Sunday, February 6, 2011

Hoop Dances at the Heard

      This weekend was the 21st Annual Heard Museum World Championship Hoop Dance Contest.  Native dancers from across the U.S. and Canada competed for the title of World Champion.   Yesterday everyone danced, from toddlers to seniors.  Then the judges began selecting the best dancers from the teens through seniors, the ages that compete for prized money.  
     We saw the Second Round of the Adult and Senior dancers, and the final rounds for everyone.   We arrived early and stayed all day, but left before the final votes were tallied.  I'll post the winner later,  but they are all champions in my mind. 
      Here are a few of the dancers from the Adult Final Round.
     Jasmine Rae Pickner, who is Crow, Creek and Sioux, was the only woman in the Final Round.  I love her dancing.   She is graceful and has the most unique style.  She makes baskets out of the hoops, which I had never seen before.    I'll post more of her pictures later.  

Tony Duncan is San Carlos Apache and from Mesa.   
     The hoop represents the Circle of Life and the continuous cycle of summer and winter, day and night, male and female.  The dancers are judged on speed, precision, timing or rhythm, showmanship, and creativity. 

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Lane Jensen is Navajo/Maricopa.  He is a talented designer, and made his own dance regalia.  
Drummers and singers performed all day, too, to provide the music for the dancers.   Northern Drum was performed by Mandaree Singers from North Dakota.  Southern Drum was provided by Bad Medicine from Oklahoma.  Dennis Bowen, Sr. was the Master of Ceremonies and teller of great jokes.   He's from Tuba City, Arizona.    

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