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Have you ever seen a Chinese Lion Dance? If you have, you must have enjoyed and appreciated the efforts of the youngsters performing for you.

The lion figures used most frequently here in San Diego are traditional southern China styles. The lion's head is made of paper-mache and bamboo. Its body is a montage of colorful cloth trimmed, synthetic hair, and bells. It takes two persons to make the lion dance. One person is inside the head using hidden triggers to flap the lion's ears and move the eyes. The other person is at the end of the lion's cloth body, jumping around and wiggling the tail. The performance is quite strenuous because of the weight of the equipment and the movements simulating a cat. During a long dance, there is need for several exchanges of dancers to manipulate the figure. The drums, gongs, and cymbals (and some times firecrackers) provide the beat and enhance excitement.

There are several lion dance troupes in San Diego. The oldest and the largest (the Lucky Lion Dance Troupe) is sponsored by the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA) of San Diego. The Lucky Lion Dance Troupe (see picture) owes it success over the past 30 years to Mr. Albert Wong and Mr. Rollie Quon. They are the two bookends in the group picture, Mr. Wong on the far left and Mr. Quon on the far right.

Mr. Wong has volunteered his time to the CCBA for about 30 years. Albert graduated from the University of Oregon in 1953 with a degree in Architecture. After two years in the military service and a few years as an apprentice architect, he joined Miramar Naval Base as a staff architect. Albert is active in several civic organizations. His devotion to the community is admirable. He has been honored many times by CCBA for his volunteer efforts.

Mr. Quon, likewise, has served CCBA for over 24 years. As a Sheriff's volunteer, he has coordinated security needs for many community events using volunteer Sheriff's deputies. Rollie has worked as a Community Service Officer for the City of Imperial Beach and the City of Chula Vista. Currently, he and his wife owns Albert's Uniform Shop on Sixth Avenue, San Diego.

Like most people who get involve with the community, Albert and Rollie do it to provide a better environment for their children, meet social needs, maintain one's cultural heritage, and a desire to help others. They also provide leadership and guidance to the many youngsters who have participated in the Lucky Lion Dance Troupe over the past 30 years.

Performances are held throughout the year upon request. The most active period is during the time of Chinese New Year. The lion dance is some what of a religious ritual. It is suppose to bring good luck and prosperity. The troupe performs at weddings, grand openings, special events, school cultural assemblies, cultural festivals, parades, and yes, even Bar-Mitzvahs.

For the past two years, the Lucky Lion Dance Troupe has performed in Tijuana, Mexico by invitation. Several months ago, this troupe performed for a PBS special movie called "ALL POINTS BETWEEN" to be aired later. Watch for the movie.

For further information, you may call Mr. Rollie Quon at (619) 239-4891.

Date: 9-29-95

Reference Sites:

  • Lion Dance Champions
  • Lion Dance Website by Chris Low

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