Bryant University's Dragon Dance Team
About the Dragon Dance Team
Bryant University’s Dragon Dance Team is a student performance art group for the traditional Chinese performance art: dragon dance. The team has publicly performed several times since our inception and has also become an official Bryant student organization. Dragon Dance is typically performed during the Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival. Bryant’s dragon is 54 feet long with nine bamboo poles for each position of the dragon from head to tail. There is also one separate pole for the Dragon ball which leads the dragon throughout the performance. The team was founded in September 2009.
Dragon dancing mimics the fluid movements of the mythical Chinese dragon through careful and quick synchronization of the dragon’s body through various movements and positions. These movements symbolize the power and dignity of the dragon.
Head Coach: Professor Hu Kai
Professor Hu Kai is the head coach of Bryant’s Dragon Dance Team. Professor Hu is a professor of physical education at Chinese University of Geosciences (CUG) in Wuhan, China. She also coached CUG dragon dance team and led the team winning championship at international competitions. Prof. Hu is also a master of Taiji and Wushu martial arts. She served as a an official judge at the 2008 Wushu Tournament in Beijing which was showcased alongside the Beijing Olympic Games.
Dragon Dance in the News
Bryant Dragon Dance Team traveled to China and won third place and "Most Popular Team Award" in Lujia International Dragon Dance Competition, Kunshan, China on Sept. 8, 2013. The team was also reported by several TV and news outlets in China. Eastablished in 2009, Bryant team is believed to be the first university dragon dance team in the U.S and was the only team from north America in the competition. Members of the team shared their experience in China on this blog .
Bryant Dragon Dance Team Placed Third in International Competition
The University's dragon dance team placed third in international competition held in Shanghai. This news clip from Shanghai TV includes an interview with alumnus Christopher Neale '10, who competed with the Bryant team. Team members who traveled to China to compete maintained a blog that can be read here .
Performances in Schools and Communities
What Members Have Said...
Chiyun Li, International Business Major ’12, China
"Dragon dance is a traditional form of dance that is performed during special occasions, including New Year celebrations. While studying abroad in the United States, I never expected that I would be a member of the Bryant Dragon Dance Team. It has been a great opportunity for me to learn and practice a traditional part of my Chinese culture. The best part of this experience was learning dragon dance from Wushu Master, Coach Kai Hu. She is the youngest Wushu Master in China and was even a judge during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. She is a fun loving person and every member of our team enjoyed learning from her. I am very proud of our team and happy that we are so diverse. We have members from countries all over the world and it has been great to come together to learn something new about Chinese culture."
"As a student intern at the US China Institute, I have been learning a lot about the Chinese culture this semester. When the opportunity to learn dragon dance presented itself, I just couldn’t say no, especially since I was going to learn from a professional, Kai Hu, who has coached, judged, and competed in Dragon Dance competitions in China for many years. The team started out small, but quickly grew in size. For almost two weeks we practiced nightly just to learn the basics. I have to be honest; I never thought it would be so difficult! It takes skill, patience and true teamwork and cooperation to perform. The experience has been truly rewarding. I have learned something new, particularly about the Chinese culture. In addition, I have made some wonderful friendships with students from all classes and a variety of cultures. I am so proud to be a member of the Dragon Dance Team and I am looking forward to future performances and learning more from Kai Hu in her next trip to Bryant!"
"The dragon dance was one of the most unique experiences here for me here at Bryant. At first I used to keep wondering what could be the most interesting thing I could do in my years at college. The dragon dance is definitely at the top of the list. It was an experience for me to learn the cultural dance of another country and I look forward to trying to get the grant and go to China to do the dance there, competing against the best!"
Rohan Laungani, Actuarial Mathematics ’12, Nigeria
"When I first heard about the Dragon Dance team applications, I was curious about what it was and I didn’t think that I would have time for it. My friend Victoria told me that she was joining it and I should come along and check it out with her. When I first met Professor Hu and we did some activities together as a team, I started to have a lot of fun. I eventually set aside time from my busy schedule for the team. I am really excited about our competition this summer in China. I had a great time learning some of the martial arts moves through the dragon dance. I really miss Professor Hu and I have had a great experience with the team and I am encouraging others to join it too."
Bryant Dragon Dance Team is happy to consider performance invitations from organizations at Bryant and local communities to bring this special aspect of Chinese culture to a broader audience. Please contact: