Denver is a long way from China, yet it is possible to learn more about Chinese culture here in Colorado by signing up for specific classes and participating in local programs.
JOYOUS CHINESE CULTURAL CENTER
The Joyous Chinese Cultural Center is primarily dedicated to children, especially those who were adopted from China and not being raised in a Chinese family. Here, children can meet others like themselves and learn more about their heritage.
The JCCC also offers programming for adults of non-Chinese backgrounds as well. The Thursday evening and Saturday morning classes for adults include speaking and listening to Mandarin with information also on Chinese idioms, poems, customs, and etiquette. These classes are intended to be for beginners.
The classes go beyond the classroom when you visit a local Chinese restaurant and place your own order in Mandarin!
There are also Chinese dance classes available here.
For the Kindergarten through high school age students, there are field trips that include making traditional Chinese foods, practicing calligraphy, crafts, and dance.
DENVER CHINESE SCHOOL
Adults are welcome at the Denver Chinese School, which has three locations in the greater metro area, but the emphasis is on K-12 learners.
Like the JCCC, there are language classes, painting, and martial arts. The Denver Chinese School is affiliated with the Step Into Melody Dance School, which specializes in Chinese classical and folk dances. These dance classes are broken up from beginner, intermediate, and elite company all for ages 5-18, and then adult classes for 18 and up. There is an opportunity to not only make new friends but also perform your dances locally.
COLORADO CHINESE LANGUAGE SCHOOL
The Colorado Chinese Language School has two parts — one for adults who are beginners with Mandarin, and the other for young children with varying levels of fluency.
For adults, the classes are typically on Sundays and online. You can choose between conversation, beginner and advanced, as well as business conversation classes.
UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO AT DENVER
For the most serious students, there is a Chinese Studies minor program at the University of Colorado at Denver. You can choose between general Chinese studies or focus on language and culture. Plus, there is a Certificate in Chinese for International Business for either enrolled students or just those seeking a credential to prove their worthiness of doing business in China. The certificate program includes learning to read, write, and comprehend Chinese Pinyin.
MARTIAL ARTS: TAI CHI AND KUNG FU
There are many martial arts schools to choose from in the Denver area and even across Colorado. Or, you can take Tai Chi classes at places like the Denver Botanic Gardens without being part of a school.
Ho’s School of Chinese Martial Arts in Thornton has both kids and adult Kung Fu classes and Tai Chi classes. Each school will likely specialize in a specific type of martial arts and either be focused on a military or fighting history or an approach to wellness.
For example, the Tai Kung Ha Holistic Center offers meditation, yoga, nutrition, and tai chi classes, along with lion dance training. In contrast, Denver Kung Fu offers martial arts classes “to defend ourselves in the streets.”
COLORADO ASIAN CULTURE AND EDUCATION NETWORK
The Colorado Asian Culture and Education Network is a non-profit that showcases all Asian cultures, but will also highlight specific Chinese events and programs.
For example, their website is where you will find details about the Colorado Chinese Radio Network that airs weekly on KGNU (and a link to listen to past episodes) or details about a Salute to Seniors Day that specifically honors Chinese elders.