Every Sunday a group of girls, ranging in age from 9 to 17, gather at the Chinese American Community Center in Hockessin as members of the Folk Dance Troupe for practice.


They eat, they socialize, and of course, they dance. And this year, they have been practicing for their biggest stage ever – the troupe is heading to London to perform in the 2012 London New Year's Day Parade.


Every Sunday a group of girls, ranging in age from 9 to 17, gather at the Chinese American Community Center in Hockessin as members of the Folk Dance Troupe for practice.

They eat, they socialize, and of course, they dance. And this year, they have been practicing for their biggest stage ever – the troupe is heading to London to perform in the 2012 London New Year's Day Parade.

The dancers have been hard at work since Thanksgiving preparing for the parade and their performances in Trafalgar Square and for a VIP Gala Reception after the parade.

More than 500,000 people are expected to pack the streets of London to watch the 2.2-mile parade, which is also seen as the kick-off for the 2012 Summer Olympics and the first official event celebrating Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee. It won’t be the group’s first parade though – the troupe previously performed at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2009.

Eleven dancers from the Hockessin location and 10 from the Fairfax Chinese Dance Troupe in Fairfax, Va. will leave for London on Tuesday, Dec. 27 and return Jan. 3.

The CACC Folk Dance Troupe will present a selection of their dances during their parade routine. They include a Taiwan aboriginal dance, known as “Little Lions” (symbols of good omens and warding off evil spirits) and “Joyous Occasion“ (fan and ribbon dance, which conveys the festive spirit of Chinese people during joyous occasions).

The troupe will perform for two minutes in front of the cameras at the final grandstand during the parade. The Dancers will also be performing a selection of dances at Trafalgar Square on Dec. 30.

During a VIP reception after the parade, Connie Chen and Josephine Chu will perform “Flourishing of Colorful Ribbons,” a dance with colorful silk ribbons. Ribbon dancing is symbolic of joy and happiness.

The entire troupe will also perform a longer version of their parade routine during a second VIP reception.

Director of the dance troupe, Min Chang, is most excited about the children’s opportunity to perform.

“It is such a wonderful global stage,” said Chang. “It is not everyday that a small group gets such a great opportunity. I am excited about sharing Chinese dance and sharing our culture with the world.”

Rachel Wang, 9, the youngest member of the troupe, is going to London with her whole family.

“This is such a terrific experience,” said Qiong Cheng, Wang’s mother.

Christine Deng and Connie Chen, both 17-year-old veterans of the team said they are looking forward to performing in the parade and meeting other performers.