Hearing-impaired? Let's dance!

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Zhang Tianjiao's free classes mark the start of a charity project to help children with hearing problems achieve their dream of becoming dancers.
SHINE
Hearing-impaired? Let's dance!

Zhang Tianjiao, 23, is a dancer with hearing impairment. Her dance studio welcomed the first batch of students on Tuesday for free dance classes.

Zhang Tianjiao held her first dance class for children in Shanghai on Tuesday, the start of a tailor-made charity project for hearing-impaired young dancers.

The project, supported by Switzerland’s hearing solution provider Sonova Group, is among a number of charity projects marking this year’s 20th anniversary of Shanghai Daily.

It is a long-nurtured dream for Zhang, 23, to let more people with hearing problems like her to enjoy being a dancer.

Living with severely impaired hearing since childhood, Zhang never gave up on her dream of becoming a dancer. Thanks to her courage and hard work, and the assistance of advanced technology, she has achieved many outstanding results in dance competitions. The musical “Young Guns,” staged at the National Theater of China last year, is based on her life, telling the story of a group of young people chasing their dreams.

In March, the Tianjiao Dance Studio was launched at the Changshou Road Sub-district Office. It is named after Zhang and provides free professional dance classes for hearing-impaired children.

On Tuesday, five children were the lucky to attend the first class. And Zhang was happy to teach them.

Some of the children were users of Sonova’s hearing aids, of which Zhang is an image ambassador. With the products, Zhang can hear the music, essential for a dancer. 

Erwin Luthi, Switzerland's deputy consul general in Shanghai, was at the class to show support for projects that showcase how companies can carry out their corporate social responsibility and interact with local communities.

Tianjiao Dance Studio is at 55 Xinhui Road, Putuo District. It provides free two-day training courses for hearing-impaired children every quarter. 

Hearing-impaired? Let's dance!

Zhang Tianjiao prepares for her class in the studio.

Hearing-impaired? Let's dance!

Zhang Tianjiao teaches children some moves at her dance class.

Hearing-impaired? Let's dance!

Sonova hearing aids have helped Zhang Tianjiao in both her life and work.

Hearing-impaired? Let's dance!

Erwin Luthi (right), Switzerland's deputy consul general in Shanghai, attends the class given by Zhang Tianjiao (left) to show his support for such projects.

Hearing-impaired? Let's dance!

Zhang Tianjiao (right), poses with German soccer player Simon Ollert. Both of them suffer from hearing loss and wear hearing aids produced by Sonova, which help them a lot in their life and career.  

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