The Cal Poly Chinese Student Association (CSA) Lion Dance team has been one of the longest continuously student run organizations on campus, being active for over 50 years. LDT routinely performs for local schools, businesses and events such as Illuminate dance and Culturefest.
Team captain and senior computer science student, Jordan Cheu, says the team is completely self-taught where younger members learn the routines from older students and captains.
“Traditional lion dance teams come from a shifu, or a master who kind of teaches their knowledge to the team but because we don’t really have that structure at Cal Poly, it’s really students teaching students,” Cheu said. “So at the end of the day captains kind of lead all of that.”
Cal Poly LDT is now attempting to broaden their program by applying to become an ‘Instructionally Relevant Activity’ which could open up the possibility of organized funding and support for the program from the Cal Poly Corporation.
““We’re trying to get funding from Cal Poly to have our own storage unit. Other teams, like I know the [UC] Berkeley team–their Vietnamese Students Association their lion dance team gets a allotment of space underneath the gym where they can keep all their equipment,” said Cheu. “But since we don’t have that we’re trying to get funding from Cal Poly to pay for a storage unit off campus. Because right now what happens during the summer is that there is a mad scramble of where we are supposed to put these lions.”
The Lion Dance Team welcomes members of all levels of dance experience and backgrounds and encourages anyone to join if interested. They are currently actively performing all around the state and locally, their performance schedule and more information about the team can be located on their website calpolyldt.com or @calpoly_liondanceteam on instagram.