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A class of their own

By Chen Nan | China Daily | Updated: 2022-04-08 08:27
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Students and former teachers of the "Fuzhou class" get together for a group photo at Beijing Dance Academy in 2017, celebrating the 20th anniversary of their graduation.[Photo provided to China Daily]

Students of a pioneering program at Beijing Dance Academy in the 1990s celebrate the 25th anniversary of their graduation, Chen Nan reports.

As a child, Yao Chen loved to imitate the dancers she watched on TV and dreamed about becoming a dancer herself.

In 1993, when she was 14 years old, Yao left her hometown, Fuzhou, a coastal city in China's Fujian province, to study Chinese folk dance at Beijing Dance Academy.

She stood out among her peers during the audition thanks to her body type being the "right" kind for dancing, especially her long arms and legs.

Now, at 42, Yao is one of the most well-known actresses in China and performs in TV dramas and movies. She says her memories about life at the academy are still vivid.

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