Wangyue Zhou, Grade 11
UWCSEA Dover Campus
My best memory at UWC is performing traditional Chinese dance on the Chinese Cultural Evening (CCE). I joined Chinese performing art at the beginning of the year. This is a Zhixing activity, where Zhi means knowledge and Xing means activity. In Chinese, there’s an idiom called Zhixingheyi, which means putting knowledge into practice. We learn traditional Chinese dance and perform at large celebrations such as CCE (Chinese Cultural Evening), the annual new year celebration at UWCCSC. I’ve never touched dance before. When I decided to audition for this CAS activity, I was afraid of making even a small mistake because it would reject me from entering a new world. The audition was successful though; the student leader of the activity was astonished at my flexibility on hearing that I hadn’t participated in dance practices before. The dance room is located on the second floor of the sports center, allowing twenty people at most at a time. The large mirror at the front allows better coaching by reflecting movements. Time was tight for us. We started practicing in October, but the CCE was approaching in January. We only had four months in total, from choreography to the final performance. We spent two hours every week in the dance room. During these sessions, we kept learning new choreography and reviewing previous movements. The learning pace is fast. At first, I was not eagerly concerned about the choreography. I had suffered from practicing difficult movements. The length of the choreography is also hard to handle. I could hardly remember any movements learned from previous sessions every time I went to the dance room. I wanted to quit several times during these four months; even at the last moment, I considered of not performing with others on stage. However, one day I looked at the dance shoes and thought of shining on the large school stage, I decided to continue. I picked up the dance shoes and started going to the dance room much more frequently. “I’m not talented”, I thought, which means I had to practice more than others to compensate for the untalented nature. Therefore, I started practicing every day after dinner from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. The dance shoes had broken, and my limbs cramped often. I enjoy practicing alone because it’s a deep conversation with my soul. After practicing more than 20 hours a week, the CCE was eventually put on the agenda. The final performance was astonishing. I heard the audience shouting out my name for the splendid performance. That moment is one of the highlights of my life. It made every drop of blood, sweat, and tear worth the effort. My effort put into practice makes this activity so engaging that it helped develop my character. I’m more persevering than before. Thanks to dancing I can glitter on the stage and enjoy flowers and applause. Performing traditional Chinese dance on stage is therefore my best memory at UWC.