I joined this team with the rest of the Trio, a nickname for my fellow teammates Tim and Thien. I came in as a head for the red lion and these two were foundation, a.k.a. my tails. Together we learned how to work and cooperate together to dance as a single unit in unison. As a young and growing team at the time, we all bonded through injury, sweat, blood, and determination to become the best in Oregon.
As time progressed, Thien took over the lead head position for the red lion and now Thien and Tim have grown and evolved into one of the strongest pairs, if not the strongest and best our team has to offer. For me however, I wanted to broaden my lion dance spectrum and experience by pursuing a role that I had always been interested in since the beginning, the Buddha. In past performances, I saw how the role of Buddha worked and always thought it could be improved dramatically. With this in mind, I picked up the mask of the Buddha and took the opportunity to elevate it to a whole new level in order to transform the Buddha into a more dynamic role. By incorporating greater interaction with the crowd, flips/tricks, and ditching the handfan for a gigantic fan, I danced the role of Buddha like no other Buddha had in the past.
Today I am no longer the Buddha, but have further evolved and established my own unique role as the Monkey King (MK). Although I do sub in when needed as a head, my main passion is being the MK. Dressed in an attire that is black on black, wielding a wooden sword, and a new gigantic fan, I utilize the freedom associated with this role to wildly run/crawl about, mess around, play tricks on the crowds, and even fight (playfully) with the lions.
It has been 11 years since I first joined this team with the trio and each year has been an amazing opportunity to learn, grow, and bond with everyone. After 11 years with this group, I no longer call them my friends, but proudly call them my family. This is the type of bond that is everlasting. It is this kind of life lesson that I hope to pass on to the younger generation of White Lotus Dragon & Lion Dance Organization.