Gliding over the water, a slender boat with the head of a dragon emerges, powered by muscle, paddles, and the beat of a drum. This is not a scene from a faraway land, but one familiar to DFW residents. Dragon boating can be seen right here on White Rock Lake. White Rock Lake is well-trodden by runners, joggers and bikers. What many seem to miss is the phenomenal experiences that await adventurers on the water.
Legend says that dragon boating began when, many centuries ago, an exiled Chinese poet named Qu Yuan committed suicide and fell into the river. Villagers paddled out as fast as they could, tossing dumplings into the water for the fish to eat so that they might leave Qu Yuan in peace. It has since become tradition.
Dragon boating is gaining speed in the U.S. as competitions and teams spread culture and camaraderie at meets throughout the country. Locally, Dallas United Crew is accepting members with or without rowing experience. Dallas United Crew has been rowing at White Rock Lake since 2002, and is a non-profit organization offering both adult and youth programs in rowing and dragon boating. DUC is home to the only year-round competitive adult dragon boat team and the largest youth rowing program in North Texas.
Under the direction of instructor, Jovin Lim, the introductory dragon boating course consists of 6 sessions for $150. Sessions run from 6:15 to 8:00 p.m. By the end of the 6 classes, participants should be able to hop on to Saturday practices and join the team.
For the curious, September 7th, Dallas United Crew will host a free demo day to take on the oars. The event is from 1 to 3 pm at 350 East Lawther, north of the Corinthian Sailing Club. Sign up for a time slot at 1 pm or 2 pm at firstname.lastname@example.org and check out how multicultural DFW can be!