About the Course
This class will be focusing on Chinese folk dance technique focusing on Water Sleeves this year. The practice sleeves can be purchased with Yaya in class.
Yaya Zhang is an interdisciplinary young artist with 20 years of experience in
stage performance, dance choreography, and contemporary art creation. She is a graduate
of the Beijing Dance Academy and has performed in CATS: The Musical in Japan. She moved
to the U.S. in 2007 where she continues to work as a teacher and choreographer in major dance companies in Los Angeles.
In 2014, Yaya founded Yaya Dance Academy (YDA). Open ideals
and high quality art education is Yaya Dance Academy’s continuous mission. The academy works with dancers of all ages, mainly individuals who are remarkably passionate in dance. In just a few years, her students have participated in major American and international dance competitions, winning many awards and honors at Youth American Grand Prix (YAGP), Showstopper, and Kids Artistic Revue (KAR). They were invited to perform at YAGP’s finals in Florida in 2021, was named Outstanding Studio Award in KAR 2020 and many more just to name a few.
In 2015, as an independent artist, Yaya launched her contemporary dance work, “Being” and performed at the
LATC Art Festival where it was well-received. In 2016, Yaya cooperated with the Claire Trevor School of the Arts at the University of California, Irvine as a guest artist. From 2016-22, she served as the main choreographer for Pacific Symphony’s Spring Festival Concert, “Love Feast”, for six consecutive years. The “Love Feast” Lunar New Year Celebration launched at the Segerstrom Concert Hall, and students of YDA were published in the Los Angeles Times.
In 2020, YDA was invited to perform at the halftime show on the court of the American NBA basketball game. Yaya founded a non-profit organization, San Musae Cultural Center (SMCC) in 2018. SMCC’s ultimate objective is to embrace its community through arts, culture, education, and international exchanges. The organization creates a platform for younger generations to give back to society through meaningful activities.
In the past four years, SMCC have contributed nearly 300 free public courses in the arts to the community and have hosted the East Meets West International Music and Dance Festival.