Utah dance company teaching in Beijing

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Professional dancers from Utah are in Beijing, performing in one of the many dance festivals surrounding the Olympics. But they aren't just performing they are reaching out to the Chinese.

Odyssey Dance Theatre took a trip around the world to be part of the Summer Games. In China, they are teaching the people how to express themselves through dance.

One dancer named James says, "I think I found a new way to express my emotions, my feelings in my body. It's new for me, I like this kind of way."

There are very few modern dance companies in China, that is why Odyssey Dance Theatre decided to teach it. Eldon Johnson, from the dance theatre says, "It was difficult because of the language barrier at first, but once I started teaching and demonstrating, I think they were able to pick up."

"First of all the teacher taught me that you should be happy, you should have fun, you will make a lot of faults but just to keep trying," says James.

Two other dance companies from the United States taught classes as well, everything from modern, hip-hop, and ballet.

At the end of class, the Utah teachers were proud of their students and say it is an experience not soon forgotten for teacher or student.

"We have no idea how to talk to each other in our language, but we can do the same thing through movement," says Katie Allred who is from the Odyssey.

The dance theatre will be performing throughout the week at different theaters in Beijing. They will be doing a lot of hip-hop, something they discovered is very popular with the locals.

E-mail: abutterfield@ksl.com

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