Shir Lee Wu was born in Jakarta, Indonesia. She began her ballet training at age 5 with Ms. Peggy Mayer from the Dutch National Ballet and Ms. Else Tjok from the Royal Ballet. At age 12, she received a merit scholarship to the Beijing Ballet Academy in China for professional ballet training, and graduated from the 8 year course under the Russian Vaganova Syllabus. She has earned honor certificates from Beijing Ballet Academy and Royal Ballet Academy of Dance. In 1972, she joined the Hong Kong Ballet company as a principal/soloist where she performed Coppelia with British ballerina Margot Fonteyn. Ms. Wu has danced many principal and soloist roles in the classical repertoire Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty-Blue Bird Pas de deux, Giselle, and Don Quixote. Ms. Wu was also invited as a choreographer with the Hong Kong British Television Company in 1972-1975.
Ms. Wu moved to the United State in 1975 and received full scholarships from Joffrey Ballet School, Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance and an Apprenticeship with Dance Theater of Harlem in New York. Anna Kisselgoff, dance critic for the New York Times wrote, “Shir Lee Wu thoroughly trained in classical ballet… is a highly impressive slim dancer of instinctive grace. She is also extraordinarily strong in her pointe work and has fabulous extension and line.” In 1986 she was invited back by Hong Kong Contemporary Dance Company as a guest principal for the company’s world premiere, Requiem.