Nana Yang started her ballet training at the age of 7. Three years later, she was admitted to the Beijing Dance Academy Affiliated Secondary Dance School,and started her professional ballet study for 7 years, under the tutelage of Yang Lin and Jian Wang. During the school, Yang rehearsed and performed many classic ballet repertoires, such as "Swan Lake", "Pirates", "The Nutcracker", "La Bayadère", "Notre Dame de Paris", etc. At the same time, she learned Chinese folk dance for 4 years, mainly including Tibetans, Mongolian, Uygur, Korean, Han, etc.
In 2003, Yang entered the Dance Department of Capital Normal University, majoring in dance education, and received her bachelor's degree in dance education in 2007. During the college time,she not only refined the teaching methods of ballet and Chinese folk dance, but also learned Chinese classical dance and teaching methods. She had practiced and worked in many educational institutions in Beijing, Shanghai, Changsha and other places in China. In 2009, she was hired by Beijing Dance LDTX Training Center as the manager of the training department. In 2014,Yang immigrated to the United States with her family and was invited to serve as a dance teacher for many years in dance education and training institutions in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, Austin and more.
In 2020, Yang and her husband Jun Shen founded the dance studio Nana Ballet in Austin, Texas, hoping to share their passion and experience in dance with the Austin community.
Jun (Sunny) Shen
Jun Shen began his formal dance training during high school, where he learned ballet, Chinese classical opera, and Chinese folk dance. He earned his bachelor's degree in dance at Beijing Capital Normal University in 2001, and worked with Beijing Dance LDTX as a full-time dancer and choreographer from 2005 to 2009. In the past several years, he has performed and choreographed many works at various worldwide dance festivals such as Beijing Dance Festival, Grand Performances (LA), Dance Salad Festival (Houston), Busan International Dance Festival (South Korea), Culture Scapes (Switzerland), Braunschweig Dance Festival (Germany), and many more. He has also collaborated with many artists and dance companies such as Willy Tsao, Janis Claxton, Charles O. Anderson, Hugo Dalton, Wang Jianwei, Sally Jacques, as well as Ziru Production, Alonzo-King Lines Ballet Training Program, Ellen Bartel Dance Collection, Kathy Dunn Hamrick Dance Company, and Andrea Ariel Dance Theatre. In addition, Shen has rich teaching experiences both nationally and internationally. In 2013, Shen joined the graduate dance program at The University of Texas at Austin, and earned his MFA in 2016. After his graduation, he formed Shen Jun Movement Effect and started teaching dance at Austin Community College as an assistant professor. In June of 2017, Shen formally joined Blue Lapis Light as a principal dancer and choreographer, and in 2018 was awarded Best Dancer by the Austin Critics Table for his performance in Belonging, Part One. In 2019, Shen’s work Centrifugation was selected to perform at the gala concert of American College Dance Association South Central Regional conference.