LEARNING how to perform a lion dance like the Khuan Loke group used to do was only popular among the Chinese community. However, over the years, the traditional art has gained interest among the other races as well.
Besides dancing, many had also come forward to learn how to handle the percussion instruments such as drums, cymbals and gongs for the troupe.
“We used to have only three classes a week but we later had to extend it to a five-day class as our students grew in numbers.
“Now we have classes every day where the students aged from nine to 35 are trained to play and perform with the instruments,” said Lee Chee Kuan during Khuan Loke Association’s ninth annual dinner celebration.
Lee, who was the organising chairman for the event, said being part of a troupe required dedication and discipline as they frequently participated in local and international competitions.
“We started off with just lion dances and slowly moved on to dragon and drum performances,” he said, adding that strict training and guidance by the masters were the key to having a successful team.
The training centres had also expanded from Sungai Way to Subang Jaya and Puchong, giving more people the opportunity to pick up the art.
The association recently qualified for the semifinals of the 15th National Lion Dance Championship 2011 in Genting Highlands and is hoping to make it to the finals in November.
The association held a thanksgiving dinner last week for their supporters and sponsors at the SJKC Sungai Way, Petaling Jaya.
Guests were treated to a Chinese dinner spread while being entertained by the students and members of the Khuan Loke Association.