Heads or Tails? – Origins and Legacies of Chinese Lion and Dragon Dancing
Sunday, February 6, 2022 at 11:00 AM (Pacific Time)
A webinar presented in English on Zoom
Hear the drums, cymbals, and gongs as lion and dragon dancers bring to life one of the core traditions of Lunar New Year celebrations around the world.
Celebrate Lunar New Year and learn about the rich origins and living legacies of lion and dragon dancing with long-time instructors Danny Quon of the Hon Hsing Athletic Club in Vancouver Chinatown and Daniel Low of the Wong Sheung Kung Fu Club in Victoria Chinatown.
See a demonstration of southern lion dancing and dragon dancing during our Lunar New Year virtual program!
This program is presented by Chinese Canadian Museum, supported by the Province of BC.
About the Speakers
Danny is the Dragon and Lion Dance Director and Chief Dance Instructor for the Hon Hsing Athletic Club of Vancouver. Inspired by his late father’s philosophy of never forgetting your culture and heritage and to always give back to the community, Danny has dedicated his life to Hon Hsing and to the Chinese community. Danny also serves as the club’s ‘Dai Si-Hing’ (大師兄) or ‘eldest brother’ to Hon Hsing’s youth group. He began his martial arts training of Choy Lee Fut at 7 years old at the Lee’s Society of Canada. Then in 1981, he enrolled into Hon Hsing’s renown martial arts and lion dance school thus charting a path of community volunteering and involvement for the next three decades.
From 1993 onwards, Danny began training seriously in Chinese lion dance and in Chinese drumming. Since 2007, Danny has been instrumental in reforming the Hon Hsing Athletic Club with the support of its Board of Directors and the Wongs’ Benevolent Association of Canada. These reforms have resulted in the expansion of the club’s youth membership and rekindled interest in traditional Chinese culture among Canadian born Chinese youth. Hon Hsing also expanded its curriculum to include Chinese dragon dance. Danny searched out remaining local masters to teach him traditional Chinese dragon dance and through his own extensive research, taught the club’s students modern intricate tournament style dragon dancing skills.
Danny is a recipient of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his long and exemplary volunteer service to Vancouver’s Chinese community and to Canada.
Born and raised in Victoria, Daniel Low has always been fascinated with the Chinese lion dance and once thought of lions as celebrities. He first got involved with the Wong Sheung Kung Fu Club when he requested his father to introduce him to several members of the club, so the young Daniel could get closer to the lions.
From a young age, Daniel was drawn to everything about lion dance, including the sounds of the drums, gong and cymbals; the smell of the burning gunpowder from the firecrackers and the actual costume. He would draw lions in school, wore out VHS tapes with any bit of lion dancing, and always made his parents bring him to Chinatown for any event that involved lion dance performances.
Daniel joined the Wong Sheung Kung Fu Club at age 12 and has been a member of the club for 30 years. He is proud to be Chinese Canadian and wishes to share his culture with everyone. He particularly loves seeing the joy in people’s faces when they watch his team perform lion dance and their Hung Fut style of Kung Fu. Daniel is a father who feels fortunate that both his kids have followed his footsteps with their own involvement in lion dancing.