CHICAGO – Mayor Lori Lights has declared 2022 the year of Chicago dance. 

And at Yin He Dance in Bridgeport, a Chinese dance center, they are connecting the past and the future with artistry and athleticism.

Dancers are preparing for next weekend’s recital, their first since the pandemic hit. 

Angela Tam is Yin He’s managing and artistic director. 

“It’s amazing because the recital is a celebration of all our students have achieved,” she said. “And it’s our first one in three years and we’ve been eager to show them off.”

Tam was among a group of dancers who founded the professional company in 2016. Then, opened the school sharing their love of folkloric, classical and contemporary Chinese dance.

More information at yinhedance.org

“We like to say we’re a Chinese dance company and that includes Chinese dance of the past, of the present and the future,” she said. 

With Chicago’s arts scene battered by the impact of the pandemic, Lightfoot designated 2022 the Year of Chicago Dance to help celebrate and support the city’s dance community.

“Chicago has a vibrant and diverse dance field,” Tam said. “And I think it’s really great the city is highlighting it this year.” 

And at a time when anti-Asian hate crimes have been on the rise, Yin He is opening cultural dialogue through the joy and power of movement step by step. 

“I think it really highlights how much cultures have in common,” Tam said. “Which is what you really need in times of hate. Every culture dances. It makes you feel happy connected to your fellow dancers to your fellow person.”

On Saturday August 20, the company will host a Chinese performing arts festival at Ping Tom Park. It’s part of the Night Out in the Parks program.