Shoppers dance with the butchers in Vietnam market

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Butchers and customers dance as morning exercise at Nghe An Province's Ben Thuy Market.


Small traders at a market in north-central Vietnam have managed to lose weight after opening a dance club around and even on their stalls.


Market-goers at Ben Thuy Market in Nghe An Province's Vinh Town have humorously call the dance club "the butchers' bar," because it was first opened by some butchers a year ago and has no official name.

As at many other markets in Vietnam, Ben Thuy small traders often open their stalls early between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m.

Initially, some butchers played music on their cell phone to do morning exercises while waiting for their customers. Some younger butchers then proposed playing dance music, and they have danced in the market every day since then.

"[Initially] only some butchers and giò chả (Vietnamese pork roll) traders danced as morning exercise. Now the whole market has turned into a dancing floor," butcher Nguyen Thi Thu Ha told VnExpress.

There are two occasions for dancing, at around 6 a.m. after vendors display products at their stalls, and at 11 a.m. when there are fewer customers.

Music plays from a simple loudspeaker system placed at the butchers' section. Some gather between the meat stalls to dance, while others dance in their own stalls.

Retailers said market-goers at first were really surprised by the activity, but later began to joyfully dance with them.



"It's a recreational activity for our busy traders. They used to be very sad when there were few customers buying meat or vegetables. But now everybody is happy and laughs out loud at the dancing club," a small trader said.

The activity has helped vendors relax as well as improve their health.

Dang Thi Uyen, owner of a clothes shop near the market entrance, said many traders have lost two or three kilograms since the makeshift dance club opened.

"Many people just wanted to return to the market after coming home," she said.

Many small traders at Ben Thuy Market said the market has become really crowded during special occasions such as International Women's Day, Vietnam Women's Day and Tet, due to the dance club.

"Our business has been coordinated well with the strong beats and lively dance of the amateur dancers," a small trader said.


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