WHAT: 23rd Annual World Championship Hoop Dance Contest
WHEN: Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 9 and 10, 2013
9:30 a.m. Grand Entry – Saturday and Sunday
Competition will end at approximately 5 p.m. on Saturday.
The Adult final round will begin at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
WHERE: Heard Museum, 2301 N. Central Ave., Phoenix
COST: $18 general admission, $13.50 seniors (65+), $12 Heard Museum members and American Indians, $7.50 children 4-12, FREE for children under 4. Cost is per day and includes the event and museum admission.
INFO: Call 602.252.8848 or visit heard.org/hoop.
PHOENIX – As it has for 22 years, once again the World Championship Hoop Dance Contest combines artistry, sheer athleticism and cultural traditions to create a unique competition. Top American Indian and Canadian First Nation hoop dancers from the United States and Canada are preparing to compete for the prestigious title of world champion during the two-day event at Phoenix’s Heard Museum on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 9 & 10.
You’re invited to join in the 23rd celebration of one of Indian Country’s most unique sports – the dazzling performances of the men and women who compete for the chance to call himself or herself the World Champion Hoop Dancer. Hoop dance fans from across the U.S., Canada and Europe are already making plans to cheer their favorite dancer on to glory.
The Jay Kahn Memorial Fund sponsors the youth competition prizes and the Arizona Commission on the Arts is a supporter of the contest.
At last year’s competition, Dallas Arcand (Cree), a former World Champion, returned after a hiatus to recapture the title. Hoop Dance fans were excited to see him return, and he is expected to return to defend his title.
As the Hoop Dance sport grows in stature, so do the competitors. Last year the point spread for the six adult division finalists was just 16 points, and contests in the past few years have been decided by just one to three points. In addition to Duncan, expect to see seasoned competitors and crowd favorites such as current Senior Champion Brian Hammill (Ho-Chunk); Jasmine Pinkner (Crow Creek Sioux) of Rapid City, S.D.; and Lowery Begay (Diné) from Jonesborough, Tenn.
Celina Cada-Matasawagon (Ojibway), known for dancing during the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, British Columbia, and then jumping on a jet to come to Phoenix to compete for hoop glory, is also expected to compete for the senior title.
Also, Tyrese Jensen (Navajo/Maricopa), the seventh-grader from Dilkon, Ariz., will be back to defend his Teen World Champion title. Jensen also is a two-time Youth Division champion.
The 2012 Youth Champion, Tiana Schocko (Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa & Chippewa), is also expected back along with other members of the Biimaadiziwin Hoop Dance Society, a group of talented youngsters from Michigan tribal communities who are sustaining their heritage through cultural pursuits such as hoop dancing.
Both women and men compete on an equal field for the title. The winners will take home cash prizes as follows:
1st - $2,500, 2nd - $2,000, 3rd - $1,500
1st - $3,500, 2nd - $2,500, 3rd - $2,000, 4th - $1,500, 5th - $1,000, 6th - $750
1st - $750, 2nd - $500, 3rd - $350
1st - $350, 2nd - $200, 3rd - $150
Tiny tots (5 & under)
Split a prize of $200
Over time, the intertribal hoop dance has expanded to incorporate new and creative designs and extremely intricate footwork. Each dancer presents a unique variation of the intertribal hoop dance, weaving in aspects of his or her distinct tradition and culture. Individual routines are presented using as few as four to as many as 50 hoops, which are manipulated to create a variety of designs including animals, butterflies and globes.
Dancers are judged on a slate of five skills – precision, timing/rhythm, showmanship, creativeness and speed. In recent years, younger competitors such as Nakotah La Rance (Hopi/Tewa) who’s also an up-and-coming actor, are incorporating modern dance steps like hip-hop into their routines. La Rance has completed his contract with Cirque do Soleil and Hoop Dance fans are anticipating his return to the arena.
Also, it’s easy to get to the Heard and to our events via light rail! Look for the Heard Museum parking signs along Central Avenue, take the light rail to the Encanto Station and avoid having to locate a parking spot. Or use Park and Ride lots all along the Light Rail route.
At last year’s competition, Dallas Arcand (Cree), a former World Champion, returned after a hiatus to recapture the title.