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Coquitlam’s Henderson Place Mall Rings in the Lunar New Year with Lion Dances

Updated: Apr 23

We brought some Lunar New Year excitement to Coquitlam with a stage show featuring lion dance and kung fu at Henderson Place Mall.

Kicking off the Year of the Dragon with some martial arts performances from both the Chau Luen Athletics team and Hung Hsing Choy Lee Fut, it was a fun day for the hundreds of spectators who were there. We also went door-to-door performing blessings for many of the mall tenants. Here’s a rundown of the day’s events.

Kung fu and lion dance hit the stage in Coquitlam

It’s not often that we get to perform lion dances in Coquitlam. Even though we’re based out of Chau Luen Tower in Vancouver’s Chinatown, we’re happy to showcase our skills and give our blessings anywhere in the Lower Mainland.

We sent some of our most experienced lion dancers, Kyle, Andrew, Gueshly, and Oscar to kick off our stage show with a lion dance. After showering the crowd with a colourful lettuce toss and acrobatically dropping some scrolls wishing them a happy Lunar New Year, it was now onto a demonstration of traditional Choy Lee Fut kung fu.

Kung fu performance debuts build confidence for new students

Today marked the first public performance by two of our students. Heart rates soared when we found out just how many people showed up. Hundreds of people watched on from both the ground floor and the second floor’s balcony.

But of course, with a few extra rehearsals and some encouragement from the other students, they became comfortable and ready to take on anything.

Ellen, a student who joined us less than a year ago, debuted with Siu Mui Fa (小梅花) with Chantelle.

“I've never been a fan of the spotlight so I was rather apprehensive about being on stage. While I can't say it's a feeling I love, I do think it's incredible to be able to perform for an audience. I remember watching my friend demo the same choreography less than a year ago and thinking to myself, ‘It's going to take a small miracle for me to get there.”
Chantelle Lui and Ellen Lee perform Siu Mui Fa, a Choy Lee Fut form in Coquitlam, BC

In the end, both had a strong debut because of the feedback they received from the senior students, giving them the confidence to perform again on even bigger stages. This is important to Sifu Michael Tan for two reasons:

“Public demonstrations not only help Chau Luen Athletics promote traditional Chinese culture to a broad audience, but also help new students build confidence in developing their skills.”

Blessing businesses in Coquitlam’s Henderson Place Mall

As part of our Lunar New Year traditions, we blessed a long list of tenants at Henderson Place Mall. Going from one business to the next and giving them a business blessing is called choy cheng. Here, our lion dancers “eat” lettuce that’s left for us by the storefronts, and then shower the store with the fresh, crisp, green leaves.

You can read more about choy cheng in the link above, but in short, here’s what a choy cheng blessing is all about:

  • The green leaves symbolize money, wealth, and prosperity.

  • The loud drumming and dancing lions serve to ward off evil spirits.

  • Businesses reward our blessing with red envelopes filled with money – the more money, the more “luck” they hope to receive in the new year.

Lee Garden Coquitlam lion dance performance

This also marked the debut for a few of our lion dancers and percussionists. I made my drumming debut after weeks of practice. Both Ellen and Chantelle made their lion dance debuts, along with Tesicca and Leanne. In fact, Tesicca joined less than a year ago but was eager to show off what she had been working on over the past few months.

“I was excited to debut my lion dancing at Henderson Mall during the Lunar New Year celebrations after nearly a year of practicing. I'm grateful to Chau Luen Athletics for the opportunity to learn and perform such a special part of my culture.”

Tesicca Truong and Leanne Yu in Coquitlam for Chau Luen Athletics

We blessed businesses all across the mall. Anyone who wanted one got one. On our list were produce markets, pharmacies, early learning centres, and food court stalls. It was really nice that everyone got a turn to get some reps in, and with all of the feedback from our more experienced performers, everyone improved greatly.

Some highlights included:

  • a really high-strung head of lettuce at a traditional Chinese herb store;

  • a massive cheer from all the staff at Deer Garden Signatures;

  • surprising the patrons grabbing lunch at a crowded Lee Garden; and

  • receiving words of encouragement and refreshments from Write Choice Early Learning.

In the end, everyone had an amazing time and learned a lot, especially the new lion dancers. This would help them greatly for the next performance, the business blessings on Fraser Street in Vancouver.

Book a lion dance in Coquitlam

One thing that we want to make clear is that Chau Luen Athletics isn’t just limited to Vancouver when it comes to lion dances. If you live in the Lower Mainland and want one for a wedding, business opening, or community event, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Write Choice Early Learning Coquitlam with lion dance performers

We’ve even gone as far as Chilliwack and Victoria for our performances.

If you want to experience the excitement and joy of a lion dance, simply click the button below and fill out the form. It takes less than a minute and you’ll be on your way to a free consultation from our booking team.

We hope to see everyone in Coquitlam again very soon!


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