Lion Dance Training Day At The Orchard- An Article By Mr Russell Suthern, Chief Instructor

Recently the WCMA Lion Dance team spent a wonderful afternoon training up at Kirsty’s orchard situated near Brighton Racecourse. The weather was perfect, hot sun & blue skies & the panoramic view of Brighton from that high vantage point was breathtaking.
The orchard itself was a beautiful spot to train in, very green & natural. The lions looked great dancing around amongst the trees, long grass & wild flowers. For some reason the wild surroundings really complimented the lions & made them look like real wild animals!
We started with a wonderful picnic lunch prepared by Shaf which really set us up for the afternoon (The Chorizo dish was my favourite…) Then we started training in earnest.
We focused on drumming practice & double Lion Dance, really working on getting the Lions interacting with each other & making them as lifelike as possible.
Even after all these years of practising & teaching Lion Dance, it still brings a smile to my face to see those lions in action. I love how they go from being inanimate objects to real, living, breathing creatures!
I also love how each different performer puts their own personality into the Lion making each performance individual & unique.
Lion Dance is very artistic, but also very hard work & a great way to keep fit. It also is a wonderful link back into Chinese culture & history, especially martial history, as Lion Dance has always been associated with martial arts groups.
We are very proud at WCMA to be able to help keep this tradition alive.
The training afternoon went so fast as fun times always do. Afterwards we all felt very worked! I could tell they were all going to ache a bit the next day, but don’t worry, we all drank plenty of chocolate milk…
The day also gave us the opportunity to take lots of great photos which we will share will you all over the coming weeks!
My next plan is to wait for a nice heavy snowfall then get the troop up to the orchard. The lions frolicking in the snow should look awesome & will be a great test for my teams footwork!

Mr Russell Suthern
Chief Instructor

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