AYSC Lion Dance Team
The Asian Youth Services Committee Lion Dance Team was established more than sixteen years ago. People such as Oakland Police Officer Robert Sayaphupha felt the need to decrease gang violence in the streets by teaching youths how to work together to build a stronger community.
Every Friday, Sifu Robert Lee volunteers his time to coach Lion Dancing and WuShu martial arts to this group of youth. Youths consist of students from the Junior High through High School from all over the Bay Area. They practice good sportsmanship as well as developing teamwork. College students often return to coach newer generation of performers as a means to give back to the community. We appreciate the time Sifu Lee puts in for the group and for being confident and encouraging to members.
What performances do we offer?
Depending on the requests we offer Lion Dance, Chinese Martial Arts, and Chinese Modern Dancing. We perform for many cultural occasions (Banquets, Weddings, Chinese/Lunar New Year, Street Festivals, Birthdays, Ceremonies, etc.). Because the AYSC is a non-profit organization, all donations received from performances are put into the AYSC general fund, which helps support scholarships, dances, retreats, new lion dance equipment, and more.
Lion Dance & WuShu
Lion dancing has always been closely associated with martial arts training. Strong stances, powerful arms, endurance, and basic martial arts movements are needed in order for the dancers to effectively give the lion "life". Lion dancers and martial art performances of today are often combined because the demonstration of martial arts brings out the full flavor of lion dancing. Other than lion dancers, the group also consists of instrument players such as the drummer, gong and cymbal players. From hearing the rhythm of the instruments, the lion dancers understand when he or she will execute the next movement. And in a way, the drumming seems to be like the "heartbeat" of the lion.
Chinese Modern Dance
The AYSC Chinese Modern Dance Team was formed in the year 2000 by Amy Chu, at the time an Oakland High Student and Lion Dance member, whom currently holds the title Miss SF Chinatown 2009. Chu was the main choreographer and has choreographed many dances for events that included weddings, birthdays, street festivals, new years, and more. Chinese modern dance is a combination of free-style dance techniques with Chinese flavor to it. Dances may include Chinese props such as ribbons, fans, and umbrellas. Practice time is during Lion Dance practice.