The main focus of the basic level Chinese dance instruction is to help students acquire the basic concepts of Chinese dance and correctly grasp the fundamental forms, hand and leg movements, and steps. Students are introduced to typical patterns of body movements that produce the rhythms and characteristics of Chinese dance.
After adequate basic skills in the waist and leg motions have been acquired, students learn the grand styles of Chinese dance, as well as techniques of simple jumping, turning, and tumbling. This training will help students lay a solid foundation for further studies in Chinese dance.
Fundamentals of Classical Chinese Dance I, II
This course is designed for students to learn the basic concepts and terminology of Chinese classical dance and to develop a command of the fundamental techniques and dance movements. The training is focused on extending the body’s flexibility and capabilities. The course includes:
• Basic elements of Chinese classical dance
• Bar exercises
• Center exercises
• Floor exercises
• Jumping and leaping
• Basic technical combinations
Shen Yun (身韻) I, II
Shen yun (身韻) is one of the major components of classical Chinese dance and may be roughly translated as “body rhythm,” “appeal,” or “characteristic style.” This course introduces the basic terminologies and elements in shen yun, including steps; hand and arm movements; postures; and the concepts of ning, qing, yang (擰,傾,仰),ping yuan, li yuan, ba zi yuan (平圓、立圓、八字圓) and dian, xian, mian (點、線、面). Upon completion of this course, students should be able to strike a good balance and coordination between shen (身, physical forms) and yun (韻, style, inner spirit, and emotions.)
Special Techniques in Chinese Dance I, II
In these courses, students learn to safely perform the basic tumbling and somersault techniques used in Chinese dances. Upon completion of this course, students should be able to perform the cartwheel, side somersault, front flip, back flip, forward roll, backward roll, and other Chinese dance techniques.
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. Through such studies, students develop a solid command of these folk dances’ moves and styles. By learning the different shen yun (身韻) and rhythms, the students can grasp the sincerity, humor, passion, values, and diversity that are demonstrated in these folk dances. The students will also learn to express through dance the belief that humankind is an integral part of nature – a belief widely held by many Eastern ethnicities and by the Chinese people in particular.