Chinese Lion Dance is an integral part of Chinese culture and is often closely associated to the Chinese New Year celebrations and the Dragon Boat races. The Lion Dance was originally performed to drive off negative energies and raise the spirits of the people, to bring better fortune to the village. Drums, cymbals and gongs are beaten loudly to drive away evil spirits and to bring good luck to a home or business. The dancers imitate the movements of the lion while combining powerful martial arts stances and intricate puppetry work with the lion head. Classes involve training in how to operate the lion, learning the sequences of the dance, as well as the rhythms of the various instruments.