The Confucius Institute Talent Class: Your First Step in Chinese Culture

Teacher Fang tutoring students in the Classic Chinese dance Caiwei (Weevil picking)
Teacher Fang tutoring students in the Classic Chinese dance Caiwei (Weevil picking)

The Confucius Institute (CI) of The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus presented a Chinese Talent Class in Semester I of the 2022-2023 Academic Year, with singing and dancing, on Wednesdays from 5-6 pm.

The class was tutored by two China based teachers online and one Barbados based teacher in the classroom. Together they taught students one Chinese song and a dance piece, during the 8-week-evening class.

The two online teachers prepared videos beforehand and the Chinese volunteer teacher taught from the CI Language Laboratory, playing the videos and teaching students, and observing and directing their performances.

The talent class is supported by the China University of Political Science and Law, China, the partner institution of the Cave Hill Campus in the CI.  The lecturers are law graduates from the University of Law of the CUPL. In addition to their legal expertise, they are talented members of the university’s art troupe. Fang Qingmin (Gema), who taught offline, is a volunteer Chinese teacher at the CI. 

This is the first time that the CI has offered a course teaching students Chinese songs and Chinese dance. The idea was born of the interest shown in Chinese culture and Chinese talent at the CI’s cultural club and Chinese Bridge competitions. Lab work in the University of the West Indies course Introduction to Chinese Culture, provided inspiration, as well as experiments in training teachers in Chinese painting and Calligraphy. 

We hope to make this course a prototype for future talent courses at the CI. They may include short courses on calligraphy, Chinese painting, tea art, Tai Chi, and opera. Barbadian art lovers will have opportunites to acquire knowledge of Chinese art and deepen their appreciation of oriental culture. 

Would it not be a wonderful thing for you to present a Chinese song or a piece of Chinese classical dancing at your next social gathering? If you agree, please join us!

LI Renyan


Confucius Institute, UWI Cave Hill