OCA Performance Ensemble

For performance requests, please email info@ocapghpa.org

Please keep in mind that our performers are all volunteers and/or students so not every performance request can be fulfilled as it depends on performer availability.

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 adolescents in the area the art of Chinese dance, the OCA Performance Ensemble now includes a Lion Dance, Yoyo and Dragon Dance team.

There are over 40 participants in the OCA Performance Ensemble. These students, young professionals, and adults come from throughout the Pittsburgh region 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 as the premiere Chinese performance ensemble in the region.

OCA Dance

We have a group of enthusiastic school-aged students, between the ages of 8 to 18, who are OCA Youth members and adults interested in learning Chinese dances and other Chinese folk arts. These groups are 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 dance throughout the community. Our dance teams have performed at charity events, galas, banquets, outdoor events, school functions, and more. Through this program, these students have the opportunity to receive community service recognitions, including the Congressional Awards. (www.congressionalaward.org)

OCA Adult Class

After many years of requests from the enthusiastic ladies in the community, OCA officially offered an adult class to ladies who had a love to learn the Chinese dances in the Fall of 2015. They gather every week to learn the dances and are taught by OCA VP of Cultural Affairs, Chiapih Shaw.

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.

To learn more about our Ensemble, contact Chiapih Shaw at cultural.affairs@ocapghpa.org

Lion Dance, Yo-Yo, & Dragon Teams

The Chinese Lion Dance, Chinese Yoyo, and Dragon teams are a partnership with Win-Win Kung Fu and Zang Tae Kwon Do, instructed Allen Peng. 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, and the Dragon team is a regular participant in local parades and other events.