A video clip of a girl dancing at a pork stall in a village in Southwest China's Yunnan province went viral online, moving many netizens.
Outside the stall, her mom was busy chopping pork while the girl immerses herself in her dance. This is part of a documentary Little Giants made by Bilibili, a video-sharing site.
The girl, 9 years old, is named Wu Gangyun. She lives in Naduo village of Yanshan county in Wenshan autonomous prefecture. The village was identified as a poverty-stricken village in 2013.
When she was 6 years old, her mom found she liked to watch dancing videos and imitated the moves. "She said she loves ballet and the pretty dresses. My husband and I believe she loves dancing." The parents decided to send her to dancing classes. Teachers in the county were amazed by what she can do, especially when they learned she taught herself by watching online videos.
"The teachers said she was very talented. They suggested we find a more capable teacher for her," her father said. But it cost more than what the family could afford, and they didn't know where to find such instruction.
In 2018, the mom went to learn driving at a driving school and showed her daughter's dancing videos to her classmates during breaks. The coach said he knew someone from Beijing and contacted Zhang Ping, who has been teaching dancing for 20 years.
Zhang was born in Yanshan county, later living in Beijing. In 2016, she was touched by a photo of girls standing beside a broken wall in Naduo village. So she visited the village and found many girls unattended. Some were left-behind children, while others were orphans.
Later, she and her husband Guan Yu, a teacher at Beijing Dance Academy, decided to start a program called "Colorful Cloud Plan" to help poor children in mountainous regions change their lives.
2020年11月21日 張萍（右三）和孩子們一起走在那奪村裡 圖源：新華社
Every summer and winter vacation, they come back to Naduo village to teach girls for free. They also invite local teachers and volunteers for free instruction. In 2019, Zhang quit her job in Beijing, set up a training center in the village and put nearly all the couple's savings into the endeavor.
After watching videos of Wu dancing, Zhang and Guan realized they were witnessing a talent. Soon they went to Wu's home to see her and decided to teach her. Since then, Wu Gangyun went to learn dancing with Zhang every weekend.
In October 2019, Wu Gangyun and other girls in the "Colorful Cloud Program" performed on the stage of CCTV. It was the first time for them to take trains or planes, visit a big city and performed on stage. Guan and Zhang also took them to visit Beijing Dance Academy.
"I want to be a dancer in the future and I want to be a person like teacher Zhang," said Wu Gangyun.
Over the years, the "Colorful Cloud Program" has helped 62 children from 17 villages get recruited by art schools in Yunnan. The couple also found ways to cover tuition fees and living expenses.
"If we don't train them, they would go feeding pigs or herding cattle. Now they can at least earn a secondary school diploma," Zhang Ping said. She said she hopes the children can help more people in the mountainous region, and function as dandelion seeds.
來源：21世紀英文報 人民日報 中新網 新華社 中國日報