The Student News Site of Conestoga High School



Dragon dancing: Continuing tradition and conversation


By Mindy Wang and Juliana Yao, Staff Reporters

The steady beating of drums vibrates through the air. Fortune cookies fly as students rush to pick them off of the ground. The large, colorful head of a lion emerges, swaying to the deafening rhythm of the line of musicians that follow.

The lion dance, hosted by the Asian American Culture Club (AACC) to celebrate Lunar New Year, was a roaring success. Students lined the halls and followed the echoes of the festival as it traveled across the building. Performing this dance before Lunar New Year is a club tradition, but it did not take place last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Students wanted to be able to have (the lion dance) because I don’t think they had it last year,” said club advisor Esther Chi. “And I knew it was something that they felt like they needed to do and really wanted to do.”

The lion dance’s goal of sharing Asian culture and reaching out to Asian Americans at Conestoga succeeded, as the club received great feedback from the community. Members who participated in the dance also enjoyed the experience. Vice president Shine Lin watched the lion dance as a freshman, but was able to partake in it as a junior this year. 

“For me, it was very exciting. Having to do this again was a lot of fun, but this time I was involved in it,” Lin said. “So it was fun to see how we were able to do this. It was also very nerve-wracking to see how it would turn out.”

A special addition to the AACC’s New Year celebration was the library display case. The students and advisors put a lot of thought into organizing the display, which was focused on educating people about Lunar New Year. Traditional New Years decorations in the case are an eye-catching red, including lanterns and red envelopes. Club members appreciated that the library encouraged their display, and feel that a lot of the time Asian culture is looked over.

“Back when I was in T/E Middle School, almost nothing was mentioned on the Lunar New Year,” said Justin Chow, board member. “They even called it Chinese New Year which is really inaccurate, so I’m really glad that the library enabled us to do this.”

The display was just one example of the club’s growth. At the beginning of the year, Chi was greatly surprised by the number of members. Just two years ago, the club was relatively small, with only around 20 students. The club size has almost quadrupled since then, now in the high 70s.

The club’s weekly activities range from informational to game-centered. Being an Asian American, cases of Asian American hate crimes and how to help the community at ’Stoga are all frequent topics of discussion during club meetings.

“It (the club) is just a place where people can find their community and feel comfortable with each other, at home, and talk about certain experiences that they might not be able to with other people,” said Kathy Wang, president of the club. “It’s also just a place to have fun.”

Mindy can be reached at [email protected].

Juliana can be reached at [email protected].

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