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Dance, dance, evolution is gamers' code for fun

By XING WEN | China Daily | Updated: 2018-01-10 07:53
Two dancers display their skills on the footboard of the E5 Dance machine in the finals of the 2017 China Electronic Game Super League in Wuhan, Hubei province, in November. [Photo provided to China Daily]

It was Christmas Eve revelry, indeed. The dancing kind. A new kind of dancing in a Beijing arcade on Dec 24, to be precise.

Likely, few participants know there's a reindeer called Dancer meant to take his annual flight that night every year.

The arcade was crowded by people who'd come to see gamers take turns onstage-or, more precisely, on a 3.75-square-meter video-game footboard.

But that's the stage to their world.

E5 Dance, the interactive-dance arcade game created by Aimyunion Technology, has become a sensation among young Chinese gamers since it came out in 2012.

Meet China's "e-dancers".

E-dancers from around the country gathered in Beijing for an e-dancing carnival hosted by the China Electronic Game Super League's organizing committee in December.

The annual league meeting has since its 2016 inception provided gamers nationwide with competition opportunities.

The league staged six months of preliminary competitions in 229 cities, involving more than 3 million participants. The finals were hosted in Wuhan, Hubei province, in November.

"We come to the carnival just to meet and learn more from other e-dancers, especially those who won prizes in the 2017 finals," participant Feng Rui says.

The woman from the Inner Mongolia autonomous region danced to Taylor Swift's Look What You Make Me Do on the footboard with her partner.

Feng says she searched online to find video tutorials that showed her how to groove to certain pieces of background music. She practiced it repeatedly before she performed.

Zhou Ningxin created most of the video tutorials Feng followed on the Chinese video-based social platform Meipai.

Zhou started to post dancing videos on Meipai in June. She soon became a rising star in the online E5 Dance community.

The 23-year-old was a part-time street-dance teacher in the United Kingdom while studying at Birmingham City University.

She encountered an E5 Dance gamer after returning to China in 2017.

Zhou was about to play the claw game at a Beijing arcade when she saw Lin Qiu'an dance.

He has "game danced" for nearly a decade.

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