A few weeks ago, I featured Ruth Flowers, who became one of Europe’s hottest nightclub DJs at age 69.Now I’d like you to meet Chinese hip hop dancer Wu Ying, age 71. She got air time around the 2008 Beijing Olympics, but I didn’t discover her until recently.
In 2003, Wu Ying (a retired accountant) watched the first Chinese National Hip Hop Dance Competition on TV. She fell in love with the music, the energy, the fashion, and thought hip hop would make a fantastic workout. So she enrolled in classes at her local gym, and soon started recruiting other pensioners (who thought she’d lost it).
So, apparently, did her daughter:
This is just great. There are a bunch of young hooligans dancing on the streets out there, now I have an old hooligan dancing in my own household.
Wu Ying ignored her and Scoo B Doo walked away.
She eventually found four more women interested in learning the moves. They called themselves The Hip Hop Grannies and practiced hours a day. Their goal—the 2004 Chinese National Hip Hop Dance Competition.
The Grannies made their debut at the Beijing qualifier. Averaging age 60, they took on dancers decades younger and came in third! Since then, they’ve grown to over 30 members and have performed all over China. (And Wu Ying’s daughter has become their biggest fan.)
Even more amazing, Wu Ying lived through the Cultural Revolution (when everything Western was banned).
Here’s a video of the women practicing. They look ridiculously young for their ages. (The youngest is 48 and the oldest 71!) Makes me want to run out and buy a hip hop exercise video!