Although there are several stylistic branches, the fundamental skills of lion dancing remain constant.
Whether simple or complex, the dance follows a standard format, like a novel or a piece of music. The team improvises within the format to create a presentation both visually appealing and meaningful. Each section flows into the next in a seamless fashion as the dancers tell their story.
The dancers perform several key steps and movements, which animate the lion and convey its feelings. Each step has a specific meaning and is accompanied by matching instrumentation.
To fulfil the demands of the lion dance, the players strive to master the Five Transformations, Six Waking Motions, Eight Emotions, Thirteen Techniques of Lucky Vegetable and Fifteen Specialized Steps of the Lion.