Regis University students bring lions to life at Colorado Dragon Boat Festival Competition

July 14, 2014

Visit the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival next weekend and you’ll hear the beating sounds of drums and see brightly colored lions compete in a demonstration of skill and athleticism.

Regis University students are bringing the animals to life through the Lion Dance Extravaganza. In this traditional Chinese dance, the good luck symbol of a lion dances as an expression of joy and happiness. Teams are composed of dancers and drummers, with two people forming the lion. One person plays the lion’s head while the other plays the body to mimic-like movements. Lion dancers display a high level of fitness, coordination, strength and acrobatics during the dance.

Peter Pham, a senior business major at Regis University, plays the head of the Jesuit Lions Team and worked for more than a year to bring this colorful event to the festival. Kelly Nguyen (Regis graduate) plays the lion’s tail. Vi Vuong (Regis sophomore) and her sister, Holly Vuong (Thornton High School Student), are the drummers.

Several troupes from across Colorado will compete Sunday, July 20 at the festival, held at Sloan’s Lake Park in Denver. The Lion Dance Extravaganza will take place on the Gateway to Asia stage at 3:30 p.m.

For 14 years, the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival has promoted awareness, knowledge and understanding about the diverse Asian Pacific American communities for the general public through cultural education, leadership development and athletic competition. Regis is proud to sponsor the event, as it reflects Regis’ commitment to inclusive community, education and embracing diverse cultural perspectives.

Regis University, inspired by its Jesuit Catholic heritage, has been committed to academic excellence, personal development and community engagement since its founding in 1877. Based in Denver, Colorado, Regis provides a values-based liberal arts education offering professional certifications and degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels.