This summer, the Asian Arts and Culture Society hosted its first-ever Dumpling Festival in Coquitlam. After hearing about the event, Grade 11 Student Christina S. rallied the Meadowridge Dragon Dance Club and had the bright idea to dance a fiery number at the Dumpling Festival to represent the school community. We sat down with Christina to learn more about her experience at this amazing event.
What was it like to lead and plan a performance for the Dumpling Festival?
My goal was to lead a successful dance performance at the BC Dumpling Festival, allowing more people to get to know Meadowridge.
Our rehearsals were very successful; the students learned the entire dance in just two lessons (four hours), which is very impressive. I saw the hard work they put in and I was proud to be their dance instructor. Within the week, I also reached out to the people at the BC Dumpling Festival to let them know what we needed: coordinating locations, photographers, food, stage set up, show times, music, and backgrounds, seating areas, and branding. I also wrote the script that the host used to introduce our school at the performance.
Overall, it was a long journey; countless things happened during this experience, and I can’t express how much I loved it. This is the first time I’ve done something like this, from planning to communicating with parents, students, and teachers; all on my own. Looking back, it was a very memorable experience for me as it developed my social skills, my ability to interact and communicate with people of different ages and backgrounds, and taught me to handle everything on my own.
What did you enjoy most?
Embracing challenges, spending time with the students, and the moment when we stepped on the stage and began with a powerful cheer full of inspiration and energy. At the festival, there were over 20,000 people in attendance; the students and I loved being the star of the stage, showing the audience our passion and keeping spirits high.
What challenges did you have to overcome?
I had some trouble finding performers as the festival would be taking place during the summer, which is when most people go on vacation. Moreover, younger kids don’t tend to check their emails very often, and many of them don’t get notified about it; however, some of them responded to my emails about involvement. To get more attention, I made posters and sent messages to parents by emailing the students for their parents' numbers. Thankfully, students and parents were very interested and eager to participate. I communicated with parents about setting the dates and time for practices; however, time was a struggle for many families because they had to adjust their schedule to come to the practices, but we managed to pull it off in the end!
What was the day like? What was the performance like?
The weather was extremely sunny and bright. I remembered telling the students that the sky acts as a hint, pointing to a good sign. In return for our beautiful day, we had to put on our best effort and have unconditionally confidence. The performance was SPECTACULAR! After the performance, many people came to take pictures with us, and they even asked which school we were from. Our students proudly answered, “MEADOWRIDGE!” In that moment, it was all worth it and we can’t say enough how much we love our school.
Anything else you would like to share or that we should know?
I want to continue to share my passions and positive energy with those around me. A quote that represents me is, “I am a student, but a Meadowridge student and leader, and I am proud to be the person who I am and determined to spread my positive energy to everyone that is around me.” I also would like to thank the parents, teachers, and students. Thank you everyone for making the dream come true. Without anyone, the success and honour wouldn’t exist. Finally, I want to give a huge thank you to my mom who’s my strong backing. Every day, she drove my sister and I to school for practices, took care of us, bought drinks and dance costumes for the students, and took pictures for us. Overall, I am grateful to everyone who was involved in this, and this event will forever remain in our hearts. It has been an exciting journey and a lesson in experience and growth.