Hoop Dance at the Heard

Step aside Hula dancers!

Cultures of all kinds combined in early February to celebrate Native American Hoop Dance during the 25th Annual World Championship Hoop Dance Competition, hosted by the Heard Museum. Dancers ranging from 7-years-old to 70-years-old competed alongside each other, equipped with colorful hoops and live Native drummers providing a steady beat.

Hoop Dance is a traditional dance incorporated in many Native American cultures; technique is taught from generation to generation starting at an early age. Dances vary from tribe to tribe due to the personalized nature of the teachings.

Dancers use several hoops at a time during their performance, creating shapes such as animals and tribal symbols to tell a story along to the beat of the drums. Performers utilize colored hoops and costumes to help convey their story, and pay tribute to their ancestors’ native dress.

Hoop dance continues to carry on the legacy of generations of Native culture by preserving tribal stories and traditions.

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