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Thread: Chinese Lion Dance

  1. #46
    SaekSan Guest

    some thoughts...

    WC: That has been the main drive for our Lion Dance Troupe, Chinese cultural promotion. There's some talk of even having a Dragon Boat Festival held here, after the stirr we gave the community in the past few years. Our school was the first to perform a lion dance in our city (some 6 years ago) and every year we get more and more requests for our troupe (we already have 21 dances booked up for the New Years). But with this comes the people that weren't properly taught... in the past couple of years we have seen many people who never had formal training (and see this as an opportunity to make $ and self-promotion) so they do not understand the cultural significance of what they are doing, essentially they do a dance that has no meaning, very sad.

    WD: Jeff Naayers is a Wah Lum teacher under Chan Pui. Wing Lam's representative in Ohio is John Ervin.


  2. #47
    wushu chik Guest


    I agree very much with you on the fact that people that don't know what they are doing, makes it look as if has no substance and looks rediculous. We are trying very hard to learn the correct ways to Lion Dance. Our school is relatively new, and the guys are trying their hardest to make the best of what we have!! We have done a few lion dances for various businesses, events, etc, and have gotten nothing but the highest compliments from Asian Americans that have seen lion dancing before, and then seen us! So, I guess we are doing something right!!! But, again, I agree that it makes it hard when you see people just out for money trying to make a quick buck with something so special!!

    I am ALWAYS Kung Fu Fighting.....what about you?

  3. #48
    fiercest tiger Guest

    lion dancing

    all i can say is yau kung moon in the u.s and ykm in the world are one of the best lion dancers!

    i think every traditional school should have it, if they dont i dont think its a complete system.


    come & visit us!

  4. #49
    SaekSan Guest

    It's all about "shin" (heart).

    Your school is procuring other schools to learn from, that is an excellent way to learn your stuff. My only problem is with people who only learned from a video or saw a dance once and is immitating it now for their own profit.

    I'm sure you are learning with your heart in the right place and being guided properly. If the Asian community supports you that is even better, keep up the hard work, the entire community (not just the Asian) appreciates and gains by schools like yours.


  5. #50
    wushu chik Guest


    We are DEFINETLY trying our hardest to keep it "real". We have seen people who have not, and it's sad and kinda degrading. We are busting tail to try to do our best to be sure that we have nothing but the highest respect for the CULTURE and art itself.

    I am ALWAYS Kung Fu Fighting.....what about you?

  6. #51
    brassmonkey Guest
    "i think every traditional school should have it, if they dont i dont think its a complete system"

    FT out of curiousity maybe you can elaborate on this. Perhaps since I've never done liondancing my opinion is off but it seems to me that the more time you practice dancing the less time you have for practicing.

  7. #52
    Tainan Mantis Guest

    Chan Poi's lion dancing

    His Wah Lum school students have been giving world class performances at Disney's Epcot on a daily basis for years. Not sure about now though.

    The lion dancing that you refer to is a characteristic of southern China, so traditional schools from the North don't have it.
    The exception being MArtists of Northern schools who passed on their knowledge in the south, such as Hong Kong. In this case some southern traditions have been incorporated into traditional northern Chinese schools.

  8. #53
    wu_de36 Guest
    Saeksan... you are, of course, correct:) I knew I shoulda checked that before I posted. But I was drunk. oops.

  9. #54
    SaekSan Guest

    as a generalization...

    TM: yes, for the most part you could say that. My teacher was from Taiwan (actually from Shanxi but went there with the "migration" of '49), he learned "kai ko shih" (open mouth lion), "bi ko shih" (closed mouth lion) and southern lion dancing in Taipei. Although the open and closed mouth lions are the more popular for performances in TW (it's easy to teach kids and they look so cute!), my teacher enjoyed the southern style more because of its rigorous demands on the performer and saw it as a great way to supplement the students training in gong fu. He was also a big beleiver in the concept that kuoshu meant more than just fighting, it should be a balance of "wu" (martial) and "wen" (civil), educated students on both concepts made "strong bodies, strong minds, strong country". So, even though he was a teacher of northern gong fu only, he liked the southern lion for it's beauty and expression.

    WD: LOL!


  10. #55
    Jaguar Wong Guest
    LOL, I also disagree with the statement. You don't need traditional Lion Dancing to be a "complete system". But I think you're really looking at Lion Dancing much differently. You're not wasting time learning how to dance, the Lion Dance is basically made of of several little sequences (bowing, seven star, getting the lettuce and all that crap), almost like forms inside a larger performance. While you're not doing the sequences, you're moving in a number of different stances (sort of a stepping drill), while remaining aware of the way you're manipulating the head or tail (using upper and lower body to work together, rather than separately). The stances, body movement, and especially the appearance of power and strength are stressed. Lion Dancing was used by kung fu schools to basically show how strong their kung fu was without having to start a big school vs school brawl.

