Sounds of “oohs” and “ahhs” echoed into the hallways of Connaught School yesterday as excited students watched Chinese martial arts and dance performances.

Dozens of students, teachers and parents enjoyed the sights and sounds of the performances as they celebrated the Chinese New Year at the southwest school after lunchtime.

“This is such a wonderful opportunity for the children to see. They absolutely love it and I think it brings an element of discipline and fun,” school principal Fran McGilvray Cooke said.

It was the second year in a row the Calgary Tai Chi and Martial Arts College performed at the culturally diverse school, she added.

“We have a lot of students with an Asian background and actually we have 36 different cultures and languages at our school,” McGilvray Cooke said.

And students weren’t the only ones mesmerized with the acrobatic performances of the six-man group.

“It was very spectacular and very nice to watch. This was my first time and I think it was great. The kids really love it,” father Sami Meddeb said after the show.

The group performed martial art numbers as well as lion dances to celebrate the Year of the Ox, tai chi master Geng Z. Cai said.

“They have a lot of fun performing at different schools and at the Chinese Cultural Centre for the Chinese New Year,” he added.