At the age of 7, I was sent to a deaf-mute school. In a rhythm class, the teacher stomped his foot in order to send out vibrations to us, like elephants do when they pound the ground. The rhythmic vibrations went through my body from foot to head. Suddenly, I felt elated, feeling a happiness I had never experienced before. I lay prone on the floor and used my body to absorb the wonderful sound, I was so excited!
From that time on, I became fascinated with dance – an art form that is inseparable from music. I found that music made visible the means to which to express my inner world.
How I wished I had a pair of white dance shoes. My mother had to quit her job in order to take me around to seek medical advice. My family of four only depended on my father’s monthly salary of 50 Yuan. Poor as he was, my observant father satisfied my wish, and so on my birthday he bought me a pair of dance shoes. I held the white dance shoes fearing they might get soiled on the floor, and so I danced on the bed with happy tears flowing in my heart.
No matter how busy I was with schoolwork, everyday I always tried to make time to practice dancing. I practiced so hard that I got bruised. So as not to upset my mother, I always wore trousers, even in the summer, to cover this up. One day when she found out, she hugged me and cried.
After graduation from secondary school, I was admitted to Hubei Fine Arts Institute to study interior design. Unable to hear, I just sat in the first row and watched the teacher’s mouth while she speaking and writing. After class, I borrowed classmates’ notes to copy and study. Four years of college life passed quickly, and I graduated with outstanding academic results and a BA degree. I won a prize for designing an advertisement package in Hubei Province.
I always kept-up with my dancing. I became a dancer in the China Disabled People’s Performing Art Troupe when I was 15 years old. While at school, I also managed to tour around performing with the Troupe.