Steven Baugh grew up outside Los Angeles. When he was a young adult his grandfather, a Native American curandero (healer), introduced him to a Chinese doctor who became dedicated to teaching Steven traditional medicine and Kung Fu. Steven embraced these teachings and went on to learn from some of the premiere experts on the West Coast. After moving to Las Vegas in 1988 he began teaching martial arts and formed The Lohan School of Shaolin in 1994. In concert with the Lohan School, Steven presents Chinese lion dance performances with up to seven lion dancers.
Steven practices and teaches northern Shaolin martial arts and lion dance forms derived from the northern provinces of China. Presentations often begin with the lion dance, which mimics a lion’s movements by having several people in a large, jointed costume (one in the head, one in the middle, one in the tail) who move in concert to create the illusion of a dancing, prancing lion. The Lion Dance can only be properly performed by experienced Kung Fu practitioners because the dancers must possess strength, balance, stamina, agility, top physical conditioning and knowledge of complex choreography. The lions may interact with audience members who may be invited to learn basic martial arts movements. Presenters share the history and culture of the Chinese traditions being performed.
Chinese martial arts are ancient traditions that utilize codified sets of physical practices and training to develop mental and physical focus. The lion dance is a symbolic form of protection since lions, in Chinese culture, are considered protectors and their statues are frequently mounted above doors or at the entryways of temples and palaces. The lion dancers tell a story with their movements. The core of their action is that of “protector” and “self protection”, but their movements can also signify the battle between good and evil, and the possibilities for transformation. When the Lion Dance is performed during Chinese New Year or on special occasions, it is believed to chase away bad energy and spirits, bringing good fortune and happiness. The lion dance has great significance in the Chinese culture and is in high demand during the Chinese New Year and other special occasions.