65-year-old "Grandma Liu" has volunteered to teach disabled people to dance for nearly 6 years

  Liu Zhijian designs dance moves according to the physical condition of the trainees and teaches them hand in hand, "As long as everyone is willing to learn, I am willing to teach."

  On July 2nd, "Warm Home", Liu Zhijian danced with disabled students.

Photo by Zheng Xinqia, reporter from Beijing News

  Liu Zhijian’s students have been dancing, although some cannot walk, some are deaf in one ear, and some are mentally disabled...

  They are either standing and waving a red folding fan or sitting in a wheelchair, with long sleeves throwing beautiful arcs; they use their defective bodies to express complete emotions, sad or eager.

  Every Friday, Liu Zhijian will go to a public activity room for the disabled in Chaoyang, Beijing, to teach freely.

  She is responsible for the choreography of the dance, and each movement is designed according to the physical condition of the trainees and is taught hand in hand.

After learning dance, Liu Zhijian will also take them to perform in Beijing and participate in various competitions.

  Liu Zhijian is 65 years old and has been teaching for nearly 6 years.

The students liked her, so they kindly called her "Grandma Liu".

She was also moved by everyone's perseverance, "As long as everyone is willing to learn, I am willing to teach."

  Teaching the disabled to dance requires more patience

  On July 2nd, Liu Zhijian took the bus to the "Warm Home" like every Friday in the past.

She is very thin, wearing a red short-sleeved shirt, her hair curled behind her head, showing a clean forehead, she is tall and energetic.

  Get off the bus and walk about 200 meters in from the gate of Dongba Jiayuan Community. The red door bungalow is her destination.

  This is a public activity space specially set up by the Beijing Disabled Persons' Federation for the disabled. The disabled people around can come here to listen to lectures, do psychological counseling, and participate in various cultural and sports activities.

The weekly classes are fully scheduled. Every Friday from 2pm to 3:30pm, it is Liu Zhijian's dance class time.

  "Come, two hands, forward, look at me." Liu Zhijian stood in front of the student, his neck stretched upward, his arms opened.

The 10 students standing behind her were uniformly dressed in white dance clothes, with light blue skirts floating around their feet and red veil in their hands.

  If it is not for careful observation, outsiders seem to be unable to see that these students are different from ordinary people.

They all have some disabilities. Some people can't hear one ear, some have broken fingers, and some have intellectual disabilities.

  Liu Zhijian taught hand in hand.

Facing the students with inflexible limbs, Liu Zhijian supported her upper limbs to swing with his hands to help the students understand the movements.

At other times, she squinted her eyes, not letting go of any irregularities in the team.

  "The disabled can also learn to dance like ordinary people, but you need more patience to deal with it." Liu Zhijian said.

  She is also responsible for the choreography of the dance, and each movement is designed according to the physical condition of the students.

"It's not okay to stand alone. It's easy to get tired. It will be easier for everyone to get up and use props like fans and scarves to change the formation."

  She arranged the plot of the farewell to the Red Army and integrated the knowledge of community garbage sorting into the dance.

  After class, Liu Zhijian will post the captured content of the class to the WeChat group so that the students can compare and practice after the class.

But the students who only took one class a week would inevitably forget the action, and she was never upset, just taking everyone to dance over and over again.

  The last posture was not good, she taught over and over again, where to stand on the feet and how to place the hands.

She is unwilling to dilute everyone's enthusiasm, and is more willing to put "yes, that's it" to encourage everyone.

  "It's a pleasure to come to dance. It makes me educate me like a child. I don't like it."

  The students cordially called her "Grandma Liu"

  The students all called her "Grandma Liu".

  "I was a kindergarten teacher before, and the students said that I was very kind, so the younger ones called me grandma." At the age of 55, Liu Zhijian watched a dance performance of the Oriental Song and Dance Troupe's "Blessings of Love". Impressed by the elegance.

Since then, she has learnt how to dance with one of the dancers, and learned how to control her body with her breath and how to arrange the shape of a line.

Until now, Liu Zhijian still insists on studying.

  After retiring, Liu Zhijian taught the blind to recitation in the Braille library, and occasionally met some disabled people who love to dance.

"Born in the 1960s, there are a lot of polios. Some people told them that I danced well, and they were all bright at the time."

