Dance instruction at Xian Yun Academy of the Arts California consists of three levels: basic, intermediate, and advanced. Divisions of these levels, together with practical performance opportunities, enable students to gradually master the profound skills and knowledge of classical Chinese dance. Each level of dance instruction provides training at varying depths in the following six areas:
- Classical Chinese Dance Techniques
- Waist & Leg Techniques for Dancers
- Acrobatic Skills for Dancers
- Music for Dancers
- Classical Chinese Dance Repertoire, Chinese Ethnic Dance, and Chinese Folk Dance
- Entire Repertoire of Xian Yun Academy of the Arts and Shen Yun Performing Arts
Basic Level: 1–2 Years
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 basic forms, hand & leg movements, and steps. Students are introduced to the basic patterns of body movements that produce the rhythms and characteristics of Chinese Dance.
Instruction at the Basic Level provides training in appropriate body movements that can enhance the student’s ability to master basic skills and techniques. 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 rolling. This training will help students lay a solid foundation for further studies in Chinese Dance.
Intermediate Level: 1–2 Years
The Intermediate Level is a critical step in helping students become dance artists of professional caliber. Dance instruction at this level further strengthens the skills and techniques learned in the Basic Level and students will also enhance their body flexibility and their ability to express the forms. The courses at this level will usually have the corresponding Basic Level courses as prerequisites unless waived with the consent of the instructor.
In addition, the instruction provides comprehensive training in the elements of body movement forms and nuance in Chinese Dance. Students will learn the methods and techniques of Chinese Dance performances that are characterized by the external expression of the dancer’s internal sensibility. Training in basic skills is combined with techniques to help students deepen their understanding and appreciation of Chinese Dance.
The Intermediate Level dance training also exposes students to more advanced skills and techniques in order to cultivate their ability to precisely express the required dance forms.
Advanced Level: 1–2 years
The Advanced Level instruction seeks to improve the student’s sensibility and general knowledge in dance and his or her artistic expression. At the same time, this level of instruction further refines students’ advanced dance skills and techniques through comprehensive training and emphasizes the speed and quality of these movements, as well as the accuracy of integrated movements. This training can help students lay a good foundation for becoming outstanding performing artists.
Students also learn the methods and body rhythms for connecting various movements, as well as the proper coordination of these movements. The purpose is for them to gradually understand and be able to express the spirit of Chinese Dance in their performances.
Students who successfully graduate from the Advanced Level Dance Program will not only possess superb skills and techniques in dance but will have mastered the ability to convey the goodness and beauty of Classical Chinese Dance.