As we stepped out of the Panda Hotel on the day of the Chinese New Year Parade the streets were filling with people and buzzing with excitement! It is now the year of the snake according to Chinese astrology and the beginning of spring.
Before the parade our group set out on various adventures around Hong Kong. Sea Gal Courtney, Lindsay, Heidi and I had an authentic lunch provided by Hong Kong Tourism who has been putting on the Chinese New Year parade for the last 18 years. We were honored to share a table with Mr. Lau of Hong Kong Tourism. He explained the strategies used to select acts for the annual parade, including an agent who's job is to scout talent from all over the world.
After a fun conversation, we presented Mr. Lau with his own Seahawks jersey and 2013 Sea Gal Calendar. Then it was time to get into our white glamour uniform and head out for what would be a priceless Sea Gal experience!
The Chinese New Year Parade consisted of thirty-five performing groups. Some of the other countries represented included: Russia, Spain, Bolivia, Ireland, U.K., Japan, Korea, Australia and Hong Kong. Knowing that we were the only act from the U.S. added to our adrenaline as we geared up for what we traveled around the world to do!
Not only were so many nations represented, so many talents were showcased. As we were the grand finally of the parade we were lucky enough to watch some of the groups practice. We were entertained by marching bands, salsa dancing, ballet, breakdancing, martial arts, an accordian troupe, rope skipping and magic! All wearing elaborate costume.
As we lined up for the parade I looked around at my best friends and teammates, feeling so bonded and blessed to share this moment with them. The music came on and off we went! Dancing through the streets for TONS of people of all ages. Throughout the parade there were five locations where we performed a special routine for the audience to enjoy.
Our high energy remained throughout the parade as we were cheered on constantly and impressed by the beauty of the unique city streets. The route gave us a tour of Hong Kong Museum of Art, Star Ferry Pier, Kowloon Park and some of the tallest buildings I have ever seen! My absolute favorite part of the parade and the the Hong Kong trip so far was when we rounded the corner at the end of the parade and I could feel rain drops!! Not only did the rain cool is down but it reminded us of Seattle!
I will never forget how great it felt to dance my heart out with these ladies thousands of miles from home! Can't wait to see what the rest of the trip holds!
Kung Hei Fat Choy! And GO HAWKS!
-Sea Gal Laura