On Sunday afternoon, to the beating of Native American drums in the final round at the 22nd Annual World Championship Hoop Dance Contest at the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona, Dallas Arcand once again rose to claim the title of Hoop Dance World Champion for the Adult Division. Arcand, the 2006 and 2007 World Champion, transformed himself into a flash of red, orange and white as he twirled around the circular dirt stage with 12 orange hoops. Cheers rang as he looped the rings into formations creating a horse, flower and eagle. Arcand nodded to the head singer, signaling he was near the end of his routine. The singer hit the drums louder as Arcand tossed a hoop on the ground and executed a cartwheel over the ring as it rolled back. At the last beat, Arcand grabbed the hoop, landed on the ground, yelled and froze. Following the official rules, five judges from across the nation rated the contestants on speed, precision, showmanship, creativity, rhythm and timing.
Arcand is an Aboriginal hoop dancer from the Alexander (Kipohtakaw) Plains Indian Cree Nation, located near Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. A motivational speaker and a musician as well, he has been a World Class Hoop Dancer for 14 years. He also plays Aboriginal acoustic instruments, best known for native flute and has developed a unique singing and songwriting style sometimes referred to as ‘indigenous hip-hop’ performing under the name KrayZKree (on iTunes). Other World Champions this year were Tiana Schocko in Youth, Tyrese Jensen in Teen and Brian Hammill in Senior. How did Arcand feel about once again being given the top honor? “Awesome. That’s the only word for how this is,” Arcand said, holding his first place trophy. 55 Native American dancers participated in the competition this weekend with as many as 9,000 people looking on.