Caixin
Apr 13, 2018 07:09 PM
SOCIETY & CULTURE

Trials, Tribulations and Tutus

Liu Qiuju helps her daughter Jiaojiao during a ballet class. Many mothers in the township have now become experienced coaches for their daughters, despite never having trained in ballet.
Liu Qiuju helps her daughter Jiaojiao during a ballet class. Many mothers in the township have now become experienced coaches for their daughters, despite never having trained in ballet.

One morning in late March, Jiaojiao, a fifth-grader in rural Hebei province, got up earlier than usual and rushed to pin her long hair into a tightly coiled bun at the top of her head.

Jiaojiao had been preparing for this morning for more than a year, jogging regularly in a special sauna suit her mother Liu Qiuju had bought, eating only fruit for dinner each day and practicing martial arts. Her dream was to lose enough weight to get into the province’s Hebei Vocational Art College as a dance major, and the college was holding a local entrance audition in just a few hours.

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