The main focus of the Beginner level of dance instruction is helping students acquire the basic concepts of Chinese dance and correctly grasp the basic forms, hand and leg movements, and steps. Students are also exposed to the basic patterns of body movements that produce the unique rhythms and characteristics of Chinese dance.
After acquiring basic conditioning in the waist and legs, students will begin in-depth learning in the major styles of Chinese dance as well as basic jumps, turns, tumbling, and movement sequences.
Fundamentals of Classical Chinese Dance I, II
These courses are designed for students to learn the basic concepts and terminology and to develop a command of the fundamental techniques and dance movements of classical Chinese dance. The training focuses on developing correct posture and alignment, flexibility, strength, and mastery of the standard forms and movement.
This course includes:
- Basic forms and movements of classical Chinese dance
- Barre exercises
- Center exercises
- Floor exercises
- Jumps and leaps
- Basic technical combinations
Shen Yun (身韻) I, II
Shen yun (身韻, i.e. body articulation) is one of the major components of classical Chinese dance and may be roughly translated as “physical nuance,” “body rhythm,” “bearing,” or “characteristic style.” These courses introduce the basic terminologies and elements in shen yun, including steps; hand and arm movements; postures; and breathing. The course will cover the eight primary movements of ti (提), chen (沉), chong (衝), kao (靠), han (含), tian (腆), yi (移), and pang ti (旁提) and introduce the three fundamental types of circular movements of ping yuan (平圓), li yuan (立圓), and ba zi yuan (八字圓). Upon completion of this course, students should be able to integrate shen yun into basic dance combinations as they develop an awareness of the nuances of rhythm and breath.
Special Techniques in Chinese Dance I, II
In these courses, students learn to safely perform the basic tumbling and aerial techniques used in classical Chinese dance. Upon completion of these courses, students should be able to perform basic aerial techniques as well as a wide range of special techniques such as fan shen (翻身).
Chinese Folk and Ethnic Dances I, II
These basic training courses primarily focus on learning the characteristics of the folk dances of the Han, Tibetan, Mongolian, and Korean ethnic groups. Students develop a solid command of the techniques, steps, and movement sequences attributed to each folk dance style. By learning the different yun wei (韻味; “flavors”) and rhythms of these traditions, students gain exposure to the different stylistic expressions of China’s folk and ethnic groups, thereby enriching their own dance expression. Students will also deepen their understanding of each ethnic group’s customs and ways of life and explore how these are portrayed in dance and music.