An American Girl in Beijing

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Sitting here in the exquisite lobby of the hotel in Beijing, I’ve finally found time to be able to truly reflect on all I’ve experienced the past few weeks while I’ve been on tour with the Company in China. I feel like everyday I wake up and think “Wow, I’m clear across the world, in China!” (I thought it would hit me when I was on the plane. But I guess I still can’t believe I’m here). I’ve been trying to not only keep a journal of the trip, but also take a bunch of pictures that I can look back on to remember everything!

At the entrance to the Antique Market!

At the entrance to the Antique Market!

One of my favorite memories in Shanghai was when we took a shopping trip to the Antique Market. The Antique Market was the exact picture of what I had imagined China to be like in my head; very rural and authentic, unlike the downtown atmosphere of Shanghai. The market was where I truly felt like I was in a completely different country.

A gorgeous painting of Yuan Yuan in the hallway of her school.

A gorgeous painting of Yuan Yuan in the hallway of her school.

Another thing I enjoyed in Shanghai was being able to take class at the Shanghai Dance School where Yuan Yuan Tan trained when she was younger. Not only was it a nice first class to get my body moving after the long flight, but I also thought it was cool to look into the studios and see how the kids in Shanghai train in comparison to how we train at SFBS.

Welcoming Party in Beijing at the St. Regis

Apprentice Myles Thatcher and me at the welcome reception in Beijing at the St. Regis

Since we’ve been here in Beijing, my favorite memory so far has been our trip to the Silk Market. It was nothing like I had ever experienced before. Immediately when you go inside and walk down the aisle filled with booths, the people call out to you saying “Lady, would you like jeans? How about shoes for you, beautiful girl? I will give you the best price for this hat!” Sometimes they’ll even grab your hand and try to show you what they have to offer, whipping out their calculators to begin the bargaining process! It was so much fun, and all the bargaining tricks that I picked up in Shanghai definitely came in handy at this huge five-story mall filled with everything you could imagine.

Myles doing a shoulder sit with a girl selling us jeans at the silk market. She said she’d give us them for cheap if we did ballet for her!

Myles doing a shoulder sit with a girl selling us jeans at the Silk Market. She said she’d give us a good deal if we did ballet for her!

Well I’m off to watch the amazing mixed-repertory show tonight! The mixed-rep show in Shanghai was phenomenal. I was able to watch from backstage, which is always incredible because you can see every detail that goes into every movement. It makes me not only appreciate the work of the dancers, but the minds of the choreographers as well. So, needless to say, I’m looking forward to watching it again here in Beijing and being able to perform in Swan Lake later this week!

Myles doing a shoulder sit with a girl selling us jeans at the silk market. She said she’d give us them for cheap if we did ballet for her!

The four SF Ballet School girls on tour getting coffee before the mixed-rep show in Shanghai

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One Comment

  1. avatar Kevin & Kathy Hartzler
    Posted October 3, 2009 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    WOW, what a great experience! We loved reading about your trip and all the fun things you are doing in China. Pictures are great too! Enjoy every minute….you are making wonderful memories to keep forever.

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