Shen Zhiyu: Dancing Brightens My Youth

“My journey at WKU begins with dancing.”

Shen Zhiyu, a student of Management major, navigated her four-year journey at WKU with dancing as the helm. She practiced dancing for more than 10 hours a week, and once worked for NetEase and Hangzhou Asian Games. She was also admitted into Johns Hopkins University to further her education as a Communication postgraduate.

Being an excellent dancer, she also demonstrated extraordinary leadership as a presidium member of the university’s art troupe, former chairman of Alpha and president of the hip-hop club. Her remarkable abilities contributed to the success of the university’s 10th anniversary celebration, art festival, freshmen ice-breaking and music festival. All these achievements earned her scholarships in leadership and art fields.

01 A dance enthusiast and a great leader

In her first year at WKU, Shen Zhiyu joined the hip-hop community and the pop dance team of the school’s art troupe. After serving as the leader of the hip-hop club, Shen did a lot of work, from creating a WeChat official account to inviting professional teachers, opening various dance courses, and seeking performance opportunities for club members. Under her leadership, the hip-hop community was rated as a five-star club of the university, and it was the best proof of her transformation.

“I particularly like the idea of ‘Art for All’ advocated by Party Secretary of WKU CPC Committee, Wang Beijiao. He said everyone can learn art and embrace it.” Inspired by this, Shen worked with Xie Dianyuan, a member of the university’s Chinese Curricula Center and head of art troupe, to hold the first Just Dance competition so that dance lovers at WKU could come on to the stage to give a performance.

In fact, Shen Zhiyu was nicknamed as “Mother Shen” by freshmen. As the former chairman of Alpha, Shen was the first student at WKU to play the role of first-year peer mentor for three consecutive years. She was even the leader of the Pre-University Intensive English Program (PIEP) in August 2021, when she did a great job in managing more than 1,000 freshmen. From this job, she felt the strongest sense of belonging at WKU, “I enjoy showing new students around the campus. It makes me happy to witness their growth at the university.”

02 The most beautiful dancer on the stage and a real doer behind the curtain

Shen attended the 2nd WKU Art Festival, Mixc May I Youth Unlimited Music Festival, Wenzhou International Sports & Leisure Expo, WKU’s 10th anniversary celebration and graduation ceremony. During these important occasions, she was more than a dancer. Behind the curtain, she was also responsible for assisting the director, coordinating the performers and relevant departments, and planning tasks. “In the past four years, it was normal for me and Xie to stay up late rehearsing, discussing scripts for performances, and taking electric vehicles to the school gate.” Their hard work paid off as they won fourth place during the second Love it Live it hip-hop final, as well as the first prize in Dance (Group A) of 2021 Provincial Collegiate Art Festival in Zhejiang. At WKU’s 10th anniversary party in 2021, she worked behind the scenes and devoted her love to the university.

03 A participant of Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games and a dedicated media worker

The 19th Asian Games will be held in Shen’s hometown, Hangzhou. “I want to do my bit for my country. It would be my honor to leverage media know-how to cover stories of the Asian Games,” said Shen. With her rich experience in hosting events at WKU and her media literacy, Shen joined Zhejiang Radio & TV Group as a new media editor and post editor intern for Asian Games Channel.

During her two-month internship, she was in charge of the daily operation of the official WeChat account and Channels, writing press releases, news broadcasting, subtitle editing, and post-production of news related to the Asian Games. It was tough work, but Shen was excited to cover sporting events at the scene, have direct contact with athletes, as well as record and spread how the Asian Games has been prepared.

Now she has received an offer from Johns Hopkins University as a would-be postgraduate in Communication Studies. She is determined to apply her knowledge and skills to future communication practices and tell her stories to the bigger world.

This is the last year of Shen’s journey at WKU. The road ahead is unknown, but we believe that she will stay true to her original self and explore the broader world with her kindness, passion, and smile!