Traditional lion dance team recruitment

By Jeffrey Iraheta

A local dance team is recruiting  anyone who wants to be part of a popular Chinese celebration during the 2016 Lunar New Year season.

CZ is a company of private traditional Chinese activities.

The ‘C’ stands for Chinese Traditional Martial Arts and the ‘Z’ stands for Zang, the company’s founder.

“We usually perform during the Chinese New Year season to anyone who contacts us,” said Edward Xie, a member of the CZ Lion Dance Team.

The CZ Lion Dance Team has performed at various locations, including Citadel Mall Outlets, Bakersfield, California’s Golden West  Casino and even here on campus for an International Student Association event.

CZ is currently looking for people interested in learning essential Tai Chi Kung Fu techniques and are willing to perform the role of a lion scaring evil spirits away, during the 2016 Lunar New Year celebrations.

The Lion Dance is more than 1,000 years old. Its core foundations are found in traditional Chinese Martial Art formations and exercises.

“We do a lot of Southern-style Lion Dancing. Southern-style has a lot of Kung Fu in it,” said CZ Kung fu mentor Hugo Chang.

According to Thomas Xio, CZ’s Lion Dance drummer, the Lion Dance symbolizes a fortunate New Year.

In traditional Chinese culture, the lion is a brave, lucky character that scares evil spirits away during the Lunar New Year.

The Lion Dance is popular during the Lunar New Year.

Sometimes the Lion Dance  is performed at important occasions, such as business opening events, special celebrations or wedding ceremonies or may be used to honor special guests by the Chinese communities.

In any dance team, one lion is made up of two people in costume, “the head and the butt,” said Xie.

“The team also consists of drum, cymbal and gong musicians.”

CZ Lion Dance Team currently has seven active members.

During practice, CZ teaches  students how to exercise essential Kung Fu   techniques and incorporate them in the Lion Dance.

Leadership at CZ teaches Tai Chi Kung Fu. Xie and Chang are part of the same Kung Fu school.

Although some Lion Dance teams have a registration fee, CZ’s is free.

The minimal requirements to join the CZ team is dedication to the practices and availability to perform at different locations during the 2016 Lunar New Year season.

Practices are held at 10505 Valley Blvd., El Monte.

Usually practices are from 4:30 p.m. through 7 p.m on Sundays.

Everyone is welcome.

Questions may be directed to Edward Xie via email at Exie12@hotmail.com or CZ at czchineseliondance@gmail.com.

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