By MALONEY YANG
Asian Media Access
MINNEAPOLIS — During the past three months, Iny Asian Dance Theater (IADT) has been busy as a bee competing in various 2013-2014 Hmong New Years.
In November IADT competed in the 2013-2014 St. Paul Hmong New Year. Silver Skies, the most flexible group in IADT was the only group that got placed getting 2nd place out of 28 other groups. In mid December, Minnesota Sunshine placed 4th out of 27 other groups in the 2013-2014 Minneapolis Hmong New Year. Topping the New Year, IADT went to Fresno to compete at the 2013-2014 Fresno Hmong New Year. Minnesota Sunshine placed 2nd out of six other groups.
Like Cinderella dashing away to her pumpkin carriage after midnight, Iny Asian Dance Theater got into their coach bus exactly one day after the 2013-2014 Minneapolis Hmong New Year to get to the 2013-2014 Fresno Hmong New Year. From Dec. 23 to Jan. 1, a series of Hmong New Year events was hosted at the Fresno County Fair Ground attracting over 100,000 visitors.
The honor of winning Miss Hmong International or getting first place at the Hmong Dance Competition holds more prestige than any other Hmong pageants and Hmong Dance Competitions. Each dance team is required to perform three different dances: one Hmong dance, one Thai dance, and one dance open to any style.
“The fact that these 2 competitions are arranged only weeks away from our first competition (the 2013-2014 St. Paul Hmong New Year) and that they required different a dance style was a big challenge for us,” said See Xiong, IADT Dance Coordinator. “We had approximately 2 weeks to learn our new Thai dances for the Fresno New Year, which isn’t a lot of time. However I am proud of the dancers and the parents for their dedication.”
With such dedication and motivation, it comes as no surprise when Minnesota Sunshine placed 2nd at Fresno. On top of that, IADT opened up the Opening Ceremony Dance with 20,000+ audience and internationally known guests watching. However, getting placed and opening the ceremony is not the only thing that matters.
A lot of the dancers cited saying that the most rewarding part from the busy experience has been the relationships that deepen with time between the dancers and also the stage experience as a group and as an individual.
“The California trip was the escape I was looking for,” said Karen Yang, a Minnesota Sunshine dancer. “It was the perfect way to end the year. Through this trip, I’ve acquired stronger relationships with everyone, learned things I would have never learned otherwise, grown from the various experiences, and most of all…I was able to create unforgettable memories — one’s that I’ll keep dear to me forever.”
Of course hard work, especially that as dancing is not fully satisfying unless one is able to meet their fans!
“We were stopped by many guest for pictures and received warm comments throughout the four days of the Fresno New Year,” says See Xiong.
See Lo, a guest commenter from the IADT WordPress website, left a heart warming comment saying, “I just started to head back into the Hmong New Year scene after thirteen years of not attending. I have to say that I have missed out on a lot. I am truly impressed and happy to see Hmong dancers becoming more professional. As I was watching all your highlights from the past to now, I wished I was there to see you all live. What a wonderful coordinated group, hard working and sophisticated dancers you all are. Congratulations on a job well done.”
After taking a small break from the busy dance schedule, IADT will be having public dance try-outs at Asian Media Access this weekend, the 11th for girls and the 12th for boys. Anyone is welcomed to come and try-out. For more questions contact the See Xiong the dance coordinator of IADT at [email protected]