Shen Yun ‘Once in a Lifetime’ Opportunity: Coloradan

January 31, 2023

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.—Keith Waggoner, former president of First Pioneer National Bank, watched Shen Yun Performing Arts in Colorado Springs with his wife of 56 years.

“Absolutely phenomenal. But the last [scene] was really touching of how it was—and then all of a sudden the tidal wave comes in and then all of a sudden who do you see? … Wow,” Mr. Waggoner said.

Sue Waggoner, his wife, said she wanted to see the Shen Yun dancers for her birthday. On Jan. 19, it was their first time watching the performance.

“We absolutely enjoyed it so much. It was way more than we could have expected. It’s just amazing what they do and the story that they tell. And we really enjoyed it,” Mrs. Waggoner said.

The New York-based company presents China before communism. Other audience members at the Pikes Peak Center for the Performing Arts were also touched by the performance.

“I believe that bringing a message of hope in the turmoil that happens and goes on, but also just the message of peace and hope, being kind, being able to reach out to your community, to your neighbors. I think standing up against oppression, I felt like it is relevant to every country,” said Debra Ratzlaff, owner of Elements by Design.

Kris Harlow, a contractor with Par 5 Luxury Homes, said “it was breathtaking.”

“Just magical and definitely needed. It’s something I’ve never seen before,” Harlow said.

“I felt like a breath of fresh air—meaning that—kind of light on my feet. It makes me believe in humanity a little bit more. I really enjoyed the art form, over 5,000 years of tradition, and art obviously could risk being lost if the story isn’t told or practiced and passed down,” he added.

“It was amazing. I love the water sleeves, and my goodness the balancing of the China on their heads was unbelievable. Just floating on air,” said Lindsy Heisler, Harlow’s fiancee.

Waggoner said, after watching the performance, that he left really feeling good.

“I think everyone should come and see it. I really do. It’s just one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that you get. And if you don’t take advantage of it, you may never get to see it again,” he said.

Shen Yun’s mission is to revive authentic, traditional Chinese culture before communism.

Vice Admiral Terry Etnyre, former commander of Naval Surface Forces said: “It makes you understand the journey that the Chinese people that have been on with their reverence for the creator, our God, Jesus, and how they see a similar thing and they’ve gone through all these years of history and now are being suppressed.”

Waggoner said, “That’s what touched my heart is what these young folks are doing to keep the tradition of 5,000 years in China or what they’ve done alive and the hopes of the people. It just really touched me to do that.”

Shen Yun is coming back to Colorado from March 8 to March 19 for 10 more performances.

NTD News, Colorado Springs, Colorado