Tag Archive for Native American Hoop Dance

N8tive Hoop Spins Kickass Native Hoop Dancing!

n8tive hoop As a young boy, Terry Goedel was embarrassed of who I was. It wasn’t until he saw Hoop Dance that he felt a connection to his people, the land and gratitude to his creator. He’s been hoop dancing ever since, met his wife while dancing, has performed around the world, and taught his children to dance, as well as the stories and legends his mother taught him. N8tive Hoop is Goedel and his family and their brand new video that is destined to go mega-viral. Get ready to be blown away. Filmed by Devin Super Tramp and edited by Carter Hogan, they live in Rancho Cucamonga, California, USA. The soundtrack for this is “Electric Pow Wow Drum” by A Tribe Called Red and you can get a copy of it along with the rest of the album for free over on ElectricPowWow.com.

Nakotah LaRance Wins World Champion Hoop Dance Contest

Nakotah LaRance: Photo courtesy of the Heard Museum by Debra Krol.

Nakotah LaRance: Photo courtesy of the Heard Museum by Debra Krol.

The 25th Annual Heard Museum World Championship Hoop Dance Contest were held once again in Phoenix, Arizona, USA, and hoop dancers from all over the United States and Canada made their way to compete for the ultimate title of World Hoop Dance Champion. The two-day event held at the museum’s Scott L. Libby Jr. Amphitheater, was incredible to see even with the unseasonably high temperatures. The first place prize this year went to none other than Nakotah LaRance (Hopi/Tewa/Assiniboin) of Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo, New Mexico! Nakotah returned to Phoenix this year having placed 4th in 2014, but this year he hoop danced his way right into the winner’s circle, edging out Derrick Suwaima Davis, a seven time World Champion, by a mere five points! Larance won a total prize of $3,500 and Davis received $2,500.

1st Place – Nakotah LaRance (Hopi/Tewa/Assiniboin): 241 points
2nd Place — Derrick Suwaima Davis (Hopi/Choctaw): 235 points
3rd Place — Tony Duncan (San Carlos Apache/Arikara/Hidatsa/Mandan): 233 points
4th Place — Michael Goedel (Yakama/Tulalip/Lumbee): 229 points
5th Place — Dallas Arcand (Plains Cree/Metis) 224 points

1st Place: Nakotah Larance

LaRance is particularly popular with Hooping.org readers thanks to his work with Cirque du Soleil’s Totem, his jaw dropping hoop dancing in the Geronimo” music video by The Knocks and Fred Falke, and more.

2nd Place: Derrick Suwaima Davis

3rd Place: Tony Duncan

65 hoop dancers competed in Phoenix this year. As for the Senior Division winner, that title went to Terry L. Goedel (Yakima/Tulalip), age 59. The Teen title was awarded to Tyrese Jensen (Navajo/Pima-Maricopa), age 16, and the youth title went again this year to Jaron Yazzie (Navajo/Apache), age 11. You can check out more photos of all of the top winners this year on the Heard Museum’s Facebook Page and we’d like to congratulate all of them.

Alex Wells Hoop Dances at TEDxVancouver

alexwellstedx Award winning aboriginal hoop dancer Alex Wells of the Lil’Wat Nation performs an aboriginal hoop dance on stage at TedxVancouver. While a drummer keeps the beat with traditional music, Alex dances, keeping time with his feet as his hands expertly manipulates his hoops into intricate arrangements depicting various designs, shapes, and animals. Alex is currently living in Pemberton, British Columbia, Canada, and the soundtrack for this is live music.

Dallas Arcand’s Hoop Dancing Circular Life

DallasArcand by Natalie Kane

The circle, the spiral. Our dance partners help us spin little metaphors about our struggles and triumphs which many of us can’t otherwise express. The circle reinforces that life is a beautiful cycle, ever flowing and changing, one in which everything is connected. Each day scientists and spiritual leaders alike discover more evidence to support this too. Even the smallest actions have immeasurable impacts on the circle of life, just as the subtlest nuance in one movement ripples through one’s own body and hoop, affecting the entire dance.

Native American hoop dance preceded this art we’ve grown to love by decades, yet some hoopers haven’t heard of it. It’s a beautiful and powerful art form that has long symbolized our beginning and our relationship to Earth. As one historian put it, “The Native American hoop dancer becomes a counselor with the hoops representing a circle that returns each problem back to the responsibility of its creator.” Each performance tells a different part of this story as dancers manipulate one to numerous hoops to resemble different animals, the Earth itself, even the personifications of various values. Some performers tell this story so captivatingly, one can’t help but be absorbed. Dallas Arcand is one of them.

A three-time World Champion Hoop Dancer, Arcand was born in Edmonton and is a registered member of the Alexander (kipohtakaw) Cree nation, located 30 km northwest of Edmonton in Alberta, Canada. The indigenous hoop dancer travels the world spreading appreciation for hoop dance while teaching people of all backgrounds about the importance of this tradition and how to practice it. In fact, he recently gave an incredible TEDx Talk and performance that’s not to be missed.

