Jiangsu students to debut at the national dragon dance stage
Nanjing University of Science and Technology plays host to the ninth China Dragon and Lion Dance Tournament in November, 2016. They have been the school pioneers in the traditional Chinese exercise since 2000. [Photo/njust.edu.cn]
Vast majority of the China’s younger generation are interested in more popular sports such as football, basketball and cycling, but here in East China’s Jiangsu province, college students have explored their enthusiasm for the dragon dance, a folk exercise mostly enjoyed by senior citizens.
On behalf of Jiangsu, a team of 12 youngsters from local schools of Yangzhou University, Nanjing University of Science and Technology, and Nanjing University of The Arts, will showcase their talent at the 13th China National Sports Meeting in Tianjin on July 9.
Zhang Pengming, a 19-year-old young man who plays the head of the “dragon”, is looking forward to his performance at the national stage.
“This is the first time the dragon dance has been included in China’s national sports meeting. My teammates and I are all striving hard to come back as winners,” the youngster said.
As a first year student majoring in traditional sports exercises at Yangzhou University, Zhang introduced his intensified training for the national competition, which starts from March.“We practice for approximately eight hours every day. Though exhausted, we are obsessed with the art and proud of ourselves,” Zhang said.
Yang Rui, another head of the “dragon”, explained his keenness towards the traditional exercise.
“In sports such as basketball and football, the results mostly depend on the star players. But in a dragon dance show, teamwork is the key, and only concerted efforts can create vivid dragon moves,” said Yang.
Ge Guozheng, the coach and professor at the Nanjing University of Science and Technology, expressed his confidence ahead of the upcoming competition.
“We’re strict with every move and posture, as we will never make the same mistake twice,” he said.
Colleges in Jiangsu have been pioneering in dragon dance exercises, especially the Nanjing University of Science and Technology, which has made the traditional sport an important and essential part of its campus culture since 2000.