Spotlight: Student Wenzhang


The old joke goes "How do you get to Carnegie Hall?"

"Practice. Practice. Practice"


Neglia's student Wenzhang knows something about practice. When he's not at Neglia Conservatory twice a week for ballet and choreography, he's practicing his other interests: Martial Arts, Piano, Church Choir. We were aware he dabbled in a variety of extracurricular activities, but we didn't know just how talented nine-year-old Wenzhang is until his family shared this YouTube video with us:

Wenzhang plays "Birds"

"Ballet makes me super happy"

- Wenzhang, age 9


"Wenzhang loves music and loves to share music with people,"

says his mom Wenping

Yes, that's a nine-year-old with some mature talent, stage presence and artistry. That impressionistic performance of "Birds" by Seymour Bernstein earned Wenzhang a gold medal at Honor Recital of Western New York at Slee Hall at University of Buffalo on March 3, 2019. He mastered "Birds" in just 6 months, where it usually takes students over a year to learn. He received First Place in the American Protege International Music Talent Competition Spring 2019.

Wenzhang's family first came to Neglia Conservatory in the summer of 2018 when his younger sister Wenlee tried the "Whirl & Twirl" workshop. By the fall, both Wenlee and Wenzhang were enrolled in ballet class where they receive scholarships. Wenlee, six, is a talented visual artist, plays piano and sings. They were both in Buffalo Opera Unlimited production of "Magic Flute" (2017) and "Hansel & Gretel" (2016). Recently the sibling team volunteered and performed for patients at the Erie County Medical Center.

When asked about ballet, Wenping says of her son:

"In my eyes, he enjoys taking ballet class at Neglia as ballet helps him better understand music and performance. He becomes a comfortable performer before the audience, like his piano recital and singing at church. Ballet helps him to have better attention and memory to learn new ballet moves, and languages, like French. Ballet helps him to build balance endurance and flexibility. Ballet also helps my son's breathe stronger as he has chronic asthma since 5-years-old. Wenzhang loves to take ballet as he learns team work and makes new friends."

Wenzhang at the barre in Ballet 2 (2019)

Wenzhang will participate in Neglia's Boys Dance Too Workshop this summer. And while Wenzhang and his choreography class practice for the upcoming Conservatory Performance on June 9 at Nichols, he is also busy preparing for 'just a few' other performance opportunities:

Wenzhang will be getting to Carnegie Hall at the tender age of ten. (He turns double digits in April).

Practice. Practice. Practice. The rewards are bountiful on stage and beyond. Congratulations Wenzhang!


This kid is going somewhere with his talents! Be part of his journey.
Your support can help children like Wenzhang pursue their dreams.

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