We teach and do two types of Lion Dancing; Cantonese Lion and Hokkien Lion.
The Cantonese Lion Dance is the more famous one that is seen in movies and demonstrations. It is flamboyantly dressed up and employs lots of crowd pleasing antics. It resembles a puppy dog in its motion and is seen as playful and jovial.
The Hokkien Lion is a more traditional Lion that is used in ceremonies and rituals to ward off “Evil Spirits” . It has fierce and vibrant motion and employs the use of martial skills and low stances. It resembles an agile big cat with ferocious sudden movements.
Both these dances requires agility and strength and is a great way to keep fit and practice stances and footwork for fighting. The arms also get a great workout for use in the guard during fighting, as you cannot drop your hands with performing the Lion Dance. Together with the actual dance, comes music. Playing Chinese musical instruments is part of the cultural experience with doing the Lion Dance and so, a team of musical performers is also required. Traditionally the huge Chinese War drum is used. However this is quite cumbersome to transport for small events etc, and so alternatives can be used.
All in all, the Lion Dance is a fun filled activity with double benefits.