2006-06-23 / Front Page

Jazz company dances through every major city in China

By Amy Zhang

Jessika Harlin, (in front) of the Columbia City Jazz Dance Company, loves the way dance makes her feel.Jessika Harlin, (in front) of the Columbia City Jazz Dance Company, loves the way dance makes her feel. Dancing: the new form of international diplomacy? The gate to a new era of camaraderie in Sino-American relations?

Regardless of the potentially larger implications, for the Columbia City Jazz Dance Company, there is one thing that dancing is for certain: the key to an exciting summer vacation in China! However, the use of the word "vacation" is somewhat debatable.

According to Jessika Harlin, the dancers will be performing two shows every other day. They will be performing in every major city in China: Jinan, Qingdao, Zibo, Weifang, Chongquing,

Guanzhou, Shenzehn, Shanghai, Tianjin, Hangzhou, Beijing. "We will be in a different city everyday; we're supposed to visit 25 different cities total!" Harlin says.

Yet maybe "vacation" is still an appropriate word, for Jessika at least. For her is not so much work as a source of happiness. Jessika, a 17 year old and a rising senior at Dreher High School, has been dancing with Columbia City Jazz for six years and her enthusiasm for dance is boundless. "I just love the way it makes me feel," she exclaims. "And I've never been to China before."

The group will also be visiting the Summer Palace, the Great Wall, and Tiananmen Square where they will fulfill the other part of their trip to China: just being tourists. Columbia City Jazz leaves June 29 for five weeks.

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