Department of Dance

Fei Tian College’s Dance Department at Middletown offers courses that enrich and cultivate our students to the highest standard of artistic expression in both Classical Chinese Dance and Classical Ballet. Its curriculum uniquely combines education in both traditions. To our best knowledge, it is the only such program in the United States.

 

The Department of Dance at Fei Tian College’s Middletown Campus offers two degrees in Dance:

·         Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Dance

·         Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Dance

 

During the first year, all students follow the basic curriculum by taking the core dance courses in both Chinese Classical Dance and Classical Ballet. In the second year, students should declare their concentration; and the next three-year sequence is specially designed for each “concentration”. Training in both concentrations equips students with technical and performance skills, artistry development, and the cultivation of a profound understanding of Classical Ballet or Classical Chinese, the two most comprehensive dance systems in the world. The program also prepares students for a wide range of career options including advanced studies in related professional fields.

 

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Classical Ballet

 

The Classical Ballet concentration offers courses in fundamental Ballet training, Pointe, Partnering, Repertoire, plus related academic studies. This concentration will prepare students for immediate employment in ballet companies and schools as dancers, choreographers, directors, dance educators, and in arts management. Some students may choose to go on to graduate studies.

Classical Chinese Dance

 

The Classical Chinese Dance concentration offers courses in fundamental Classical Chinese Dance training, Tumbling, Chinese Ethnic and Folk Dances, Repertoire, plus related academic studies. This concentration will prepare students for immediate employment in Classical Chinese dance companies and schools as dancers, choreographers, directors, dance educators, and in arts management. Some students may choose to go on to graduate studies.

Dance Faculty

Yung Yung Tsuai

Professor, Chair

Yung Yung Tsuai Lerner was born in China and grew up in Taiwan. She came to New York under a personal scholarship from the Modern Dance Icon, Martha Graham, in 1970. Since then, she has worked with Martha Graham, Pearl Lang, Daniel Nagrin, Susan Stroman, and other choreographers. 

 

She founded the Yung Yung Tsuai Dance Company and the Byrdcliffe Performing Arts Organization in 1979. Her company has toured throughout the USA, Spain, Italy, Taiwan and Japan during the 80’s and 90’s.

In the past three decades she has appeared on Broadway musicals, such as Miss Saigon, The King and I, and Sayonara. She has worked as an actress, a dancer and a choreographer with regional theaters such as the Pan Asian Theater Rep., Yangtze Repertory Theater, La Mama Theater, Bank Street Theater, Naked Feet, and the Papermill Playhouse among others. She was a rehearsal director for the Cloud Gate Dance Company in Taiwan and Pearl Lang and dancers in New York in the early 90’s. 

Since 1981, she has taught extensively at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, NYU, George Washington University, SUNY Purchase, Long Island University, Fei Tian Academy and other colleges and schools. 

Alison Chen

Instructor, in Classical Chinese Dance

Alison Chen received her BFA from Feitian College. She is presently in the Graduate Program at Fe Tian College, majoring in Classical Chinese Dance. She was the principal dancer with Shen Yun Performing Art Company from 2012 to 2013. She has taught CCD at the Fei Tian Academy of the Arts, California, Clearview School in Toronto, and Northern Academy of the Arts. She received a Bronze Award in the Adult Female Division 6th International Classical Chinese Dance Competition in 2016. 

Mingye Liu

Instructor, in Classical Chinese Dance

Mingye Liu obtained his B.F.A. in Classical Chinese Dance from Fei Tian College. He has taught Classical Chinese Dance in England, France, Germany, and the United States, and has choreographed award-winning dance pieces, which his students performed in competitions such as the International Dance Challenge Competition.

Melissa Padham-Maass

Adjunct Associate Professor, in Classical Ballet

Melissa Padham-Maass received her early dance training at the Dancer’s Studio in Warwick, NY under the direction of Lucinda Henry. Melissa holds a BFA with honors from the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College (SUNY) and an MSc in Dance Science from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London.

 

Melissa graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts with a MFA in Dance in May 2014. Melissa has been performing professionally both in NYC and around the country with Forces of Nature Dance Theatre since 2005 and Darrah Carr Dance since 2006. Melissa has had the opportunity to perform at many renowned venues including The Apollo, The New Victory Theater, Jacob’s Pillow, Central Park Summer Stage, The Duke on 42nd St, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Symphony Space, Riverside Church, The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Skirball Center, 92nd St Y, The Today Show, Celebrate Brooklyn and Aaron Davis Hall.

Ms. Padham-Maass is the Artistic Director of the Warwick Summer Arts Festival and The Warwick Center for Performing Arts and has co-directed Eros Movement Company, Brooklyn Contemporary Ballet Collective, Artisan Dance Company of Sugar Loaf, NY, and the Identically Different Dance Festival. She has presented work at various venues including Dixon Place, Center for Performance Research, Triskelion Arts, Tisch School of the Arts, WAX works, Built on Stilts Festival in Martha's Vineyard, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Brooklyn Actors Fund and 60x60 Dance at the Winter Garden Theater. Melissa has been on faculty or a guest teacher at Joffrey Ballet School, The Dancer’s Studio in Warwick, NY, Connecticut Dance Center, Conservatory of Dance in Wilton CT, Harlem Children’s Zone, Kinderdance NYC and Brooklyn, Gallatin School at NYU, Scarsdale Ballet, Harlem Educational Activities Fund (HEAF), SUNY Purchase and the Sugar Loaf Performing Arts Academy. Melissa is currently an adjunct professor and the resident choreographer at SUNY Rockland.

Vladimir Roje

Adjunct Associate Professor, in Classical Ballet

Vladimir Roje began his ballet training at the National School of Choreography in Sofia, Bulgaria. He received his BS and MS in Pedagogy and Choreography at the Ballet Faculty of the State Academy of Music and Arts, Sofia. He is a bronze medalist and laureate from the 14th Varna International Ballet Competition in 1990. 

 

Since his graduation, Mr. Roje has performed as a Principal Dancer with National Companies in Bulgaria, Germany, Austria, as well as the Carolina Ballet (NC), the New Jersey Ballet Company and the Albany Berkshire Ballet. Throughout his extensive dance career, Mr. Roje has held the leading roles in many classical ballets, such as Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Romeo and Juliet, Giselle, La Bayadere, La Sylphide, Napoli, Don Quixote, La Fille Mal Gardee, Coppelia, Esmeralda, Sylvia, Cinderella, Paquita, La Vivandiere and The Nutcracker.

As a Principal Dancer, Mr. Roje has had the opportunity to work with numerous world acclaimed ballet masters and choreographers such as Yuri Grigorovich (Bolshoi Ballet), Irina Kolpakova (ABT, Marinsky Ballet), Alexander Grant (Covent Garden, UK), Dinna Bjørn (Danish Royal Ballet, Denmark) and more.


Mr. Roje worked as a ballet teacher at the Ballet School at the Opera House Graz (Austria), the School of the New Jersey Ballet Company, and the Stowe Dance Academy (Vermont). Currently, Mr. Roje is on the faculty of Fei Tian College (NY).

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