Under the leadership and guidance of Shir Lee Wu, CCBS’s dance program is designed to ensure an environment to promote artistic excellence. Students will be taught by a professional faculty that understands the ability of each student so that throughout their training injuries can be prevented.
Her advanced preprofessional students, many on scholarship, have attended summer programs at some of the most prestigious ballet schools such as School of American Ballet in New York, Houston Ballet Academy, Pacific North West Ballet School, Chautauqua School of Dance, North Carolina Dance Theater-Dance Place, The Juilliard School in New York; ABT Summer Program, and Oleg Briansky’s Saratoga Summer Program.
During the past 10 years, Ms. Wu’s advanced ballet students have won gold medals at the Youth American Grand Prix competition in New York, others have placed 1st, 2nd, and 3rd at the YAGP regional competitions; one of her students was a finalist at the 8th Concord De Dance de Paris.
Many of her former students have joined professional companies such as Pacific Northwest Ballet, New York City Ballet, Martha Graham Contemporary Dance Company, Sarasota Ballet of Florida and BalletMet Columbus. Another student performed in the Broadway production of “The King and I,” which toured England.
Some of her students have gone on to become arts administrators, choreographers, artistic directors of their own schools, or ballet teachers or have chosen to pursue a degree in dance at university.
Ms. Wu has received several awards for her accomplishments in the dance world. In 2002, she received the Outstanding Teacher at YAGP Chicago’s competition and in 2004, the Artist Teacher Award from the School of Dance of the Chautauqua Institute.
She is much in demand as a guest teacher both in the United States and abroad, and has taught students and professionals in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Indonesia. In the U.S. she has taught at numerous summer programs, including Oleg Briansky, Saratoga, Southold Ballet Theater in Indiana, and Sarasota Ballet of Florida’s International Summer School and New American Youth Ballet.
Through generous grants from the Turner Foundation in Springfield, Ohio, Ms. Wu realized her dream of bringing dance to students in rural areas and was able to award scholarships to those who are economically challenged. Her outstanding contribution to the arts and young dancers has been recognized and appreciated nationally and internationally. She will continue to inspire her students as she shares her knowledge of 30 years with all who love to dance.