Acrobats share Chinese heritage

Emily Benda

Parasol balancing, people stacking and one-handed handstands are just a few of the highlights students can expect to see at the Golden Dragon Acrobats showcase at 7 p.m. Friday at Stephens Auditorium.

The show is one of Student Union Board’s multicultural events that takes place throughout the semester and is free to the public.

Marcus Cottrell, SUB graduate adviser, said the goal of bringing the Golden Dragon Acrobats to Iowa State was to give spectators a different perspective.

“It’s a community event,” Cottrell said. “It’s meant for Ames citizens as well as students.”

Contortionist Ya Ru Wang agreed that the Golden Dragon Acrobats’ show is not not only about the tricks but also showcases the performers’ Chinese heritage.

“This is a great opportunity for the audiences to learn about the Chinese history and part of our culture,” Wang said. “Audiences can see how much effort, practice and time we put into the show.”

Wang’s parents sent her to acrobatic school when she was a young girl, where she was hand picked by the troupe’s director, Danny Chang. Wang has been a member of the Golden Dragon Acrobats since she was about 6 years old.

“At first, [I] was nervous but now I enjoy the opportunity to introduce Chinese culture to the audience,” Wang said.

The members of the current touring company tour internationally and have performed in all 48 states of the United States within the past four years. Wang said the best part of being a part of the Golden Dragon Acrobats was traveling to different places around the world.

Wang said the troupe’s intense touring schedule brings the performers and management together. Although most of them live far away from their families in China, they create their own support system within the company.

“All of the performers and staff in the company travel, eat [and] work together 24/7,” Wang said. “We are just like family.”

For more information, visit the event on SUB’s webpage. This show is free to the public.