China Dance school showcases Skyline’s diversity

The China Dance School and Theater of San Francisco performed an Asian culture showcase on Sept. 20 in the Skyline Theater.

The event was the premier event of Skyline’s Asian Heritage Week, as well as the major annual showcase for the school itself. Because of the importance of the event to the China Dance School, many of those in attendance were friends and family of the dancers themselves. The theater felt almost too small for such an event, as those in attendance for the dance school, outnumbered the few Skyline students. Those that were able to attend did enjoy the unique offering.

“They’re just really graceful students and the young kids are really cute,” economics major Charles Johnson said. “I’m studying Chinese history right now so it fits right in with the course. I can’t wait for the second half. I’m really proud to support my school.”

Despite the lack of Skyline representation in the audience, the event was a success for the China Dance School. Parents were beaming from start to finish, as they witnessed the culmination of their children’s hard work.

“We’ve been with the China Dance School since our daughter was very young,” said Ken Farmer, a parent of one of the evening’s performers. “It’s been fun to see all the dancers grow up together.”

The precision and grace of the dancing belied the hard work of not only the dancers but also the choreographers, Kaiwen You and Aiping Zhou.

“I really appreciate this performance,” said Nathan Pan, another proud parent in the audience. “I think that Mr. You and Mrs. Zhou really deliver their energy through the dancers and I think that the dancers also pass along the energy to us… (my daughter) really enjoyed this whole experience taking the class and preparing for the performance.”

Each of the 21 dances performed that evening depicted a different aspect of Chinese culture through the style of dance, the musical accompaniment, the costumes, and the themes, but each one is similarly rigorous for the young dancers.

“I think it’s very great that I get to embrace this culture and this ethnicity,” dancer Katherine Wu said. “Chinese dance is a very special type of dance. First of all you have to be very flexible. It’s very demanding. It’s a little bit like ballet, in that everything has to be perfect, or else it doesn’t look good.”

While the event seemed more for the benefit of the dance school than Skyline itself, vice president of administrative services, Eloisa Briones deemed the event a success for both schools.

“This is always a phenomenal performance,” Briones said. “It’s something that we always enjoy. Skyline College is so fortunate with the partnership that we have with the Chinese dance school so this is a wonderful opportunity for us to celebrate our Chinese culture and heritage and the diversity of the various cultures here at Skyline College.”

Next year’s performance will be the 10th anniversary of the showcase, and this year’s performance ended with promises of something even more spectacular to come.