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New kind of sound equipment for square dancing promises less noise

By Sun Xiaochen | China Daily | Updated: 2017-06-15 07:35

New kind of sound equipment for square dancing promises less noise

Directional loudspeakers limit the transmission of sound waves to a finite space. SUN XIAOCHEN/CHINA DAILY

In an effort to maintain square dancing as a positive exercise in urban communities, China's social sports governing body on Wednesday introduced a set of less-disturbing audio equipment specially designed for the activity.

The equipment package, called an "intelligent dancing solution" by its designer, Gongwu Sports, was unveiled by the Social Sports Instruction Center of China at the launch ceremony of the National Square Dance Championship on Wednesday.

At the core of the package is a set of directional loudspeakers that limit the transmission of sound waves to a finite space. The speakers are heard only by dancers inside the acoustic zone, without spreading noise all around.

Lighting units and a background LED screen are also featured in the package, which can be controlled by an app on a mobile device.

"Disturbing music has been a serious issue that has brought complaints from communities here and there. Hopefully, this set of devices will help address the problem and serve the dancers with little disturbance of the public," said Huang Shuo, general manager of Gongwu Sports, a partner of the instruction center.

Apart from noise, the occupation of public squares and some dancers' recklessness in defending their territory have also hampered the image of square dancing as a healthy exercise in China, with complaints and occasional fierce disputes making headlines.

Recently, a video - taken at a public park in Luoyang, Henan province - showed a group of elderly dancers quarreling with several young people as the dancers tried to occupy a basketball court where the youngsters were playing. The video went viral on social media, triggering a debate about regulation of dancers.

"Square dancing was originally designed for good benefits. Only by promoting well-organized events and sound regulation will it help build healthy lifestyles among the public," said Yin Guochen, deputy director of the center.

As part of the official effort, the center will kick off the opening leg of this year's national square dancing championship on June 22 in Ulanchap, Inner Mongolia autonomous region, before bringing the competition to four more cities during the preliminary phase. The national finals will take place in Lingshui, Hainan province, in November.

With support from Gongwu Sports and a choreography team led by fitness trainer Wang Guangcheng, the center released 12 proposed routines for dancers.

The social sports center estimates that more than 120 million Chinese people are regular participants in square dancing.

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