  Since then, every Wednesday, she volunteers to teach these disabled people to dance on Tianqiao.

  Liu Zhijian mainly teaches classical dance. Since many disabled people cannot move their lower limbs, she asks everyone to sit in wheelchairs and teach upper limb movements.

The trainees use crutches all the year round and the whole body is supported on the upper limbs. This makes their hands strong but also stiff. "Some people have deformed hands and their spine has also deformed."

  When teaching, Liu Zhijian had to correct it little by little.

  Those people who couldn't even walk before started dancing.

They learned how to express sadness with one eye, and how to express eagerness with facial expressions.

They have high enthusiasm and learn well, and often win prizes in various dance competitions.

Seeing that the dance he choreographed was presented and recognized by everyone, Liu Zhijian was also full of sense of accomplishment.

  Until 2016, Liu Zhijian was recommended to "Warm Home" to teach more disabled people dance.

  53-year-old Huo Xiaochao is one of the trainees. She was deaf in her left ear due to delayed treatment of her tinnitus.

Once, she happened to see Liu Zhijian teaching everyone to dance in the "Warm Home", and her heart was moved.

Since she had been exposed to ballroom dancing when she was young and had some skills, she always wanted to pick up this hobby again.

  At first, Huo Xiaochao couldn't keep up with the progress of the veteran students, and was frustrated for a while, "Otherwise, just give up." But Liu Zhijian never gave up on her.

Because Huo Xiaochao's ears are not good, Liu Zhijian pays attention to repeating the essentials loudly when teaching her.

When she couldn't remember the formation, Liu Zhijian stood in front of her, shouted the beat, and led her.

After returning home, Huo Xiaochao also watched the instructional video.

  Slowly, Huo Xiaochao caught up.

Her favorite is the dance called "Fire of China".

Everyone is waving red fans, very magnificent.

Before that, she had nothing to do except to transport her granddaughter to elementary school.

  Now, an hour and a half of dance class every week has become her sustenance in life.

  Dance masters bring students to perform on stage

  Sometimes, considering physical reasons, Liu Zhijian dare not ask everyone too strictly, "It would be nice to be able to jump out."

  But the trainees all felt that we must present the best mental outlook to the audience, “They said,'Although we are physically disabled, our mental outlook is not disabled at all. From the body to the expression, we must do well.'”

  After learning dance, Liu Zhijian led them to perform in Beijing.

These disabled dancers appeared on the stage of the street office to promote garbage sorting, and also appeared on the big weekend stage of the people in Ditan Park. They also gave performances during the celebration of the centenary of the founding of the party.

  In addition to dancing, Liu Zhijian has always insisted on teaching blind people to recite.

  Talking about the original intention, Liu Zhijian said that she once asked them what they like to do.

The other person's answer, reading or memorizing is their only pleasure.

  Once, she took blind students to an online recitation performance.

In the WeChat group of the performance, the students turned on their microphones and recited one by one.

A student was disconnected, and he didn't notice it. Later, when I listened to the replay, I realized that one or two sentences were not recorded.

  The student found Liu Zhijian and said that he wanted to record it again.

"Everyone is very cooperative, and read it again carefully." Liu Zhijian said.

Blind students can only recite the recitation on stage. Some students are in their 70s and still insist on memorizing five or six minutes of manuscripts.

  Liu Zhijian also takes the blind students out to play on holidays.

When she encountered a beautiful flower, she reminded everyone to gently stroke it up with their hands, and the petals of the students showed their shapes little by little under the fingertips of the students.

  When the students are happy, she is happy.

  Liu Zhijian often sighed, "The students have more or less flaws, but they are very strong and very optimistic about life."

  In the wheelchair dance team she formed, a student in his 30s was paralyzed after removing a tumor in his brain.

The heaviness of life didn't affect the briskness of her arms in the slightest, she could always keep up with the beat.

She seems to understand music best and remember movements best.

  By this year, Liu Zhijian is 65 years old.

  For every optimistic and serious student, regardless of strong wind or heavy rain, she will prepare to teach.

Although in a few years, she may not be able to dance herself, but now, she says, "As long as everyone is willing to learn, I am willing to teach."

  Beijing News reporter Peng Chong and intern Wang Yuan