The Taylorsville Redwood Campus Student Center at Salt Lake Community College became the stage for the Sil Lum Kung Fu Kwoon of Utah.
At 11:30 a.m., the main floor of the Student Center was filled with the sound of drums and percussions as a pair of red lions danced around the corridors and rooms.
“There’s a lot of significance with the lion,” said Si Fu Damian Snyder, “it has a lot of different purposes especially blessing the New Years’ celebrations, used for opening businesses, weddings and any joyous occasions”
The Lion Dance celebrates the Chinese new year of the horse, though the actual holiday took place on Jan. 31.
The lions, each one manned by two persons, walked, blinked and opened their mouths as they moved through the hallways. They started in the lunchroom and made their way to the Student Event Center across the hall from The Lair.
The lions were the stars, but not the only participants in the event. Accompanying the lions were a Buddha, drums and percussions, and several students of the kung fu school dressed in uniform and their sashes.
The sashes are like the belts in the karate system of levels and can be earned at SLCC by taking classes from Si Gung, the Sil Lum title for teacher, William Smith.
While the lions danced and moved around, a crowd of students assembled and followed. The crowd filled the halls with laughter and comments such as “wow, that’s amazing.”
The lions also started to throw lettuce at the audience while volunteers handed out fortune cookies and red envelopes for good luck.
Snyder, a teacher of the Sil Lum, took to the podium in the event center at the end of the dance to give a small story on the history and meaning of the lion dance before leaving the stage for The Student Voice Project: Asian Students.