Self-taught D’Iberville students come together to form Lion Dance Team

Behind every performance is a cast of hard-working performers, and a Lion Dance is no exception.
Published: Jan. 29, 2023 at 9:51 PM CST
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D’IBERVILLE, Miss. (WLOX) - Behind every performance is a cast of hard-working performers, and a Lion Dance is no exception.

The White Tiger Lion Dance Team started off as a small group of students trying to find a way to represent their church.

“Having a football team as a church, we didn’t believe it but then someone mentioned lion dance and we all thought that was a great idea,” said the lion dance team captain.

Unlike most organizations, these students are self-taught thanks to a few YouTube videos and having little background on the tradition.

“We just watched professionals and saw what they did, and we just mimicked their movements and tried to figure out what they did,” said the captain. “I would go out to the festival because I grew up here and they would have a festival every year and they would have a Lion Dance and I always loved watching it.”

The dance requires perfect timing and precise technique to make sure the dancers are moving in harmony.

“Being a head is a two-person thing, it’s an all-for-one more than a one-for-all,” said one team member.

Something that’s not an issue for this team, all thanks to crowd energy and a strong friendship that ends with one goal.

“I want to make sure the audience is having a good time because I know when I lift my head player, I see everybody smiling,” said one member. “I see all the reactions to the lion being alive. It brings me joy to put all those smiles on their faces.”

“So, it’s just basically down to communication and trust like you have to trust your teammates like our tails that they will control us. Not pick us up and drop us,” said one member. “At the root of this team, we’re basically all friends just trying to spread the tradition of Lion Dance. So being friends just helps us to motivate each other and work together.”

“Lion Dance is a dying sport and not many people know about it, so we’re just trying to keep the tradition alive,” said the captain.

The team said they perform for other events besides the Lunar New Year. If you would like to become a member or learn more about them, you can head over to their social media pages.

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