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October 13, 2021

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Seniors rock in dance-music video

If your movement was restricted to a wheelchair, would you give up hope in life and stop enjoying your time? The answer is an absolute “no” for elderly residents at the Yangpu District Social Welfare Home.

Wheelchair-bound and white-haired, a group of seniors with an average age of 91 enjoyed the fun of dancing and expressed their love for life in a unique way like young people.

A music video titled “Dancers in Wheelchairs” was released on the social welfare home’s WeChat and Douyin (TikTok overseas) accounts yesterday in celebration of the Double Ninth Festival, occurring on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month, which is a day when respects are paid to the elderly.

It falls tomorrow this year.

In the video, they camped out, played with dogs, and enjoyed music and danced, even while relying on wheelchairs for movement. “The video will probably change people’s impression of wheelchair-bound seniors,” said Qiao Yihao, head of the welfare home.

“There has been an increasing number of seniors with physical disabilities, but they don’t receive enough care from society,” said Huang Rongyan, deputy director of the home.

“It seems that people all believe that seniors are no longer energetic and that their life is gloomy when wheelchair-bound. We want to break the stereotype of these seniors.

“We found that these grandpas and grandmas like music and dance, and music is a good therapy for them, thus the idea of a dance music video for them originated.”

The makeup and filming were done by professionals.

Because of COVID-19, the elderly residents have not left the welfare home for a long time, therefore a camping venue was created for them by the staff.

Their performance surprised the home staff. “They showed 100 percent concentration and practiced seriously. More importantly, they fully enjoyed it,” said Ge Yan, a nursing staff.

“The rehearsal process was very soothing and they were happy,” she noted.

“Although they forgot their dance moves frequently and needed to practice again and again, no one gave up,” said Luo Xin, another nursing staffer.

Some seniors were too excited to sleep when they learned they would even wear makeup, just like children expecting a spring outing.

“I felt like that I was 20 years younger after putting on makeup,” said grandpa Zhuang, 92.

Some asked for more photos as it was the first time that they had played the guitar.

“I never thought of filming a music video at such an age,” said grandma Chen, 94. “I felt that my body and soul were both young while dancing.”

“We believe art has the power of healing for seniors with cognitive disorders and physical disabilities,” said Huang.

Among the comments by netizens on the video was this: “It seems that getting old is no longer a fearful thing when seeing these seniors, and the music video is very healing.”




 

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