Former hairdresser chases hoop dream
($4,400) tuition fees, and arrived in Wuqiao to begin the one-year training program last October.
Mu Hongyuan, who runs international communications at the acrobatic school, said it has trained around 400 international students. The first group of students came from Africa in 2002, as part of an aid project sponsored by China’s Ministry of Commerce.
For Doolin, the most frustrating thing at first was not hard training, but the loneliness.
“Unlike in Beijing, where many people speak English, I could barely find anyone to talk to here,” she said.
The situation prompted her to study Chinese. Eight months after arriving, she knew enough to converse in the language.
“Now I have made some Chinese friends,” she said.
Doolin earns around 1,000 yuan per day for performing at tourist resorts, 1,500 to 2,000 yuan per show at theaters, and 2,000 yuan per day for TV performances.
“My income is not stable, but it’s much better than being a hairdresser back home,” she said. “Chinese audiences like my show.”