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Lunar New Year: Richmond student organizes traditional folk dance performance

Free dance performance on Saturday to showcase traditional Asian dances.

A Richmond student is organizing an event this weekend to showcase Chinese folk dances for community youth and families ahead of Lunar New Year.

Yoshier Hu, a Grade 12 Hugh McRoberts secondary student, is hosting a free Chinese New Year-themed event titled "Dance to Connect" at Cambie Community Centre on Jan. 21.

Hu said the event is a cultural celebration to demonstrate traditional Chinese culture and costumes to children from diverse backgrounds.

The performance will feature four dances from different minority Asian groups with student dancers from the Cindy Yang Dance Academy of Canada wearing traditional dance costumes.

"It's a great connection for students and people alike to connect and learn about minority groups that are not usually thought about," said Hu.

The event, she added, was initially organized for local students at the Richmond Tzu Chi Academy of Humanistic Studies, but she wanted to showcase the dance to the general public.

Prior to the performance, there will be an introduction to the dances with stories and information about each minority dance in both English and Chinese languages.

Hu, who grew up dancing since she was five years old, said she fell in love with folk dances because of the beautiful colours and costumes.

“I started to really appreciate dancing since then and I’m using dance in many different other scopes as well."

This included taking leadership roles and tutoring younger students in dance.

"Dance made me change in different ways and allowed me to explore different skills. I hope the community can also learn more about these minority groups through dance."

The dance event will begin at 11:20 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 21 at 4151 Jacombs Rd.