The Joy of the Waist Drum Dance

Taiwan Falun Dafa Waist Drum Team performs at the CKS Memorial Hall n Taipei City

Taiwan Falun Dafa Waist Drum Team performs at the Liberty Square in Taipei City. (Image: Billy Shyu via Nspirement)

The waist drum dance is part of traditional Chinese folklore. Due to its inspiring sound and vigorous movements accompanied by rhythmic drumbeats, many waist drum teams have been established in many countries, including the United States, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Vietnam, Australia, and Europe in recent years. 

Taiwan Falun Dafa Waist Drum Team in Taipei City.
Taiwan Falun Dafa Waist Drum Team participates in a grand parade in Taipei City. (Image: Billy Shyu via Nspirement)

History of the waist drum dance

It is said that the waist drum first appeared in China’s Qin Dynasty (221-207 B.C.) and Han Dynasty (202-220 B.C.). Soldiers used them to sound alarms for surprise attacks on the battlefront, boost morale, and celebrate victories. 

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For the exciting performance of a waist drum team in the United States, please watch the following video:

A concentration of waist drums and other related items have been unearthed in the historically significant frontier fortress in the Yin ruins of Anyang City in China’s Henan Province. These relics excavated in the regions near the Great Wall suggested that ancient Chinese soldiers used waist drums.

New York Falun Dafa Waist Drum Team in Long Beach, United States.
New York Falun Dafa Waist Drum Team performed at the annual dance parade in New York in 2017. (Image: via Epoch Times)

Over time, the waist drum performance had evolved into a religious activity to worship gods and disperse evil spirits, pray for good weather, and have an abundant harvest in China in earlier times. 

Consequently, the waist drum dance was performed to celebrate the Spring Festival (the first day of the first lunar month), the Lantern Festival (the 15th day of the first lunar month), or other festive occasions in some parts of China. Nowadays, the waist drum dance has even become a daily recreational activity at various events or on holidays.

Falun Dafa Waist Drum Team in New York.
New York Falun Dafa Waist Drum Team performed in a parade in Philadelphia in 2014. (Image: via Minghui.org)

Characteristics

Waist drum dance performers usually wear plain silk gowns with a towel or silk scarf tied on their heads. The drums are strapped to the performers’ waists with silk to allow the drummers greater mobility when dancing, leaping, or beating. 

A Vietnamese donning waist drum team's traditional costumes.
A Vietnamese donning waist drum dance’s traditional costumes. (Image: via Epoch Times)

Holding one drumstick in each hand, waist drum performers usually dance back and forth or jump from time to time like soldiers fighting each other. In the meantime, they play drumsticks, formation changes while performing vigorous dances.

Waist Drum Team in Brisbane, Australia parade.
Waist Drum Team in Brisbane, Australia parade in 2021. (Image: Linda Huang via Nspirement)

Besides the accompaniment of rhythmic drum beats, they also perform dynamic songs or music. During the process, performers utter the sound “Hai! Hai!” from time to time to enhance the excitement of the performance. Its rhythmical drum sound and graceful dances are so uplifting and inspiring that the performance always creates a vibrant carnival atmosphere.

A European Waist Drum Team performed in a parade in Plaque in 2018.
A European waist drum team is performing in a parade in Plaque, the Czech Republic, in 2018. (Image: via Sound of Hope)

The waist drum team in Taiwan

Schools and civic organizations across Taiwan establish various waist drum teams. The Falun Dafa Waist Drum Teams are composed of Falun Gong adherents from all walks of life in Taiwan. They practice in their spare time, aiming to promote traditional Chinese culture.

Their high-spirited performances perfectly demonstrate the magnificence of traditional Chinese art and the vitality and vigor of the Chinese nation.

The waist drummers have performed in various cities worldwide and have deeply touched the hearts of numerous people the world over.

With a pure heart and firm belief, they perform the waist drum dance in great unison. Their high spirits and enthusiasm, coupled with the rhythmic drumbeats and the vigorous movements, bring people not only joy, but also inspiration!

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