/ Urban

TAI CHIP HOP : AS TASY AS IT SOUNDS?


We delve into the latest dance craze to hit China. Sadly it doesn't involve actual chips...

We’ve all heard about attempts to bridge the proverbial “gap” between east and west – whether that gap even exists or whether attempts to bridge it are productive or not, we’re pretty into this latest attempt through dance.

International fitness brand Domyos has embarked on a mission to connect Chinese and Western cultures through creating a new dance form – a mix between Tai Chi and Hip Hop – which conveniently shortens to “Tai Chip Hop.” Cute right? Domyos believes that “Westerners are eager to discover and experience China. At the same time, Chinese people keep on being open to the West side without denying their heritage,” and they are using Tai Chip Hop in order to encourage these phenomena.

But how can the ancient art of Tai Chi be mixed with the modern movements of Hip Hop, you ask? According to representatives of Domyos, it’s all rather easy – “these two practices already have strong links: both use sharp and precise moves, and both are culturally based around the circle symbol.” Yeah, we were dubious when we first heard of it too. But after watching videos of professional Tai Chip Hop performers (now that’s a cool job title), we’ve been converted.

It’s not all about connecting the east and the west – in China, Domyos wants to “show that the pleasure of fitness is accessible to all.” Considering that Western people are known for being considerably more sedentary and round-tummied than Chinese people, is this even necessary? How many times have you seen (and been tempted to join) some elderly Chinese women dancing on the street to keep fit in the morning? Or even someone vigorously patting a tree to transfer its energy from the sun into their body? (OK, maybe that’s not really exercise per se, but if you get vigorous enough it could be.)

Despite this, the younger generation doesn’t seem as keen on exercise as their elders – so maybe they do need some more exciting exercise prospects. Domyos has organised Tai Chip Hop classes especially for children, not only spreading the message of the importance of exercise from a young age, but also amping up their schoolyard cred by equipping them with some pretty gangster moves.

Could Tai Chip Hop be the new Zumba? As of now, Tai Chip Hop is only practised in China, but it has created quite a buzz online – their videos have had more than 30 million views on Chinese media platforms alone. There has also been coverage of the dance style in France, the US, and Mexico.

Watch this space...

WORDS BY JESS TATT