Artist Spotlight: Karina Fu
Principal dancer Karina Fu won first place in New Tang Dynasty Television’s 2021 international Classical Chinese Dance competition (adult female division) and was the two-time runner-up in the 2018 and 2016 competitions. Her vibrant personality shines onstage through skilled technical moves and heartfelt performances that bring her characters to life.
In this installment of our Artist Spotlight series, Karina talks about the unexpected joys of being on tour, how she overcomes stage fright, and why perseverance is so important for aspiring dancers.
“Success is a mindset. When one can be steadfast in one’s mission, strive while remaining humble and grateful, cherish the triumphs and setbacks Heaven sends your way, all the while remaining unperturbed, then I think one has achieved success—whether one has achieved recognition or not. ”
12 Questions with Karina
Tell us something quirky about yourself.
I love rehearsing and performing Mongolian dances. And I have visited Mongolia twice!
Do you have any tips for self-care to stay in top physical condition?
Eat less junk food and sleep more.
What’s your favorite hobby or pastime, and why?
Crafts! Of any type. I feel relaxed when I do them, and time passes really fast.
What made you want to join Shen Yun?
I thought that traveling around the world with Shen Yun would be really cool.
What are your favorite places to visit on tour?
Tough question! I’d have to say the U.K., Kyoto, and Taipei.
What are three things you always take on tour with you?
My iPod nano, knee pads, and a scarf.
What do you like most about performing on stage?
There are a lot of things I like about being on stage. The moment the curtain opens and I start dancing, I feel that I’m part of a sacred mission: to revive the divinely inspired, traditional Chinese culture. I also like seeing the expressions on the faces of the first few rows of audience, knowing that they are enjoying the performance. Lastly, I love wearing costumes from different dynasties!
What is one unexpected joy of being on tour?
It’s encountering and doing things you would never ever think of. It can be as big as getting stuck on a bus for seven hours due to heavy snow and traffic congestion, or as small as walking quite a distance just for a cup of bubble tea in France.
Tell us about a challenge you have faced in your dance career. How did you overcome it?
Mastering the front aerial was not easy. But I just practiced the technique every day and it kept getting better.
Have you ever had stage fright?
Stage fright can be paralyzing, and it hinders me from concentrating on the technical movements themselves, which are causing the fear, even if it’s ones I’ve mastered. But, I’ve learned that if I change my mindset into one of enjoyment, of enjoying performing or simply having fun, then it’s a whole other world.
What do you think differentiates classical Chinese dance from other dance forms?
A lot. First of all, the training methods, the expressiveness of the dance form, and the variety of dance movements. Then there’s the strength, flexibility, expressiveness, and acting skills it demands. Lastly, it also focuses on shen-yun (bearing) and shen-fa (form).
What would be your advice to young dancers?
There’s a Chinese phrase: 謀事在人, 成事在天, which means that a wise person will actively put in effort and leave the results up to fate. It really means—just practice. Whenever I feel discouraged or troubled, I think… just do it. Just do it.
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