Regent Park residents of Chinese origin represent the largest ethnic group in Regent Park - and Mandarin and Cantonese together represent the second largest non-English language groups in Regent Park after Bengali. Despite this large contingent of residents they remain relatively unseen in the cultural life of Regent Park. The exception is the Happy Dance Group.
In Regent Park, every Wednesdays and Saturday evenings, between 6 pm – 8 pm, a group of twenty Chinese women from around the area gather to meet, talk and…dance. The Happy Dance Group, made up of mostly seniors meet in the courtyard behind the Daniel’s Spectrum Arts Centre to dance to popular Chinese music.
The Happy dance group was founded by Miss XIANYAO TANG. “Dancing makes me feel friendly, happy and helps me get some exercise,” she said. The group has been dancing/practicing together for more than 5 years. According to Miss Tang, in China people dance in huge groups in the public square using similar routines, to keep fit, both physically and mentally.
IRENE ZHANG, one of the members, helps Miss TANG to teach the dancing steps to the other members of the Happy Dancing Group. Most of the dance routines they follow are from the internet. The group wears a dancing attire which is all black in colour. It consists of a black top, black pants/tights and a black mini skirt with shinny red borders. Some of the mini skirts were brought from China and the rest were hand made here in Canada by Miss TANG herself for the members of the Happy Dancing Group.
The “Happy Dancing Group” dance so they can feel happy, refreshed and get some exercise. Although they are currently all Chinese women, Miss Tang insists that anyone who wishes to join them can be a part of the Happy Dancing Group.
The Happy Dancing Group uses an app called 'WeChat' to connect and coordinate with each other. The Happy Dancing Group, can be reached on WeChat or via phone at 416-516-0181.
To see the performance of the Happy Dancing Group visit
FOCUS Media Arts Centre