IT has been 11 years since Leong Yuen Tuck graduated from Catholic High School (CHS), Petaling Jaya.
But the “family” he found in the CHS’ lion dancing troupe and his passion for it, gets him back to the school very often.
Leong isn’t the only one to do so.
He and 59 other CHS alumni are members of the school lion dance troupe, and often return to their “second home” without fail to show juniors the ropes in the traditional Chinese dance.
The alumni take leave from work, to take part in lion dance performances - this is to help raise funds for the CHS lion dance troupe.
The troupe with its student performers and alumni are for hire.
The students who are in Forms One to Five, raise their own funds to maintain their uniforms.
Leong, who has been involved in the school’s lion dance troupe since Form Three, says they did approximately 120 performances for the recent lunar new year celebrations.
“We do it on a voluntary basis. It is our chance to perform together as a family, ” says Leong, adding that the oldest member in the troupe is 37.
Most of the funds raised, he adds, will go directly to the school’s troupe.
“However, a small token or an allowance, will be given to the volunteers as they take leave from work or skip classes to perform, ” he notes.
Following in Leong’s footsteps, Lea Khoo Zhi Xin and Alan Ngeow, both 18, who completed their SPM last year, say they are ready to help the troupe whenever they can.
They both performed for the first time as alumni members during the recent festive season for JD Sports, which hired the troupe.
“The teamwork and friendship the troupe develops over the years keep us coming back for more, ” says Khoo who joined the troupe in Form One.
Describing the troupe as a family, Ngeow says it is not easy to forge loyal and true friendships.
“That’s why when needed, we will come back to help, ” he says.
JD Sports SEA chief operating officer Andre Loong says this is the third year the company has engaged the CHS lion dance troupe.
“Their performances are always great.
“We choose to engage a school troupe because we believe in supporting the youngsters and encouraging them to do great things, ” he says.
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