top of page

What is Chinese dance?

Yanlai Dance Academy uniquely serves the Greater Pittsburgh are by being the only school that offers classical and folk Chinese dance in addition to Western dance styles like Ballet. But what is Chinese dance?

An ancient history

Chinese dance is a captivating art form, embodying the essence of China's rich cultural heritage. Rooted in millennia of history, it is a graceful fusion of storytelling, rhythmic precision, and grace. Each step, gesture, and posture carries the echoes of ancient dynasties, folklore, and the natural world.

This art form encompasses a diverse range of styles, from the flowing movements of classical dance to the spirited exuberance of folk dance. Classical Chinese dance emphasizes breathing, emotional storytelling, and technical skills, all while telling stories from folklore and history. Meanwhile, folk dance draws from the vibrant traditions of China's diverse regions, celebrating harvests, festivals, and everyday life.

a woman dressed in tang dynasty clothing
dancers bend backwards with their hands in the air
a woman in tang dynasty clothes throws her sleeves into their air in front of a fountain

Directed by professionals

Yanlai Wu is an internationally celebrated performer and choreographer whose background, training, and dedication to her artistry are reflected in the values of Yanlai Dance Academy. At the age of twelve, Ms. Wu was one of 25 children selected from 1 billion candidates to attend the Affiliated Middle School of Beijing Dance Academy. Ms. Wu joined the premier Chinese dance company—Beijing Youth Dance Troupe—upon graduation from the Beijing Dance Academy. She performed in many national and international arts festivals with the Beijing Youth Dance Troupe, including the American International Arts Festival, and the Chinese New Year’s Eve Celebration 1988 seen on CCTV by more than a billion people.

Our legacy

Yanlai Dance Academy has been providing Chinese dance lessons to the Greater Pittsburgh area since 2004. In that time, the academy has been highly praised for their high professionalism of performance and invited to numerous events around the Pittsburgh area for the Lunar New Year and other cultural exchange events.

You can experience the art of Chinese dance by joining Yanlai Dance Academy or attending one of our numerous performances around the city.

lighted sign for a theater reads "Yanlai Dance Academy"
bottom of page