David Nguyen coaches the members of the new Lion Dance club at RAHS

Started by David Nguyen, Lion Dance Club is a new addition to the clubs at RAHS that takes place after school. This unique club offers credit opportunities for students and diversifies the culture at RAHS.

Junior David Nguyen is passionate about encouraging a cultural mindset at RAHS.

“I believe culture is important at Raisbeck,” said Nguyen. “It’s one of the my influencers to create Lion Dance here, because our school is not made of just one ethnic background; our school and Seattle are defined by many different backgrounds.”

Lion Dance has a large Asian cultural background. Nguyen hopes that the Lion Dance can show a unique artistic heritage.

“The culture side has the heritage and the art aspect,” said Nguyen. “The costume is [mostly] hand made. The entire thing requires a person not just a machine; it has a human side.”

Lion dance has made its stance at RAHS; being a part of Lion Dance allows members to become close and build a family.  

“It’s kind of a part of my roots and who I am as an Asian-American,” said Nguyen. “Another thing that really kept me going with it for all these years is that once you’re a part of a team, or any team really, but more so with Lion Dance, me and my other members become like a family.”

Nguyen, in particular, enjoys making people happy when he and his team perform.

“Another thing that drives me is the smiles on peoples faces when we do it and how people like it when we dance,” said Nguyen.

Sophomore Thomas Zemene has never heard of the club and is on edge about having it at RAHS.

“I think it is somewhat useful especially to the people involved in that culture,” said Zemene, “but at the same time I think it’s kind of weird putting something tied to one culture in a school filled with different types of people and what not.”

Lion Dance is a way to add culture to RAHS but some students, like Zemene, think there should be more culture tied clubs to accommodate multiple cultures.

“I think it is kind of important to understand the culture’s perspective on life and what not,” said Zemene. “It’s pretty interesting.”

Sophomore Mia Baerg and member of Lion Dance. She believes joining the club has many significant benefits.

“When David recommended the club to me,” said Baerg, “I was interested because it sounded fun, and I could get my PE credit at the same time.”

Lion Dance, like other clubs, takes time and commitment. Bearg sees the club as an opportunity to earn credit.

“Lion Dance Club is an awesome opportunity,” said Baerg. “It’s a convenient way to earn either art or PE credit! The club mostly meets after school on Wednesdays, from 3:30-5.”

Even though Lion Dance is new, it has brought a sense of community to its members. Baerg also sees the club as a way for her to improve her time management skills and earn credit.

“Since another activity has been added to my schedule, time management is key.” said Baerg. “The club has helped me be accountable for my school work, and be more organized,”

Lion Dance members are already seeing benefits. It gives the members something to look forward to every week.

“My experience in the club so far has been lively and enjoyable, and I look forward to going every Wednesday,” said Baerg.

Lion Dance, as a club, is seen as a great way of learning about traditional Chinese culture and earning credit by its members. It is a new addition to the RAHS culture and creates something students can look forward to, hopefully there will be more.