What is Wu Tao?

Wu is the Chinese word for dance.

Tao refers to the Taoist philosophy which stretches back to a time when its followers lived a simple life, rising with the sun and retiring as it set, following the rules of nature and thus leading long and peaceful lives.

Hence the name “ Wu Tao “ – pronounced Woo Dow.

No dance experience is needed to practice Wu Tao – It is for everyone and is enjoyed by dancers and non-dancers alike and even after many years students still continue to discover new depth and meaning in its practice.

Five dances, choreographed by Wu Tao’s founder, Michelle Locke, make up the core of the program.

As Wu Tao has its base in the art of Traditional  Chinese Medicine, these dances represent the cycle of the Chinese calendar year and reflect the nature of the seasons –

Autumn [the Air element] is gentle, representing a tree losing its leaves to enrich the soil;

Winter [the Water element] is even quieter and very inward focused, representing a tiny seed, full of potential, waiting to be born;

Spring [the Wood Element] is full of rising energy as trees and other plants begin grow and blossom;

High Summer [the Fire element] is  the most energetic dance of all – a season of joy and celebration;

Late Summer [the Earth element] is reflective and gathers the energy back to centre – harvest time.

Thus the cycle is ready to begin again.

These dances also represent other cycles – the cycle of our day, even that of life itself.

Each dance, done to the beautiful music composed especially for it, aims specifically to open a pair of meridians or energy pathways in the body, thus allowing ”qi,” the life force energy, to flow through the body, creating flexibility and a sense of balance, peace and well being – something we all need in this busy world!

The program works on the balance between Yin and Yang energy, so vital for good health. Traditional Chinese Medicine teaches that an imbalance is often the cause of disease.

The dances, when all learnt, are executed in a sequence, making a very complete workout without creating stress and tension. Further dances are then taught too.

Each class begins with a qi gong based warm-up and gentle stretches and finishes with a relaxation or meditation.

Box Hill Ballet has been offering Wu Tao classes since it was introduced to  Melbourne in 2004. Some students have been attending these classes almost since the beginning and consider Wu Tao a vital part of their weekly schedule and wellness program!

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About Box Hill Ballet Association

Offering classes in Classical Ballet (Cecchetti), Jazz (SFD), Tap, Contemporary, International Dance and Wu Tao. There are classes for children, teenagers and adults that are suitable for beginners as well as experienced dancers. Whether looking to dance for fun, fitness, meet new friends, or looking for something a bit more serious, we have the class for you!

Box Hill Ballet is family friendly inclusive dance school, providing dance tuition in a supportive and welcoming environment.  We have been running for nearly 70 years as a not for profit organisation with a voluntary committee.  We have qualified and experienced teachers and there are various opportunities throughout the year to participate in performances.

At Box Hill Ballet we aim to promote and develop a love for dance across many different styles and all generations.


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