Shir Lee Wu, nationally celebrated master teacher, received Youth American Grand Prix “Outstanding Teacher Award” in 2003, 2008, and 2013. Ms. Wu has trained many serious and talented dance students for two decades. One of her students became a principal dancer with Pacific Northwest Ballet, and others have gone on to dance with New York City Ballet, Boston Ballet, Sarasota Ballet, Ballet Met, and Martha Graham Dance Company in New York.
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 training, and graduated from the 8 year course under the Russian Vaganova Syllabus. 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, 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.
In 1987, Ms. Wu retired from her professional performing career, and has distinguished herself in her ability as a professional ballet teacher. She opened her own school, Columbus City Ballet School in Columbus, Ohio and devotes all her time and knowledge to the students.
Ms. Wu has over 27 years of teaching experience, and she continues to study pedagogy with Paris Opera Ballet School professor, Giber Meyer, and former ABT Ballet Master, Jorgen Schneider. Ms. Wu has guest taught in Beijing Dance Academy, Taipei University of the Arts, Hong Kong Contemporary Dance Company, Joffrey Academy of Dance, North Carolina Dance Theater School Summer Intensive, Sarasota Ballet Academy, Oleg Briansky Summer Intensive and others. Her outstanding contribution to the arts and young dancers has been recognized and appreciated nationally and internationally.
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