A roaring performance

Taiwanese student association puts on a lion dance display

Loud drums boomed across the quad as members from the Taiwanese student association danced in two vibrant lion costumes, one white and another purple, in front of a large crowd of spectators. Lion dances are a major part of many Lunar New Year celebrations and are commonly performed as a way to welcome and enter the new year, club president, senior Yenting Lin said.

Activities director and lion performer, senior Ethan Chang said TSA decided to host a lion dance performance due to its relative simplicity and ability to be done in the short lunch time frame allotted.

Lin said she hopes to make the lion dance performance a yearly tradition for the club.
(Photo by Brian)

“Lion dances are quick and easy, and since they are really loud and [have] a lot of colorful parts moving around, I felt like it would be the best [activity] to share our culture with everyone else,” Chang said.

Despite being told of their performance by ASB on a short notice and having minimal time to prepare, Lin said she thought the cultural display went well and was an overall enjoyable experience. 

“I found that rolling on the ground with the lion [costume] was the most difficult part of our routine,” Lin said. “Scheduling was [also a difficulty] because we didn’t have a lot of time, so we only got two practices in before the actual performance. Other than that, our team worked and bonded well.”

In preparation for the performance, Chang sourced the costumes from a local Taiwanese volunteer organization that is managed by the Taiwanese government, he said. In the end, Chang said all the coordination paid off and allowed students to truly experience an authentic event.  

Additionally, drums were played by the club to complement the performance which provided the beat and music to the dance while also having a cultural significance, Lin said.

“There is a story in Lunar New Year, which is that monsters and beasts all come [during the celebration], so we have red envelopes and loud sounds such as firecrackers and drums to chase them away,” Lin said.

At the end of the performance, sophomore Humza Dalal said the dance was visually and audibly appealing and he enjoyed seeing what other cultures’ celebrations were like.

“The lion dance was a wonderful way to [honor] the cultures at HHS that celebrate Lunar New Year,” Dalal said. “It was nice to feel like a part of the celebrations and engage in the culture.”