The High School Affiliated to Renmin University (RDFZ) Dance Troupe concluded its three-week American tour at Gill St. Bernard’s School yesterday. Beginning January 24, the group traveled to more than 20 educational institutions and arts venues throughout the United States before its visit to GSB. Gill St. Bernard’s happily welcomed a portion of the 600-member RDFZ Performance Art Troupe to its Athletic Center. This is the second time the troupe has visited the school, as GSB was host to the RDFZ Marching Wind Band in February, 2013.
The school’s relationship with RDFZ first began at the start of the 2012-13 academic year, when six students from the prestigious Beijing high school enrolled in Gill’s inaugural International Student Program (ISP). Now in its second year, the ISP has expanded tremendously and includes 15 international students spanning from Lithuania to China. ISP Coordinator Linda Park said of the Chinese students at Gill, “They are not only proud of their heritage, they are also proud of RDFZ, one of the best schools in China. They want to show others how great the school they came from really is.”
A winner for five straight years in the Beijing Primary and Middle School Students Art Festival, the dance group’s visit to Gill exposed students—grades Pre-K through 12—to the beauty of Chinese culture and dance. In addition to performing traditional dance routines, the troupe, containing five- through 17-year-old performers, incorporated singing, aerobics and martial arts into the show. “Students in the ISP program, and assemblies such as this, truly allow us to live out our motto, ‘The World is Our Classroom,’” said Headmaster Sid Rowell. “We are so lucky to have established such a wonderful cultural exchange program with RDFZ and are truly blessed to have 13 students from the school.”
Gill St. Bernard’s is a private, coeducational day school for students age three through grade 12, located in suburban New Jersey. Each of the three school divisions provides a rigorous, meaningful and age-appropriate curriculum, and all students benefit from the environmental learning opportunities that exist on our 208-acre campus.