    The training is just as tough as stances, punching drills, or many other basic kung fu drills, only using a little bit of weight (the lion's not that heavy, but it's different).

    Nope, sounds like a different guy. I'm sure there are plenty of Lion Dance teachers in the San Fran area ;). Our Lion Dance Sifu was Eugene Lau, he had been living in LA for quite some time, and he was coming out of a 15 year Lion Dance retirement to teach our school, which I really thought was cool. I respect the man a lot, and his kung fu (Choy Lay Fut) is also strong. The funny thing was that he had some good power, but he always stressed the pride, and the performance aspect when talking about Lion Dancing. I mean he wanted our kung fu to show, but he always wanted us to look good as well, because we were representing his lineage. He was always chewing our Sifu out for our poor performances, but we found out that was basically the old school kung fu way. Never say they're doing something right, just keep pushing them to see if they work harder. :)

    Jaguar Wong
    The 6th Deadly Venom!

    Jaguar's Wife (To "Judo" Gene Lebell): "Excuse me, my friend (Tigerstyle) wants to know if we can take a picture of you choking him."
    Gene LeBell (in a gravely voice): "If he don't mind, I don't mind."
    - actual event from DragonFest 1999

  11. #56
    Jaguar Wong Guest
    Also, slowly but surely, our school built a reputation in Las Vegas. At first we were just hitting the China town Mall, during the Chinese New year, but we were starting to get more and more of the big casinos booking us. It's a very busy time of year now, and during the new year our school was making enough money to buy new lion heads (2-3 a year), instruments, and other little things, as well as paying the rent for a while instead of relying so heavily on monthly dues.

    Vegas is a great place to have a Lion Dance team. :)

    I'm not really part of it anymore, and two of the guys that I've taught the head to are running the team now, and for some reason I like it that way. The whole time I was lion dancing I was always saying that once I passed the buck I was going to stop because it was hard work. Just kidding of course, but when real life caught up to me, I was glad to see that our team was good enough to continue without the original members.

    I know how you feel, there were only 3-4 guys showing up regularly when my brother and I were running the team, but during the "performance season" people started coming out of the woodwork, so we made them work harder because the short amount of time they had to learn the stuff ;)

    Jaguar Wong
    The 6th Deadly Venom!

    Jaguar's Wife (To "Judo" Gene Lebell): "Excuse me, my friend (Tigerstyle) wants to know if we can take a picture of you choking him."
    Gene LeBell (in a gravely voice): "If he don't mind, I don't mind."
    - actual event from DragonFest 1999

  12. #57
    triskellin Guest

    speaking of lion dancing....

    i am really curious as to the other styles of 'lion' dancing, such as the kei lun and pei yao. to my understanding, the pei yao is the fu dog common in feng shui... those little guardian doggies u see at the entrances of temples. anyone know anything about it? like what region in china it orginated from, and if there really is a dance for it...

    also, does anyone know the chinese name for the green masked lion that looks like a monster? it's really hideous looking! :eek: i think it's called the fukien lion, but i'm not sure...


    To see what you want to see is worse than being blind.

  13. #58
    triskellin Guest
    ok i actually found a website on it, though it didn't have the info i was after...
    the 2nd picture, isn't it hideous!!?!! :eek: lol

    To see what you want to see is worse than being blind.

  14. #59
    hasayfu Guest

    Some Lion Dance thoughts

    For those interested in Lion Dancing, go to

    My Si-Sook from Hong Kong once told me, that to be a complete Hung Gar person you needed Forms, Medicine, and Lion Dance. He later explained that Lion Dance represents the total culture and history of the style.

    In addition, as Jaguar Wong stated, Lion Dance is a great way to train and apply your kung fu. Especially in the southern traditions. Traditional lion dance uses the exact same body motions as your forms. Punch, throw, sweep, kick, etc. Good Lion dance will originate from the waist/dan tian. The movements must be rooted and smooth. In Hung Gar, there is a almost a one to one map. I know a chow gar sifu and his lion dance emphasizes his style more. This is traditional.

    So is a style complete without lion dance. Yes and no. If all you want is fighting, then you don't need it. IF you want the "art" it is a big part of the southern tradition. Not true of the north and of internal. There is no Tai Chi lion dance :-)

  15. #60
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Tornado Alley

    This is KEWL!!!

    Our school has been asked to do a Lion Dance with the Beijing Opera troupe that's coming to Jacksonville, OR. in March. Looks like we better start practicing huh??
    The greatest thing about me is that I know that I am the ONLY one that knows the truth about all! Damo lives within me, and me ONLY - for there is nobody that knows the truth more - so stick that in your pipe and smoke it sparky's!!!

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