About OCA Cultural Outreach
OCA Pittsburgh is the only OCA chapter in the nation with a VP of Cultural Affairs serving on the board. This position was established back in the early 1990s and its mission is to promote and educate Chinese culture in the community. Mrs. Chiapih Shaw has been serving in this position since 1994. She has been actively involved in the teaching and education of the Chinese culture and dance in the Pittsburgh area for more than 30 years. Her teaching experience includes local schools as well as at Carnegie Mellon and Penn State. She choreographs many of the dances that the performance ensembles present. Because of her dedication and volunteerism, Mrs. Shaw was a winner of the 2007 WQED/Dominion VITA Award and the 2007 OCA National Unsung Hero Award.
Initially created to teach teens in the area the art of Chinese dance, the OCA Youth Performance Ensemble also includes a Lion Dance, Yoyo and Dragon Dance team.
Over 30 children participate in the OCA Youth Performance Ensemble. These students come from throughout the city to practice on Sundays at Wilkins School Community Center. They receive tuition-free classes as part of their OCA membership and in return, have the opportunity to perform at many events throughout Pittsburgh and its surrounding areas.
Chinese Dance Ensemble
This is a group of enthusiastic teens, between the ages of 8 to 18, who are OCA Youth members interested in learning Chinese dances and other Chinese folk arts. This group is fully supported by OCA and under the direction of OCA VP Cultural Affairs, Chiapih Shaw and her teaching assistant, Rachel Sew. The objective is to educate and share with these Chinese American teens the glory, splendor and richness of the Chinese heritage and to promote Chinese culture events throughout the community. There are two class levels: Advanced and Pre-Teen. The Ensemble has performed at charity events, galas, banquets, outdoor events, school functions, and more. There are 3 levels: Beginner for ages 8-10; Intermediate for ages 11-13; and Advanced for ages 14 and up. Through this program, these youngsters have received numerous community service recognitions, including the Congressional Awards. (www.congressionalaward.org)
Rachel Sew serves as the Assistant to the OCA Cultural Vice President, and also as the OCA Youth Performance Ensemble Assistant Dance Instructor and Choreographer.
The current leaders for the dance team is Mona Guo and Halley Cook.
To learn more about our Ensemble, contact Chiapih Shaw at firstname.lastname@example.org
Lion Dance and Yoyo Team
The Chinese Lion Dance and Chinese Yoyo teams are instructed by Allen Peng and teaching assistants Steven Lo and David Tsui. They are dedicated to sharing the Chinese culture through their performances that incorporate a modern touch of their own uniqueness to the traditional Chinese choreographies. The teams are all volunteers who range from as young as middle school to working professionals. Though Chinese Lion dances are primarily used for the celebration of Lunar New Years, the teams perform year-round throughout the Greater Pittsburgh Area. Our Chinese yoyo team continues to master the intricate tricks and formations synchronizing our movements with the music itself.
For more information, contact Allen Peng at email@example.com