When Emily Liew first got to Chapel Hill, it didn’t quite feel like home. Instead of going out and meeting new friends, Liew often found herself alone in her dorm room.
But when she first saw Flying Silk perform, Liew said everything changed.
“Everything looked so beautiful, so in sync, and I knew I wanted to join,” Liew said. “Ever since I came into Flying Silk my sophomore year, it was like my whole social group expanded. I knew all these people, I started going out more, going out to eat, just doing anything.”
Since its creation in 2012, Flying Silk, the only traditional Chinese dance team on campus, has evolved from a structured and highly-choreographed group of dancers into a group more focused on cultural enrichment and passion.
Three years after first falling in love with the dancing, Liew, now a senior, is serving as the group’s publicity chair.
“I joined my sophomore year, and honestly, I wished I’d joined earlier,” Liew said.
And Liew isn’t the only one whose college experience has been transformed by Flying Silk. Junior Alyes Chen, the group’s design chair, had a similar path to joining the team.
“I was sort of a social recluse freshman year," Chen said. "My friend actually dragged me out to one of the events and I remember being struck by how pretty the colors were. One of the big things that attracted me was how effortlessly the dancing and the silks were interacting with each other, and it didn’t seem like people there had like hours and hours of dance training, but it still looked so graceful and beautiful. Their performance was top notch, even though their choreography wasn’t hard. The fact that you can make something not hard look so beautiful was what attracted me.”
According to Chen, the beauty of the team is in its laidback nature. Instead of focusing on difficult choreography, the team places an emphasis on enjoying the performance.