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Lion Dance

The Northern Shaolin Kung Fu and Tai Chi Academy Lion Dancing

The Northern Shaolin Kung Fu and Tai Chi Academy Lion Dancing

The Northern Shaolin Academy performs the traditional southern Chinese Lion Dance. This style of Lion Dance has always been passed on from one generation to the next, from teacher to student. Unlike other forms of Lion Dance, the southern style has remained intact and has never been combined with others. It requires a great deal of physical strength and stamina as its movements are forceful and the equipment heavy. Practitioners must undergo rigorous training to develop these skills and to learn the many movements used to make the Lion appear alive and strong. They must also learn to play the instruments used to accompany the Lion and to direct its movements during the dance.

The Dai Fut (Big Buddha Head)

The History of Lion Dancing

The Chinese Lion is a mythological creature that represents strength, wisdom, good luck, and has the ability to drive away evil spirits. The dance has its origins in ancient times when, it is said, a monster used to descend from the mountains on the first day of the lunar year and destroy villages and crops before returning to its lair. In order to protect them-selves the people built as terrifying a creature as they could and went with it to confront the monster as it came to their village. Upon seeing the Lion, the monster became so frightened that it never returned to trouble anyone ever again. In modern times the Lion is still used on the Lunar New Year to bring good luck and prosperity to everyone. It is also used at the opening of businesses, weddings, parades, birthdays, and the start of any major undertaking.

Don on the Lion Dance Drum

What is Chinese Lion Dance?

The Chinese lion ritual or more commonly known by the general public as the lion dance is not really a dance routine. It is a set or sets of movements based on ancient Chinese kung fu techniques. These ancient techniques internal and external, hard and soft are developed through many years of practice. When these techniques reach their maturity level only then they are ready to be used with the Chinese lion. The Chinese lion costume itself contains no special or magical powers. The power to drive away any evil is directly related to the skill level of the lion player. If the lion players kung fu skill is good then the lion will be strong enough to dive away evil and bring good luck, on the other hand if the lion players kung fu skill is lacking or weak then the lion will not have the power to drive away evil, in that case it is just merely a meaningless colorful dance.

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