A mysterious Chinese man has become an online sensation after videos of him leading groups of square dancers in public went viral on TikTok.
While netizens were initially curious to learn more about the man’s identity, it was later revealed that he is known as Brother Jian from the Chinese city of Baoding in Hebei province, according to his Chinese social media profile.
Brother Jian, a tea business owner by day and a square dance leader by night, started posting his videos on Kuai Shou (Kwai), a video-sharing platform similar to TikTok, where he only received hundreds of likes, ABC Australia reported.
His fame blew up after his videos started making rounds online and outside the Great Firewall of China. Several TikTok users began reuploading his clips, and due to his newfound popularity, some people are now referring to him as the “Chinese Master of the Square Dance.”
“Whatever cult this is … I’m in,” a comment from TikTok user MorriKombat, quoted by ABC Australia, read.
“I had a dream this guy united the world to dance and world peace and compassion was created,” a TikTok user named Luis wrote in another comment.
Along with the tens of millions of views that his videos have amassed, Brother Jian has also acquired a special admirer from overseas. Some comments under ABC Australia’s TikTok post about Brother Jian kept mentioning the name Lori, referring to another TikTok user who has apparently been captivated by the dancing master’s graceful moves.
“Where is Lori!!” one TikTok user wrote.
“Lori needs a mention!” another said.
“We still don’t know who Lori is though…” ABC Australia commented.
For context, Lori is a TikTok user who consistently left comments on
user @Ngaly3622’s reposts of Brother Jian’s videos. In one of her comments, Lori wrote, “My King Royal highness husband @ngaly3622. Love 4ever soulmate. You are so fly. You gorgeous hunk of man. My atomic bomb boom boom baby. Special angel. Hot tamales in blue baby. So sexy.”
“My best baby ever. My perfect man my beautiful angel. Love you forever baby. You soul and you are so fly. You love is one in a million to infinity,” she wrote in another comment.
For several years now, dancing in public squares and other outdoor areas has been a common trend among middle-aged and elderly women in China, who are often referred to online as the “Dancing Aunties” or “Dancing Grannies.”
Dancing sessions are usually held for free and do not require any dancing skills or knowledge. Square dancing’s popularity knows no boundaries and even reached Australia in 2015.
While it started as a popular exercise routine among women, many younger men are now reportedly taking up square dancing. Chinese media has previously reported that there are more than 100 million participants overall in China.
In 2017, the Chinese government tapped into the growing trend when it enlisted a group of Dancing Aunties to combat jaywalkers in 2017.