Disco dancing, playing the violin, wearing the qipao, and learning to walk like a model, Sang Ying, who lives in Hangzhou, East China's Zhejiang province, is 81-years-old. But she has such a steady flow of energy and joy that it she seems much younger than her years would imply.
With 13 WeChat groups on her smart phone and hundreds of friends who share the same interests, Sang has appointments every day and is busy with activities all week long. She also is devoted to making friends with young people, playing computer games and learning how to shop online. The loneliness that is common among the elderly in today's society cannot be found in her at all.
"This is an 81-year-old living the life of an 18-year-old!" friends around her commented.
Growing up, Sang never led a quiet life. From playing on her college basketball team to the playing elegant violin, from the disco to dynamic ballroom dance, she enjoyed learning a lot of things.
In 2016, her fellow chorus members were so fascinated by beautiful fashion shows on TV that they urged her to teach them some tricks.
"I was a student for a while before, but it was different between being a student and being a teacher," Sang said.
The singing and modeling class for the aged in Zhejiang University has 28 students. The youngest is 58, the oldest is 84, and the average age is 70. The first class for the students was like ducklings learning to walk, as elders started walking on the catwalks and stumbled. After repeated practice, everyone in the class learned to walk more naturally. Sang introduced.
"A lot of people are getting cold feet while getting older. They are willing to learn but always worry about this and that, and put no effort into action. Sang often competes against young performance teams of 10 or 20 years old, but she never feels stage fright because of their age difference.
Following the trend not only manifests in the entertainment activity, using updated electronic products also lets Sang keep pace with the times. After urging her son to change her mobile phone geared for geriatrics into a smart one, she taught herself to shop online. She not only learned quickly with online shopping apps, such as Pinduoduo, an e-commerce platform allowing users to participate in group buying deals, but also stayed up late to make panic purchases on "Double 11", a shopping holiday popular among young Chinese.
She also has a group of teachers when it comes to app downloads and computer problems. Staff in the property management company at the apartment she lives in and the graduate student who rents next door have all become her friends.
"I have spent a lot of time with young people, and I've been affected by their energy and vitality as they smile every day," Sang said.
In previous Spring Festivals, Sang would go to Hainan for a month. Last year, she traveled every one or two months, visiting Shaoxing, the southern shore of Hangzhou in eastern Zhejiang province, Anji county, northwestern Zhejiang province, Kaihua county, Zhejiang province, the Maldives and China's Taiwan. She and her 86-year-old husband turned down their children's offer of 20,000 yuan for trips.
"Our retirement salary is enough to see the world while we can," Sang said.
"When one cannot remain as innocent and curious about the world as a child, he or she is really old. You only get one shot at life, and when you get older, do whatever you want. Managing the day happily makes a perfect life," Sang said.