VIDEO: Chinese hot pot chain Haidilao's viral dance ritual moves diners worldwide

Haidilao's dance routine is thought to have evolved from a wedding dance in the southern Chinese area of Guangxi

By Web Desk
December 01, 2023

Haidilao, China's largest hot pot chain which is notable for popularising the Chinese dining custom of scorching fresh ingredients in a variety of soup bases has just added a new dance show to its 1,400 locations as part of the eating experience.

The brand has more than 100 shops worldwide, including 13 in the United States.

Staff doing the "kemusan" - or "subject number three" - dance as visitors eat has become the newest online craze on Chinese social media.

The routine is thought to have evolved from a wedding dance in the southern Chinese area of Guangxi.

Performers swing their knees sideways while performing a fast succession of hand gestures, including rapid-fire wrist-twisting manoeuvres.

The captivating dance is performed to music that sounds like a cross between Western disco rhythms and traditional Chinese folk singing.

According to accounts shared online, diners must speak the secret word "kemusan" to the waitresses in order to "unlock" the new service.

The dance has gone viral in an instant. Some guests appear to appreciate it so much that they join the crew in the act on social media videos.

"Kemusan" isn't Haidilao's first viral hit; roughly a decade ago, the chain's characteristic noodle dance became an instant classic. This dance entails stretching dough into noodle ribbons and gently twisting the long strands around in large sweeping sweeps.

It all started with a posting on a Chinese internet forum in my area.

According to Jimu News, a state-affiliated news site, a mother complained about the "tacky squirming dance" during a recent dinner with her family at one of the outlets.

Her remark sparked an internet firestorm, leading the search terms on the Chinese social media platform Weibo on Monday. The discussion has been seen over 10 million times since then.

One 740,000-follower internet influencer termed the dance "exploitation."

“The staff no longer show any emotions, looking very stiff after performing kemusan. That’s too much effort,” he wrote on Weibo.