features relatively simple arm and leg movements, which makes it fun and accessible. 

The clip showed the PE teacher standing on a stage as rows of students in a blue uniform imitate his movements. The teacher looked energized while dancing to “Dura,” enthusiastically flailing his arms and doing impressive footwork, as the kids followed his lead. 

“It’s inevitable that a generation gap exists between us and our students. But it’s important for educators to come up with creative ways to bridge the gap,” Zhang said according to Daily Mail. “At the same time, we must strike a balance between progressive elements and maintaining traditional teaching methods and ideas.”

China has always made great efforts to make physical education a huge part of its primary and middle school curriculum. Calisthenics has been required of students every morning since 1951. But when the standard routines became tiresome to students, many PE teachers in China, like Guannan, started to include modern hits to get students excited. 

“Under the influence of social media and the internet, many students find the traditional calisthenics program really tedious and boring,” Zhang said according to Daily Mail.

Zhang said the students were a little reluctant to try the more elaborate moves, but after a few lessons, they were able to get into it. 

“Our younger generation of students enjoy more upbeat and happier tempos, perhaps something that’s more in style,” Zhang said. “The dance was really cool and students would get their exercise for the day.”

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