Home China A Conversation With Shen Yun Dancer Chelsea Cai

A Conversation With Shen Yun Dancer Chelsea Cai

Chelsea Cai is a dancer from New York’s Shen Yun Performing Arts. As a child, Chelsea’s mother made every effort to shape her into a young lady with traditional values.

Each dance in Shen Yun has a unique story. (Image via Shen Yun Performing Arts YouTube/Screenshot)
Each dance in Shen Yun tells a unique story. (Image via Shen Yun Performing Arts YouTube/Screenshot)

Chelsea learned to play the pipa and flute at an early age, along with Chinese calligraphy and traditional Chinese dance. Her mother hoped she would pick up the habit of a good posture through her dance training. At the age of five, Chelsea became interested in dance and choose this path for further study.

Traditional Chinese Dance requires focus and poise. (Image via Shen Yun Performing Arts YouTube/Screenshot)
Traditional Chinese dance requires focus and poise. (Image via Shen Yun Performing Arts YouTube/Screenshot)

She studied dance at Fei Tian Academy of the Arts and began touring with Shen Yun in 2007.

Chelsea was taught traditional values at a young age, values that are often disregarded in modern society. She believes that one really needs to look inside and develop a deep understanding to be able to present something beautiful on the outside.

Chelsea Cai, Shen Yun Dancer. (Image via Shen Yun Performing Arts)
Chelsea Cai, Shen Yun dancer. (Image via Shen Yun Performing Arts)

Chelsea noted that because the dancers from Shen Yun are together every day, they feel as if they are moving as one when performing on stage. There is a real awareness among the dancers regarding each other and their surroundings, and this is reflected in their seamless movements during each performance.

The dancers of Shen Yun focus on how they can improve the dancing and how they can become a better person so they will send out a positive message to the audience. (Image via Shen Yun Performing Arts YouTube/Screenshot)
The dancers focus on how they can improve their dancing and themselves as people, and this positive message is conveyed to the audience through their performance. (Image via Shen Yun Performing Arts YouTube/Screenshot)

Every dance in Shen Yun has its own unique meaning. Chelsea references an introduction to the Mongolian ethnic chopstick dance with a concept about working together. The master of ceremony said:

This idea of working together applies to every dance performance, if only one person does well on stage, its meaningless, the audience doesn’t see just one person; they see the entire performance. Everyone needs to do well – this is everyone’s strength.

Chelsea treasures traditional values. Here, she is playing the pipa, a traditional Chinese instrument. (Image via Shen Yun Performing Arts YouTube/Screenshot)
Chelsea treasures traditional values. Here, she is playing the pipa, a traditional Chinese instrument. (Image via Shen Yun Performing Arts YouTube/Screenshot)

Chelsea Cai:

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Jessica Kneipphttp://www.jessicakneipp.net
Jessica grew up in the tropics of North Australia. She writes about films, and occasionally gets to write and direct them. She has a love of silent films, they are the closest she will ever get to "time travel." However, on some real travels she spotted a polar bear while visiting the Arctic, and has enjoyed the view of the Mongolian plains on a train from Russia to China. Her favorite fruit is pomegranate and her most memorable gift is a Super 8 camera from her husband, which she is keen to shoot some footage of Antarctic icebergs on one day.  

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