Zhirui (Regina) Zou is the Executive Director and Professor of the Ballet Department of Beijing Dance Academy. Ms. Zou, PhD, China Academy of Art, Master degree of the American University, was the deputy of the 15th session of the NPC of Haidian District, Beijing. She is a member of the All-China Youth Federation, member of the Youth Federation of the central state organs, member of the Western Returned Scholars Association and member of the Chinese Dancers Association. She served as the main actor of the China Central Ballet, starred in various ballets including “The Red Detachment of Women”, “Swan Lake”, “Don Quixote”, “Nutcracker”, “Sleeping Beauty”, “Giselle” and Balanchine “Serenade”. She also served as the chief actor of the Ballet Theatre of Maryland in 1999, was Assistant Artistic Director and the chief actor in Maryland Ballet Theatre from 2000 to 2004, and the Principal of Maryland dance school.
In 1999, Zhirui Zou received the Special Award issued by the governor of Maryland. That same year, the Mayor of the city of Annapolis awarded her honorary citizenship of the city. In 2000 she was the first Chinese female dancer to receive the Princess of Monaco Award.
Ms. Zou also received the Silver Award of the Chinese “Tao Li Cup” Dance Competition in ballet youth group; the Platinum Award of the Starquest U.S. International Performing Arts Competition in ballet Professional Group (Long Island, New York); She received the Platinum Award and the Special Jury Award of the Showcase U.S. National Ballet Competition. She also received the Gold Medal in Headliners the National Ballet Competition, and Balanchine awards as well as other domestic and international awards three consecutive years.
In 1998, Zhirui Zou began her teaching and research work both in ballet schools and companies. In 2002, Ms. Zou was involved in U.S. Maryland Ballet and Maryland Ballet School rehearsal of the ballet “Giselle” and “The Nutcracker.” From 2001, she has been studying in depth the history of ballet and in 2003, she completed a master’s degree thesis “Ballet in China” (Chinese ballet) in the American University of the United States. In 2009, she completed a doctoral thesis about the new Chinese ballet history study in China Academy of Art. In recent years, she published more than a dozen articles in various newspapers and magazines. Ms. Zou’s main research fields are ballet performance research and education, ballet history.