Another amazing Chinese New Year Banquet has come and gone. Logan and I have attended every banquet since he first joined kung fu 4 years ago and we have always enjoyed the evening and come away inspired and motivated.

If I had to pick a favourite part this year it would have to be the lion/dragon dance along with the I Ho Chuan demo. Second would be the speeches by the candidates which Logan and I always find inspiring every year. Being a member of the sheep team this year was especially memorable because I was able to contribute to hosting this event as well as performing in the demo and the lion/dragon dance.

Performing in the Dragon dance was especially difficult for me. The physical exertion combined with some extreme anxiety at times created challenges for me. Add in a lower back issue 2 days prior to the banquet and I almost had to call it quits. Without the help and support of Sifu Brinker as well as numerous team members, I would not have been out on those mats come banquet day to perform the dragon dance.

I was first inspired to learn the dragon dance through the success and accomplishment of past team members and yet at the same time the idea of 9 people joined together with everyone relying on each other to succeed and accomplish a common goal was terrifying. Not measuring up and letting the other team members down was my biggest fear and a huge contributing factor to my anxiety. And yet it was that same team as well as others that pulled together and provided the necessary help and support to all that needed it. We really did have an amazing sheep team this past year. Thank you to all!

Congratulations to Sifu Krebs, Sifu Fuhr, Sifu Vanderham and Sifu Csillag on your new black belts. Also, congratulations to Sifu Vantuil and Sifu Regier on your black belt promotions. Thank you to Sifu Randy Langner and Sifu Yitzik Csillag for all your hard work and dedication to the dragon dance. We couldn't have done it without you. And congratulations on receiving black belt of the year Sifu Csillag.

Enjoy the year of the monkey!

Michele Ward