Chinese Lion Dance Came to Metrowest, I-495

By David Li,

For many years, Chinese lion dance has been performed in Boston Chinatown around Chinese New Year, which is also known as Spring Festival. 2012 is the Year of Dragon according to Chinese calendar, and celebration of the Spring Festival made its way westward to I-495 belt this year. Lion dancers from Wah Lun Kung Fu of Concord brought this traditional Chinese New Year celebration to an Internet company in Westford, and a Montessori school in Littleton.

In the morning of March 19, students of Oak Meadow Montessori School (OMMS) were greeted by two colorful lions on the stage when they came to regular Monday morning meeting in the gym. When all the students were gathered in the middle of the gym, and dozens of student parents standing along the wall with cameras in their hands, the lion dance began with the loud drum sound by Sifu (meaning teacher) Andrea Sheffield. In the 15-minute or so performance, four lion dancers made all kinds of difficult moves while the students were watching in amazement.

Pictures of lion dance at OMMS by David Li.

After the performance, Andrea Sheffield and the lion dancers answered questions from the students. “The head of the lions may look like that of a dragon, but they are indeed lions,” Ms. Sheffield told students. “It’s for the first time in my life I saw lion dance,” one girl from the Children’s House told the audience with excitement in her voice.

Director of admissions of OMMS Erin Palmer thanked the lion dancers, and told reporter that the idea of bringing the lion dance into school was from Ying Chen, a student parent. Ms. Chen organized a Chinese New Year celebration at her company NetScout in Westford earlier this year, and also had lion dance by Wah Lun Kung Fu of Concord.

In an email to reporter, Ying Chen wrote: “The lunar new year celebration at NetScout worldwide headquarter was held on Jan 19, 2012. We had lion dances performed by Wah Lum Kung Fu of Concord. Gourmet food was catered from Bamboo Restaurant and live calligraphy demonstration was presented by local artists. For employee’s interaction games, we provided a Chinese Zodiac poster, riddles, dices, paper cutting, calligraphy try out and Chinese seal/stamp making. The company cafeteria was decorated with beautiful new year lanterns, good luck garlands, spring couplets, fire crackers and many other calligraphic works. We also had a video clip playing on the screen to introduce the lunar new year traditions and explain the cultural significance of the year of the dragon. We even dressed up our VP, Human Resources in the emperor gown, and he offered lunar new year greetings in Mandarin, Vietnamese and Japanese!”

Pictures from Chinese New Year celebration at NetScout, provided by Ying Chen.

Sifu Andrea Sheffield became a certified instructor through Wah Lum Kung Fu of USA in the spring of 2005. Certified Wah Lum instructors must complete a minimum of 10 years’ training in the traditional Professional Instructors Program and are required to pass recertification tests every three years. Information on classes offered by Wah Lum Kung Fu of Concord can be found at:

1 comment

  1. Thanks to everyone at Oak Meadows and Netscout for their enthusiasm and hospitality! We were honored to perform at both venues for such great and welcoming audiences.
    Thank you Mr Li for such a wonderful article. I only respectfully mention one small correction. At our school, Sifu simply means “teacher”, not “master”. (….at least not when refering to me…! :))
    Again, many thanks!

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