Humble Beginnings

While dorming his freshmen year in the Alder building of North Segundo, Matthew Nguyen created the Lion Dance Club @ UC Davis during the Winter Quarter of 2010 as a freshmen. He had prior Lion Dance experience through Far East Dragon Lion Dance Association (FEDLDA), located in San Jose, CA. Membership grew with time- where the majority of the original members were floor mates of Matthew. During practice, no cymbals were available, only a light training Lion (named Papa Smurf), and a cardboard box replaced as a drum. By borrowing funds and taking what equipment he could, LDC@UCD was able to practice with their first legitimate Lion Head (named Gengar), two sets of cymbals donated by FEDLDA, and a drum donated by the Vietnamese Lasallian Youth Troupe.

To add on to that first whirlwind-of-a-year, thanks to the help of designer Benson Chou (better known as the founder of the clothing line The Imaginary Zebra), and Ink Monkey Graphics, shirts were also printed for the club in order to help fund-raise and advertise, as well as providing the young club to share a sense of unity. One show for UC Davis’ Asian American Association and several small shows later, starting with different performing pairs and gradually gaining experience as a club, LDC made their first “major” appearance during Asian Pacific Cultural Night with a routine, a random appearance due to technical difficulties, and a surprise appearance performing alongside headliner After School Special.

Four officers were elected at the end of the school year in the clubs’ first election, Matthew was voted as the official President for the next year, Kyle Pengosro as the Vice President, Lincy Han as Equipment Manager and Emily Hsieh as Public Relations Chair.

In the 7th Annual Davis Dance Revolution Competition, Lion Dance Club took Second place in the Traditional Set. In the 10th Annual Davis Dance Revolution Competition, Lion Dance Club then took First Place in the traditional set.

LDC@UCD is now in it’s fifth year of existence boasting a support group numbering in the hundreds, and a membership roster of approximately three dozen amazing individuals.


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