A phenomenon that is sweeping across Chinese social media, has caught fire in Richmond with the formation of a new all-female dance troupe, Fly bébé.
The seven-member dance group, coming out of Richmond’s Flying Dance Studio, is ready to showcase its talents on YouTube, TikTok and other social media platforms.
The group’s newly released song For Real has already attracted thousands of views and comments online, said Ying Ying, the choreographer and producer of the piece.
The formation of a seven-member, all-female dance group is the basis of an extremely popular Chinese summer reality show: Sisters Who Make Waves. The show features 30 female celebrities, all over the age of 30, who compete for a spot in a seven-member dance group. The hashtag for the episode has been viewed 1.3 billion times on Weibo, a China's Twitter-like platform.
While the Chinese reality show aims to prove that beautiful dancers come in all ages, the average age of the Richmond group is 18.
"All team members are my long-term students. We’ve spent countless hours together; I know their personalities pretty well. They are very caring and worship teamwork. These are fundamental prerequisites to be a great member of any dancing crew.
"If a dancer only cares about herself shining on the stage, even if she has the most impressive dance skills, the group won't be successful. Group dancing is all about showcasing each member's uniqueness, personality and artistic talents. It's not you or me, it's about us as a team," said Ying.
Ying added, each group member has the opportunity to participate in writing lyrics, composing music and choreographing one of their pieces.
Fly bébé has been gaining popularity online since the release of its debut song, (titled “For real”), however, with that popularity has come some criticism.
Coco Tao, team leader of Fly bébé, said comments have ranged from, "I could sing way better than you” to personal attacks with abusive language.
However, she has coached her team members to simply ignore the verbal abuse and focus on all the love and hope in the world.
Another challenge for team members is simply finding the time to practice. Prior to the pandemic, Tao said each team member spent at least four hours a day practicing in the studio together after school. Throughout the pandemic, they’ve continued to dance ''together'' via Zoom.
The rise of girl dancing group in Asia
Ying said she began forming the group two years ago, selecting dancers and providing intensive training.
"Many people expressed their interest in seeing a ‘made in Canada’ girl dancing group over the past ten years. So I started coming up with the idea two years ago. The whole journey has been tough, but it's still worthwhile seeing girls being given a chance to perform on the stage."