Running Against The Wind
Southern California has become the home of many Vietnamese immigrants . The new Vietnamese generation has excelled in schools for their professional pursuits. However, we are concerned that the mainstream educational institutions are not equipped with the adequate curriculums and faculties for our children to learn and appreciate their Vietnamese roots. We fear that the rich and distinct Vietnamese traditions would soon be forgotten.
We (Asian American Citizen Association) have founded VietCam Dance School with primary mission to help preserving the Vietnamese culture by teaching the children (from 6 – 18 years old) the traditional Vietnamese dances. While learning performing arts, our children become more fluent in Vietnamese culture and history. Our traditional performing arts will also enrich the American culture. VietCam Dance School is also a place where Vietnamese veteran artists have opportunities to pass on their skills, experiences, arts to younger generations, to build a bridge between generations. We need to actively promote and preserve Vietnamese Performing Arts before it’s too late, as it has already been fading in our everyday life.
We (Asian American Citizen Association) have reached out to our community, started a project called “Running Against The Wind” to give scholarships to 8 children per year (from low-income families) so they can enroll in Vietnamese folk dance and Ballet classes for the whole year. We choreograph the dances, designing, making costumes and props for them to perform in different communities. ViệtCầm Dance, Southern California Edison, Tổng Hội Sinh Viên Nam Cali are sponsors for this project.
We enjoyed successful performances from our scholarship recipients. The audiences were surprised and captivated by the dances performed by the children. Vietnamese Traditional Dance is a lost art and will not be taught to future generations without your generous support. “Running Against The Wind” is trying to increase awareness of Vietnamese culture through our performing arts classes. We will help the scholarship recipients to grow and become mastered performers, who will continue to preserve and develop Vietnamese Traditional Performing Arts in the future. This is an on-going process and hopefully with the help from the communities around us, it would never end.
At VCDS, we are proud to have both traditional and contemporary artists to foster the Vietnamese Traditional Performing Arts without losing its authenticity. They strive to entertain, inspire and educate today audiences. Our effort in the past 13 years has been proven thru the success of LacHong Dance group. The same leaders from LacHong dance group are now conducting VCDS. We should train the performers when they are still very young to help them excel further in their performing careers. Even if some might quit when they grow up. Whatever course they chose to pursue later in life, Vietnamese cultures will always be in them.
It is not easy to “run against the wind”, going back deep to our roots, preserving, developing and promoting what has already been forgotten, and turning it into an important item in modern time, yet we have been doing it in the last 13 years. We strongly believe we are on the right path. We will continue doing so until we can not go any further. We believe in the cause, and we believe that we are not alone.