Our Lion Dance Class
Lion dance is an essential part of any traditional Chinese Kung Fu school, and was used to help demonstrate the skill of the students and style.
Our class is held every Monday at Frimley Community Centre from 6:30pm until 7:30pm. (except bank holidays)
Training is open to all school members and is highly encouraged, as it compliments the kung fu training and helps with improving confidence outside of classes.
Turning up to the lion dance classes does not include any obligation to join the performance team! If you just want to the learn a new skill you are more than welcome to turn up and join in.
Q: Why do Lion Dance now though?
- There are many reasons, the biggest being that it is additional training for footwork, breathing, stamina and intent behind your movements.
- Being part of the team and performing in public will help improve general confidence, and help with nerves when it comes to kung fu gradings.
- It will improve your cultural diversity even more, and is a fantastic way to learn first hand some of the more interesting Chinese traditions.
Q: If I come to lion dance classes do I have to perform in public?
- There is a difference between coming to the Lion Dance classes for training, and being on the Lion Dance Team for the performances.
- There is no requirement to be a part of the Lion Dance Team and perform in public, however once you are confident enough it is highly recommended to do so.
- If you decide to join the Lion Dance Team you will only be asked to do roles that you are comfortable with.
- Roles, performances and dates are not forced on anyone (Except for SiFu).
- For students, being part of the team is meant to be fun and enjoyable, not an obligation to be held over you.
Q: How do you start, and what do you learn?
- Talk to SiFu and turn up on Mondays.
- Overall you will learn every role in the Lion Dance - the various musical instruments, the Buddha/Jester character and the Lion head & tail.
- We know that students will have strengths and weaknesses in the roles, so on top of improving your kung fu our goal during the classes is to improve on the weaknesses and make your strengths fantastic.
- Operate the mouth, eyes, and ears
- Use combinations of the above, along with sharp movements of the lion head itself to give the lion more 'life like' characteristics
- 'Lead' the performance, but following the BHB where required
- Symbolises the heartbeat of the lion
- The musical lead
- Primary musical part to convey the emotion of the lion
- Follow the footwork of the lion head
- Work on any important items handed back from the lion head (the Cheng, tips etc.)
- Help stack the lion head - can be for obtaining an important item or purely for show (half stack to thighs, shoulder stack, full stack to head, or a custom combination)
- Wag the actual tail. The rear of the lion must still be animated.
- Typically there are two pairs of cymbals playing
- Provide an accompanying higher pitch of music alongside the drum beats
- Changing volume and musical sequence in time with the drum
- Secondary backup spotter for the lion and BHB
Big Headed Buddha (BHB)
- Lead the lion around the environment
- Help tell the story being portrayed
- Keeps an eye for trouble or interference (environmental or from the audience)
- Is otherwise a 'court jester' character, playing up to the lion and audience alike, showing off where possible
- Metronome beat for the music
- Primary backup spotter for the lion and BHB
We practice every week throughout the year to ensure we can provide an excellent performance for our customers.
The World Eagle Claw Association's Kung Fu & Lion Dance Demonstration team can be seen performing at many different types of events; from weddings, Chinese New Year celebrations, business openings, private parties, corporate events, etc., in fact many of our clients book us year on year.
You can be assured of a bright, colourful and exciting performance by our very dedicated demonstration team. We are happy to accommodate any special requests.
A standard Lion Dance performance consists of the following roles: Drummer, Gong player, cymbal players, Lion (two people) and Dai Tou Fut (Happy Buddha)
You can also book more than one Lion for your event (subject to availability).
Please see our Lion Dance Galleries for photographs and youtube videos of our previous performances.
Popular with Chinese Restaurants are our Red and Gold Lions, especially at Chinese New Year; to bring wealth and prosperity for the coming year.
Some of our previous bookings include:
Aldershot Army Show, Forbidden City Chinese Restaurant Knaphill, Mayflower Chinese Restaurant Basingstoke, Ming Chinese Restaurant Windlesham, Eastern & Oriental Chinese Restaurants in Chobham and Old Woking, Real China Chinese Restaurant Camberley, Surrey Heath Show Mytchett, Aldershot Victoria Day, Vue Cinema Camberley, Odeon Cinema Basingstoke, Vue Cinema Staines.
We have also performed at various public events including Yateley May Fayre, Safer Rushmoor Action Day Farnborough, Princes Mead Shopping Centre Farnborough, Old Dean Community Day Camberley, North Camp Fayre, ‘Moor Fun Fest’ Farnborough, Hart Shopping Centre Fleet, Wellington Centre Aldershot, The Mall Shopping Centre Camberley and Fleet Carnival.
We are also available for booking in:
Hampshire, Surrey, Berkshire, London, West Sussex, Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Middlesex and across the south-east of England.
"Matt and the other liondancers came to perform at our wedding; it was the highlight of the day following the ceremony which everyone enjoyed watching... People even came in from off the street to see and hear the spectacular performance! We had photos taken with the liondance group, they were happy to allow for as many photos for our guests to take, nothing was too much trouble. The liondance became a talking point for our guests, even to this day. We've seen other liondances since but certainly the World Eagle Claw Association's performance is the best we've seen. The performers were energetic and their acrobatics were impressive! If anyone was wishing to book a liondance performance we would definitely recommend Matt and his team." - Mr & Mrs Salter