In a village called Xia’ao near the southern coast of China’s Zhejiang province, 50-year-old Fan Duo and his 45-year-old wife Peng Xiaoying have an 8-acre farm and two children.
Life has been hard for them.
Eighteen years ago they owned a shoe store in Yunnan province, making a modest living. But that ended when Fan Duo was in a car accident.
He suffered a cracked jaw, lost multiple teeth, and suffered from depression and what Westerners would call PTSD as a result.
That’s when they moved to Shandong. Fan Duo worked for a clothing business while Peng Xiaoying was swept away by the bright lights of the big city.
She would go into the town square each night to watch people dance.
But eventually, she decided to move back to her rural hometown. Unable to be without her, Fan Duo soon followed. It was there that they came to help take care of her family’s farmland where they grow corn, cucumber, and watermelon.
But the depression from the car accident still lingered. And that’s when Peng Xiaoying convinced her husband to start dancing.
She encouraged him to lean the steps of the dances she saw and practiced in the city square.
Now, the couple is going viral for recording some of their daily “shuffle dances” used to keep depression at bay.
Everywhere is a stage for the couple, who have also taught their children the choreography.
And this is no freestyle-effort. They move in perfect unison.
There is overwhelming evidence that engaging in physical activity can help ease some symptoms of depression for some people. And some studies have shown that dance, specifically, has a healing power all its own.
In this case, we wouldn’t be surprised if the partnership, dedication, and concentration it took to pull off these moves played a big role in helping to heal Fan Duo.
Everywhere is a stage for the couple and they will stop and dance whenever and wherever the spirit moves them.
“Whenever we feel upset, the shuffle dance always helps cheer us up and lighten our mood. It has been such an uplift in our lives,” Peng told Asia One. “I think the main reason we get so happy when we dance has to do with the idea of our exercising with the shuffle on the ridges. It’s really exciting.”
While the COVID-19 pandemic was still largely contained in China, the couple decided to learn some more choreography at home to entertain themselves. And that’s when they started filming as well.
They made a video of some of their best moves and uploaded it to social media. That’s where they went viral first.
Then, slowly, news media began to pick up on it and a compilation of dances has entertained millions throughout the rest of the world in the last few weeks.
The two have spoken to the press about their deep love for one another. Fan Duo credits his wife with saving him.
Of course, life isn’t all smiles and dancing. The life of a rural Chinese farmer is hard and they both do strenuous work all day. They just know how to let loose when they need to as well.
“We love life in the countryside. We dance after our daily work,” Fan Duo said. “It’s a dream life.”
But despite their online stardom on TikTok, where they’ve amassed an audience of millions, there’s still food to grow.
Their amazing dance moves are sure to put a smile on your face. So be sure to scroll down below to catch a glimpse of the charming dancing duo.
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