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Written by Daniel Otero

The mystical Chinese dancer


By: Daniel Otero



She came into the classroom one day, poised at the level of a Yuan Yuan Tan or possibly a Li Cunxin.  Moving gracefully, she took to the dance as if it was her first skin.  Antiquated, an art done long ago, but never forgotten!


After all, the heart never forgets!


Sweetness evoked from this ‘young swan’ who had to cut her ballet career short, because of a waist injury.


And one had to inquire, what made her love the dance?  This magical sound that made her twirl with her beautifully long-black hair; which delicately wrapped around her, every time she turned!


Here is where she sprung to life!  When she heard that word, ‘ballet’. The popular word made famous by the French in the 17th Century.


She’s drawn into a world that’s still all her own.  This youngster is easily wrapped into the pleasures of the dance.  A culture, a couture, which came almost 400-years ago from the Italian Renaissance and its Royal Courts.

Watch her and you’ll notice!  This dancer, that even her sneakers look like a cute pointe shoe!  Stockings and all to appear almost tutu like, but she’s classy after nine years of training.


I couldn’t basically say more, till I decided to interview this China doll.  One who looked so majestic after a performance.  And that was when, she had mentioned about her dance experience for a charity event years before in Shenzhen.  There she was praised and recognized for her talent.


She mentioned and hoped one day, more and more ballet dancers, and their superb techniques can be recognized the world over! Since China doesn’t only have ballet aficionados, but also people who are professional enough to take this dance-art around the globe!


This dancer has an extremely sensitive and romantic soul.  One to fill-up any class with her joy and laughter.


She makes a person think about the graceful dancers whom came before her.


This dance-art cannot only be seen, it has to be heard!

Ballet didn’t only develop beautifully with those classics like, “The Nutcracker”.


Once it had spread from Italy with its balleto styles into France, it sure rose through the Russian Empire.  Throughout Russia, the art was given a newly-elevated concept and meaning.  The maximum expression of dance power and glory from a performer  such as, Ana Pavlova.  That ‘Russian Princess’ who mystified the crowds all over the world in the early 20th Century.  So much so, that when she reached Australia, a yummy dessert called ‘the Pavlova’ was created in her honor!

In contemporary times, it has been dancer/actor, Mikhail Baryshnikov who has carried the torch from Russia to Hollywood.


However, I am glad it was Chloe who reminded me what was to feel the passion of ballet internally and all over again!  In my youth, I remembered practicing ballet for six-whole months without much talent and therefore, gave it up!  I also remembered and felt invigorated in what was to see a show, [those which I loved] at the Radio City Music Hall or at the Lincoln Center, in my hometown of New York City.


These are the memories which are sure to last.  I hope she can look back in 30-years and feel the same way happily about her life!



Dedicated to my student: Chloe Ye

About the author

Daniel Otero

A New Yorker who has been living in China for the past 10 years. He's a freelance writer/journalist and ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher.

A former member of the military with extensive travel to 50 countries and has lived in six.

Lover of life, good food, travel, writing and dealing with social issues.