It all started when Mok-Yi IMed Andy one day in July 2002 and asked,
"Hey Andy, interested in doing lion dance?"
And just like that, East Rising was born.
The East Rising Lion Dance Troupe is a non-profit lion dance troupe located in Maryland . The majority of the troupe members are second generation Asian-Americans between the ages of 14 to 28. Our troupe has been very fortunate to have a lot of support since its inception from local troupes from other states and countries. We have been steadily growing and are still striving to achieve our goal:
To learn about lion dancing, to promote Asian cultural awareness, and to bring good fortune and joy to people who have experienced our show!
For the first half year, we couldn't afford a lion head. All we had was an old drum, an old gong, a pair of old dragon cymbals, and whatever folding chairs we found laying around. Dispite the lack of equipments, the troupe has gathered once every week to practice and condition our body, in preparation of the big day when we finally get our first lion head.
With no way of fund-raising (it was winter), we finally just bit the bullet and bought our very first lion out of pocket. We were all very excited yet nervous with the purchase... there was no turning back! With the brand new lion, we had to relearn everything. Everything we could do perfectly was a challange with the bulky head, it was exciting yet frustrating at the same time. Now that we had our first lion, we got greedy and started towards puchasing a new instrument set and aimed for another lion. For that, we scrubbed many, many, many cars.
Since our troupe does not have an instructor, we relied heavily on videos, written descriptions, and online instructions from lion dancers around the world. There are some great people and troupe that helped us out locally, and there are people across the globe that really helped us grow. Even one that flew out here to give us lessons! We are also very thankful for the people that requested a show, especially for believing that such a young team can deliver a high impact performance.
As of now, East Rising Lion Dance Troupe is growing steadily having performed countless shows; as our experience and reputation grow, we remain firm in our believe:
To educate ourselves about lion dancing, to promote Asian Culture awareness, and to bring good fortune and joy to people who have experienced our show!