Educators Find Shen Yun ‘An Eye Opener’

February 9, 2014

DETROIT—Award-winning educator Marcia Young was inspired to do some studying of Chinese history and culture after seeing Shen Yun Performing Arts. The special education director for Clawson Schools saw the classical Chinese dance company perform at the Detroit Opera House accompanied by her husband Mark Francis on Saturday evening, Feb. 8.

Mr. Francis is the CEO of Francis Young International Consultants in School Improvement, which is based in Detroit but consults all over the world. A leading special education specialist in Michigan, Mr. Francis has developed policy and overseen the educational needs of tens of thousands of students throughout his career.

“He surprised me with this for my birthday, and I loved it,” Ms. Young said. “It was beautiful: the costumes, the singing, you can’t say enough about it. Everybody should come.”

New York-based Shen Yun is the world’s premier classical Chinese dance and music company. Formed in 2006, the company has quickly grown to four touring groups that perform to millions around the world, according to the company’s website.

“It was magnificent. It was so elegant, so graceful—just a lot of fun,” Mr. Francis said.

“Through the universal language of music and dance, Shen Yun weaves a wondrous tapestry of heavenly realms, ancient legends, and modern heroic tales, taking you on a journey through 5,000 years of Chinese culture,” states the company’s website.

“For people within a specific culture, it shows that there’s so much more out there,” said Mr. Francis who was impressed by Shen Yun’s ability to use dance to show the history and the culture of China.

A couple of the short story-based dances depict the persecution faced by people of faith in China today.

“It was an eye-opener,” said Ms. Young who noted this was presented “with all the creativity and the beauty of the dance”

“It was very unique. It kind of makes you want to go back and then look up some of the history when you’re not as familiar with it. So that’s my goal,” she said.

Reporting by Madalina Hubert and Sharon Kilarski

New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit

The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.

Detroit, United States
Shen Yun World Company