For an internationally renowned dancer and choreographer,
Chung-Fu Chang admits he did not have a particularly complex reason
for his initial love of dance.
“When I was young, I was fascinated to see people move onstage.
That made me want to study dance. Very simple,” Chang said.
This simple fascination led Chang to leave Taiwan to take
advantage of a full scholarship at the Boston Conservatory. It was
there that he began adding Western elements to his traditional
Since beginning his professional career in 1986, Chang has done
solo performances in Taiwan, London and across the United
He has taught in schools across the United States, including
Kent State University, Ohio University and the University of
Now Chang has brought his hybrid dance style dance to CSU. Chang
said he has already had some positive experiences since being hired
as an assistant professor in the Department of Music, Theatre and
Dance in mid-August.
“I think mostly I enjoy seeing students make progress,” Chang
said. “To see them shaping their dreams to be true, so they have a
good career after training. It stimulates myself in terms of
creativity for dance.”
When he is not teaching modern dance, Chang performs,
choreographs and acts as an adviser for senior dance concerts.
Chang said this ability to spread his talents around is
“Right now, I still perform and choreograph. I enjoy the place I
am in now because I can do three things at once; that is teach,
dance and choreograph,” He said.
Chang estimates that he performs almost every two months. This
year he also plans to choreograph four dance concerts, as well as
choreographing for Ballet Nouveau Colorado and the Ohio Ballet.
One of the challenges Chang said he finds with instructing is
teaching his students new material instead of just recycling his
old material. This challenge, in Chang’s opinion, refreshes his own
Jane Slusarski-Harris, director of dance, said she appreciates
the culture and experience that Chang brought when he came to
“There’s a whole range of movement experiences he’s had growing
up in Taiwan and learning classical Chinese dance,”
Slusarski-Harris said. “Being exposed to international
choreographers has also influenced his work, and he brings that to
other students and faculty.”
Slusarski-Harris said Chang’s dancing is enjoyable to watch
because of its artistic beauty.
“He’s very expressive. Very flowing, yet strong. He’s a very
beautiful dancer with a commanding presence when he dances. Your
eye is naturally drawn to him,” she said.
In Slusarski-Harris’ opinion, Chang is also talented when it
comes to teaching. She said he helps them by carefully evaluating
what level the students are at and then giving them the necessary
information to improve. He does this by demonstrating correct
techniques, using imagery and giving positive encouragement and
Janelle Behan is a senior dance major who has Chang as her
adviser and instructor of two of her classes. She explained why she
enjoys being in Chang’s classes.
“He’s a lot of fun in class,” Behan said. “He really encourages
all of us to take it to another level. He wants us to have more
expression and to always be dancing, rather than just
When asked what he saw himself doing in the future, Chang did
not have any specific plans come immediately to mind.
“I’d like to do something I enjoy, which is dance. It’s very
simple,” Chang said. He then added, “I’d really like to help
students to continue their professional careers in dance.”