I kind of laughed when I read in today’s San Jose Mercury News about “Chinese-American women create a line-dancing craze.” Not because line-dancing is funny, but because my mother has done some line-dancing at the local senior centers in Palo Alto and Mountain View in the past and am surprised I didn’t come across an article on this trend earlier:
“…Sue Hsu, 47, and Kathy Chang, 48, are becoming a must-stop on Silicon Valley’s line-dancing circuit. They also are the first teachers to tailor their upbeat dance classes to a predominantly Chinese crowd. What started as a class of six women in Chang’s Cupertino living room 14 months ago has cha-cha-cha-ed into eight weekly classes plus a “Saturday Night Social” at two strip-mall studios that attract nearly 400 students. Not to mention the 106 videos of their dance classes on YouTube, which they say have netted 200,000 hits from as far away as Australia and Singapore. Their secret to success? Tapping into a niche market, they say. Their students are mostly people like themselves: first-generation Chinese women, many with advanced degrees, who need a hobby to blow off some steam. Plus, they grin, line dancing has an added benefit. “You don’t need partners,” Chang said. “So that’s why all the Chinese women take this. They don’t need their husbands to come with them… Teachers Hsu and Chang also have worked to “raise the bar” of the line-dancing community because of their Web site, www.suenkathy.com, said Dorothy Bender of Palo Alto, the only non-Asian student on this particular day. She’s an admitted line-dance junkie, taking classes wherever they’re offered. Though she thought she’d be intimidated by taking class with mostly Chinese students, Bender is glad line-dancing steps are universal. And she’s proud to have made a few new friends while learning a phrase or two in Mandarin.“”
I can totally picture this, especially the husbands not wanting to dance. I have to imagine, with most of the women participating are immigrants, that as one has a family, it’s harder to meet others with a similar background in a social setting and make new friends.