An Indiana University African American dance group is on a one week cultural exchange with China University of Mining and Technology Beijing’s (CUMTB) School of Law and Humanities.
The visit came about after Yingli Zhou, a visiting scholar, saw the African American Dance Company and was so impressed she thought it would be a great idea to bring the group to China for a cultural exchange, said Carolyn Calloway-Thomas, chair of IU’s Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies.
This marks the first time the group has been to China, said Iris Rosa, the dance company's director since it’s founding in 1974.
“It’s incredible, the reality of being in a place like this and seeing our students in a place like this,” Rosa said. “We’re happy to be here.”
None of the company's student members is a dance major; their studies span the spectrum of IU’s academic disciplines, such as biochemistry, neuroscience, human biology and fashion design.
The program is a structured course for college credit and students attend three-hour classes twice a week, Rosa said. The course syllabus includes rehearsal and performance.