She Marches in Chinatown

In 1952, Asian American girls had no extra-curricular activities until Ruby Chow created the Seattle Chinese Community Girls Drill Team, the only one of its kind in the world. Despite gentrification, Title IX, and a global pandemic, seventy years later the drill team continues to define, represent and celebrate the evolving Asian American experience of its dedicated multigenerational participants.

  • Della Chen
  • Amy Benson
    Drawing the Tiger, From Here
  • Dina Guttman
    National Geographic: The Last Royals, POV: A Healing Art, New Yorker: The Man Without a Mask
  • Jason J Chen
  • Ruby Chow
    Key Cast
  • Cheryl Chow
    Key Cast
  • Celina Tran
    Key Cast
  • Colleen McKisson
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    33 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    April 9, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    90,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Della Chen

Della is a Seattle native and a documentary photographer. She has been telling visual stories for weddings, families, commercial and non-profit and editorial assignments for the last 18 years. She has been involved in multi-media projects about homeless advocacy and aging out of foster care. Since 2018, Della has been a teaching artist for Pablove Shutterbugs, a non-profit organization that teaches the art of photography to kids living with cancer. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Youth in Focus, a free after school program in Seattle amplifying teen voices through photography and arts education. This is her first documentary film project and definitely not her last.

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Director Statement

When I was a teen in the 80’s I always wanted to be a part of the The Seattle Chinese Community Girls Drill Team but regretfully never did. Born and raised a first-generation Seattleite, my family enthusiastically looked forward to the annual Seafair Torchlight Parade. Seeing The Seattle Chinese Community Girls Drill Team perform gave our family this kind of Asian connection to an American tradition. These girls were bad-ass. When my daughter turned 11, I suggested she consider joining the drill team so I could vicariously live through this experience. Her initial reaction was she realized she didn’t have many Asian friends in her school or neighborhood in North Seattle (besides her cousins). As a parent, I started learning more about the drill team’s background and history and as a visual artist I was astounded that this story has never been told in a film. With the rise in Anti-Asian hate and the climate of the world, I want this film to make an impact on this generation, to take better care of our blending cultures and community. Ruby Chow is my inspiration. An unintimidated, American born Chinese woman that cared about her community and made a difference. She, was bad-ass.