November 27, 2012 / in Events / by Sifu Justin Och
Make your next special event even more special with a Chinese Lion Dance Performance
At first glance, the Asian Bamboo Gardens at the Jacksonville Zoo seemed to be an ideal place for families to rest, relax, and reflect. Yet little did they know a huge lion was lurking in the Bamboo Mist Forest, ready for action.
Luckily for zoo visitors, this lion wasn’t a real threat, but the intricately costumed Chinese Lion Dance performers from the Sifu Och Wing Chun studio in downtown Lakeland. In March 2009, the talented Sifu Och Lion Dance team performed seven shows in just two and a half days to celebrate the grand opening of the zoo’s Asian-themed section, featuring Komodo dragons and over 70 other animal species unique to the Far East.
“The Sifu Och lion dance was fantastic,” said an advisory board member from the Jacksonville Asian American Alliance. “I’m from Singapore, and coming from the Orient, the lion dance is very important if you have something new that opens up. These guys did a fantastic, phenomenal job and made me feel right at home.”
During their performances which spanned the entire garden, including stunts at the Lotus Pool and Weeping Tree Bridge, children and their parents would closely follow the lion, curious about what it would do next. Families would cheer when the lion executed a series of difficult stunts and laugh when it would tease particular audience members. One time, for instance, the lion tried to steal a musician’s gong!
Lion dances play an essential role in Chinese folk culture as many believe the performances chase off evil spirits while bringing good luck, happiness, and prosperity. In fact, the first recorded Chinese lion dance performance dates back to third century B.C. during the Han Dynasty. These choreographed routines can only be performed by the most advanced Kung Fu practitioners since the coordinated running, leaping, and jumping movements require much strength, stamina, flexibility, balance, and body control.
Justin Och, the leader of the Sifu Och Wing Chun Chinese lion dance team, has over 13 years of experience executing the acrobatic techniques necessary for an entertaining show. His commitment to the craft makes his Chinese lion dance team one of the most successful and sought after in Central Florida. His team has performed at numerous Asian weddings in Orlando, Tampa, Maitland, Kissimmee, and Brandon, and at museums in Bradenton, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, and Lakeland. In addition, public Sifu Och lion dance demonstrations are conducted throughout the year, especially during the Chinese New Year. Most recently, the Sifu Och team performed at the Family Day event at the Polk Museum of Art in September.
This Lakeland Florida-based Chinese lion dance team will perform at any wedding, birthday party, business opening, or special event, and will match any competitor’s price. In addition, Sifu Och will work closely with you to build a custom choreographed show that will bring joy to all involved. Several packages are available starting at $499-799 for local shows (within 20 miles of Lakeland with reasonable increases in prices for further travel). Seasoned Chinese musicians are also available to enhance your Chinese lion dance experience with drums, flutes, gongs, and cymbals. Final price depends on location and size of show. Bring the lion dance to your next special event.
Make your next event special with a Chinese Lion Dance Performance.
– Amanda Furmage-Deck
to book your special event such as a asian or Chinese wedding with our Lakeland Chinese lion dance team, register today!
For more info watch our Lion Dance videos.