US-CHINA YOUTH DANCE EXCHANGE
The Youth Dance Exchange is a unique experience for young aspiring dancers attending American high schools and pre-professional dancers from top Chinese dance institutes to connect through a shared art form. The exchange aims to inspire cross-cultural artistic expression and showcase youth from the US and China collaborating in the arts.
The exchange brings talented students from The Edge School of the Arts - a noted dance studio located in Queens, New York - to Beijing for a one-week intensive training in Chinese folk and classical dance. During the program, the dancers take part in APSA’s student-focused language learning and 21st-Century professional skills training to enhance their learning experience abroad.
Youth Dance Exchange Background
Since 2013, Americans Promoting Study Abroad (APSA) and Edge School of the Arts (ESOTA) have partnered to facilitate the Youth Dance Exchange. Together they have brought 38 young dancers from New York to Beijing. APSA and ESOTA hope to provide a total of 100 American dancers with a cross-cultural exchange by 2020.
The dance exchange is funded 100% through local donations.
Support this years Dance Scholars by making a donation today.
Sadiyah Stephens, 2017 Dance Scholar
The Youth Dance Exchange seeks to give ambitious young dancers the opportunity to experience first-hand what it means to be a global citizen and cross-cultural dancer. The exchange selects high school dancers from Queens New York, referred to as Dance Scholars, and connects them with Chinese dancers in Beijing. During the exchange, the Dance Scholars train daily at a premier Chinese dance school under the instruction of renowned professionals. Outside the studio the Dance Scholars will explore the city immersing themselves in the local language and culture. Throughout the exchange, the Dance Scholars connect with a network of professionals representing a variety of fields to gain exposure to careers and companies that are making a global impact today. The culmination of the exchange is a collaborative US-China performance to best display the accomplishments and collective talent of the young American and Chinese dancers.
YOUTH DANCE DIPLOMACY
About the 中美Dance Diplomacy Initiative
中美Dance Diplomacy is an initiative to empower American and Chinese high school students through a cross-cultural exchange. The initiative brings American youth to China and will now also bring Chinese dancers to the US. The program is designed to empower participants to represent and share their cultures with one another while broadening their dance abilities and developing valuable professional skills with a global perspective. In partnership with Chinese and American dance schools and institutions, APSA competitively selects dancers to participate as diplomats in the intensive exchange program.
The History and Growth of the Initiative
In 2013, Sandra Jeffrey of the Bernice Johnson legacy founded the New York-Beijing Dance Exchange on behalf of APSA and developed a long-term partnership with the Edge School of the Arts based in Queens, New York. Together the two organizations have brought over 40 dancers from New York to Beijing and have witnessed the powerful connection that can develop by connecting youth from different cultures through their shared passion for dance. In celebration of the program’s 5th-year anniversary and increased support, we’re expanding the program into a larger initiative called “中美Dance Diplomacy” which will provide a two-way exchange to empower American and Chinese youth.
中美Dance Diplomacy Learning Outcomes
During the program, dance diplomats gain exposure to a new language and culture, participate in professional dance classes, build connections with local dancers through immersive exchange activities, explore the local community and cultural sites, as well as develop professional skills through tailored workshops and mentoring sessions. After successful completion of the program, participants become part of the APSA Alumni community and will gain access to further personal and professional development.
2019 Dance Diplomacy Exchange Details
Online Application Opens: September 1st 2018
Available to dancers in New York and the tri-state area only.
Click to preview a copy of the 2018 online application.
Final Selection: December 1st -15th 2018
Admissions & Orientation
Program Admissions: January. 15th - 30th 2019
Pre-Departure Online Training: February 1st - March 30
Fundraising Deadline: March 1st
Spring Break Program
NY - Beijing Exchange: TBD
Online Mentoring: April 10 - May 30
Independent Diplomacy Project Deadline: Oct. 10
2018 Diplomat Requirements & Contributions
In order to become a Dance Diplomat all applicants must:
Be enrolled in high school
Attend a partner Dance Studio / Institution
Complete the online application and audition
Complete the medical form and get clearance from a medical doctor
Fundraise $1000 towards the Dance Diplomacy Initiative
$800-$1000 New York - Beijing return flights
$3000 covers all costs of the 10-day immersive exchange in Beijing
Once selected dance diplomats are required to take part in:
Apply for a new passport (if needed)
Apply for a 90 day China Tourist Visa
Pre-departure meetings (in-person and online)
Online interactive diplomacy training prior to the start of the program
Create an individual diplomacy project
Participate in the 中美 Dance Performance and diplomacy activities abroad
Implement the individual diplomacy project after the program
Individual Diplomacy Project
Each dance diplomat will be mentored and supported throughout the program to tailor a personal vision and goal for how they would like to promote the importance of people-people relations and US-China collaboration through the performing arts. The project will help build confidence, strengthen critical thinking and enhance communication skills.
中美Dance Diplomacy Selection Committee
All applicants will be fairly assessed based on 3 key indicators: (1) Dance ability (2) Passion for becoming a Dance Diplomat (3) Interest for going to China and immersing in the Chinese culture.
"Cross-Cultural dance is on a pedestal in my mind.
Everyone's culture is beautiful and what's better than
one beautiful culture is the unity of cultures.
A portion of the world's problems today have to do with unity
and other people being looked down on.
If something like dance has the power to bring
cultures together and display how beautiful it can be together,
then I'd love to be a part of it. A cross cultural dancer would be a courageous
leader that has potential and drive to change this world for the better."
2017 Dance Scholar
This unique experience is designed for young aspiring dancers attending American
high schools and pre-professional dancers from top Chinese dance institutes to connect through a shared art form. The exchange inspires cross-cultural artistic expression and showcases youth from the US and China collaborating in the arts.
中美 DANCE DIPLOMACY PARTNER INSTITUTIONS
Join the Initiative
Dance Schools, Programs and Studios that serve high school youth in the US or China can contact us for more details and requirements for joining the initiative. We encourage parents or dancers that are interested in this program to share this information with your dance school and encourage them to contact us.
Schools can contact us for more information by emailing: