Chinese school principal rises to fame after dancing with students
By Hu Chao
00:30

A video of a school teacher leading hundreds of students in a shuffle dance recently went viral. 

The man leading the group is 40-year-old Zhang Pengfei, principal of the Xiguan Primary School in the Linyi County in north China's Shanxi Province.

The synchronized "ghost shuffle" dance routine started last December, with Zhang leading the more than 700 students. Since then, it's become a half-hour routine every morning. The students have quickly mastered the moves, hitting every step in the shuffle.

Students say they enjoy the dance very much. /CGTN Photo

Students say they enjoy the dance very much. /CGTN Photo

“The dancing is much more fun than the radio exercises,” said one of the students, referring to China's calisthenics program that originated in the 1950s. Observing that the students were looking bored with the usual routine, Zhang found an alternative.

Many students also practice the dance in other class breaks. /CGTN Photo

Many students also practice the dance in other class breaks. /CGTN Photo

Zhang wanted to make a change. Considering the small size of the playground, he thought dancing would be a good choice and invited a local dance team to show students the skills. And he learned the dance himself after two months.

Soon after, he set up a dance club, which turned out to be popular with students. Seeing the interest, Zhang decided to introduce it to all the students by simply replacing the routine radio exercises with his dance moves.

‘Enjoy happy education' is what the six Chinese characters mean on the roof of the classrooms. It's the school's motto given by Zhang Pengfei. /CGTN Photo

‘Enjoy happy education' is what the six Chinese characters mean on the roof of the classrooms. It's the school's motto given by Zhang Pengfei. /CGTN Photo

The new exercise has been enthusiastically received by the young students. Many students even practice it during class breaks.

"Before I made the decision, I asked for opinions from both teachers and students," Zhang said.

As the principal, Zhang Pengfei also teaches in class in an easy and humorous style. /CGTN Photo

As the principal, Zhang Pengfei also teaches in class in an easy and humorous style. /CGTN Photo

Zhang has been a teacher for 20 years and took the principal position at his current school seven years ago. He didn't expect the dance to make him an online star.

"I dare not to say that I'm a good principal. But I think I've done what a principal should do at least," Zhang said in his small office.