Love of China Hosts Chinese New Year Dance Festival

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Love of China Hosts Chinese New Year Dance Festival

By Anna Chuo, Morale Officer

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The Love of China, a local Chinese dance school, hosted a dance festival at the Washington Carver Museum in celebration of Chinese New Year on Feb. 7. The festival had a show on the stage inside the museum, and then a traditional lion dance. Along with dancers from their own school, the festival also featured Lannaya Drum and Dance, Devi School of Dance, the Irish Dance Center, and Tapestry tap dancers from other schools.

“I wish for people to come and have a fun time sharing talents and cultures, but also to learn something.” Love of China teacher Ms. Emily Dedear said. “I didn’t want a Chinese New Year Festival with all Chinese enjoying each other’s talents. I wanted a festival where everyone could come together, honor each other, and share each other’s culture.”

The recital showcased all the Love of China classes and was a celebration for all their hard work and ringing in the new year. The dancers ranged from ages as young as four years-old to an adult. The top dance group performed a ribbon dance, which uses flowing, vibrant ribbons and is always a crowd favorite.

“My favorite dance to perform is the ribbon dance.” Amy Ma ‘19 said. “We just started learning it and already I love it. We use many different colors, and long, silky ribbons.”

There were about 35 pieces in the entire show part of the festival, and went on from 2:00-5:00 p.m.

“There is so much preparation that goes into a show.” Ms. Dedear said. “I take a lot of time, energy, and pride into the program, and I have to think about all the Love of China dancers as well as dancers from other schools. It’s both stressful and exciting, because the closer the festival or recital comes, it’s like I’m getting closer to reaching my goal. There’s a lot to think about when directing a show, but being able to direct a beautiful show makes it all worth it.”

After the recital, the crowd gathered outside to watch a traditional lion dance, which is supposed to scare away the evil spirits for the new year and bring good luck. The lion dance was done by Summit Lion Dance Team, and featured children from elementary school all the way up to high school.  The lion dances are enjoyable to watch but also interactive, because you can feed money to the lions and then they will bring you good luck.

“When Chinese New Year comes along, people want to see Chinese dancing, so it’s an opportunity to share our culture with other people.” Ms. Dedear said. “ You have to have an excuse to perform so an audience will turn up. We want to share our culture, and Chinese New Year is the perfect opportunity.”