TAMPA (FOX 13) - The lion dance is an ancient Chinese tradition, a tradition students at Middleton High School are embracing in summer camp.
Chinese businesses routinely follow this ritual.
"It is used to ward off bad luck and to just make the place successful," explained Michael Jones, a student in the camp.
This is just one of the many facets of Chinese culture students are learning. They’re also learning Mandarin.
"It's such an amazing language. It sounds amazing and it’s very easy to pick up on,” offered student Jaaly Jose.
"Once you get pass the boundary of misunderstanding the characters, it’s truly a great language," Michael Jones continued.
There's an advantage to understanding Chinese language and culture.
"For business, for travel. I believe it is the language of the future and if they can get a head start and start learning it in high school, the sky's the limit for them," explained Bernie Hopper, a teacher at Middleton High.
More than 50 students participated in the week-long camp. They are planning to another camp next year.
"I loved the camp. I had a great time," Michael added.