Lionesses roar in lion dance scene, male dominated field sees more women competing

Ms Leow Hui Zhi and Ms Stella Chua are part of a growing number of women who are learning and practising lion dance, an art form traditionally performed by men.
Shi Long Dragon and Lion Cultural Troupe member Stella Chua, 27, holding up teammate Leow Hui Zhi, 21, as they warm up for a practice under the watchful eyes of their coach Jason Choong, 39.
Shi Long Dragon and Lion Cultural Troupe member Stella Chua, 27, holding up teammate Leow Hui Zhi, 21, as they warm up for a practice under the watchful eyes of their coach Jason Choong, 39.ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO
Bank officer Stella Chua (left) and visual merchandiser Leow Hui Zhi are among a small but growing number of women competing in lion dance championships.
Bank officer Stella Chua (left) and visual merchandiser Leow Hui Zhi are among a small but growing number of women competing in lion dance championships.ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

The male-dominated field sees more women competing, performing stunts

Hoisting her 48kg partner up in the air by the waist, Ms Stella Chua ventured forward, one furry costumed leg after another, onto a plank 2m above ground.

The plank swayed dangerously as the 27-year-old approached its edge, holding up Ms Leow Hui Zhi, 21. But with a swift motion, Ms Chua turned and safely landed Ms Leow on the plank with a decisive thud.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 17, 2018, with the headline 'Lionesses roar in lion dance scene'. Print Edition | Subscribe