There are a few differences between the type of hoop dancing many of us are familiar with and Dallas’ traditional art, but not only can we learn from them, we can also see that the core message is often the same. No matter what your style of hoop dance or how you found the circle, I spoke with Arcand to hear more of his timeless wisdom about what living a circular life means for all of us.

Natalie: Dallas, how long have you been hoop dancing?

Dallas: I’ve been hoop dancing since I was 14 years old and I’m 36 now so that’s about 22 years.

Natalie: Why did you decide to learn hoop dance and what’s the driving force behind your art?

Dallas: I decided to hoop dance when I was introduced to it by my high school friend Joe Chatsis. I decided to learn because I was fascinated by the hoops, and I loved the magic of the hoop dance. Then I took it upon myself to learn this art form and it has transformed me into an independent, self sufficient, modern day warrior. The driving force behind the North American indigenous hoop dance is our culture and belief in the great spirit because originally, our hoop dance was a healing / ceremonial dance. So when I dance, I have my own trance/ceremony that I dance to for the people to help bring balance and harmony to the world. And that’s what spins my hoops!

Hoop-Dallas-Arcand-615x527 Natalie: When did you start dancing competitively?

Dallas: I started dancing competitively in my teens and at the time I was fortunate enough to start to make a living at it when I was very young. I was able to average an income of $3000 per month just on dancing and performing at powwows, festivals, and performances. I came from a poor family, so having these means did miracles for my career in helping me move forward, to eventually travel the world and much of the continent.

Natalie: You won your first championship in 2006 and have now earned three, the most recent in 2012. What was that like?

Dallas: Winning the world championships for me was the beginning of the end for me. It was like climbing a mountain and looking around at all the other peaks. It has opened up my eyes to the endless possibilities that could be achieved through arts and culture. Art is a lie about the truth, and culture is the truth about our way of life. Since the three world championships, the hoop dance momentum and fame has allotted me time to pursue my musical career and lifestyle and since then I have released five albums of indigenous contemporary music (available on iTunes).

Natalie: In what context do you dance right now?

Dallas: I travel as an aboriginal entertainer in which I utilize music, dance, visual art, and indigenous culture to teach people about our history and philosophy. I also get opportunities to speak at different venues such as graduation ceremonies, awards, schools, universities, and cultural gatherings across the country.

Natalie: You speak widely about many diverse topics, from humans’ role in nature, to the power of music, to personal development. How do you feel these topics interconnect to help the young people you work with?

Dallas: I believe that young people in our communities need a holistic education that pertains to their cultural values and inner personal development. So, it is our leaders’ responsibility to bring these tools and things that we’ve learned back into our community. Teach our future generation the tricks of our trades and art. These consist of things that we learned on our own journey and mistakes. By doing this, we can prepare the future generations for their life journeys. That’s how we keep the circle strong.

Natalie: Where has your art taken you around the world?

Dallas: My art landed me a contract in Spain at Universal Studios Mediterranea dancing in a show for eight months. I’ve been to Holland, as well, five years in a row to perform at the Western Experience. In 2002, I went to Hong Kong to perform. I’ve been to many places in the USA, and also had the opportunity to perform in Oslo, Norway; Cancun, Mexico; and in England at the 2012 Olympics.

Hoop Dancer Dallas Arcand performing at Calgary Stempede Natalie: Do you have a favorite place to dance, and what makes it great?

Dallas: I first and foremost love to perform at powwows because that’s my home for the hoop dance in its rightful place. ❤ Secondly, I love to perform my music and dances at festivals because the people love it and need the love that we put in to it. I also really enjoy performing in schools for kids because they really listen and learn from a real-life experience that comes from the teaching and performing hoop dance. That’s where my art is most appreciated and a useful educational tool.

Natalie: How does hoop dance affect you and its other practitioners?

Dallas: Hoop dance has provided me a lifestyle, and I always try my best to uphold that. I love to live circular; :) it makes the most sense. Hoop dance gives me a reason to wake up in the mornings, to go for a jog and start my day out with a workout and stretch, as well as a couple of hoop “dancercises.” Many of my hoop dancer friends have had prosperous lives because of the hoop dance giving them opportunities to perform for celebrities, in popular music videos, music festivals, the Olympics, Cirque du Soleil, the Calgary Stampede, and many aboriginal tourism hotspots across the country.

Natalie: Do you have a particular performance that sticks out in your mind? What made it so memorable?

Dallas: The 2012 Calgary stampede has to be the one performance that I will never forget. In 2012, I got to be one of the stars of the evening grandstand show. It was probably one of the biggest budget / audiences I’ve ever performed for. Every night there was a sold out crowd of 25,000 people, and I got to fly on an eagle towards the audience and then jump off to perform my hoop dance with 28 hoops. Fireworks. pryotechnics, you name it! They had everything, and that has been the highlight of my career. Absolutely amazing!

Natalie: What do you want your legacy to be; what do you want to be able to tell future generations about your generation?

Dallas: For future generations, I am recording all that I’ve done in my career and publishing it in a book and documentary about my life. I also have plans to make a museum and cultural center in my community to have a collage and public display of art connections to where the hoop dance has taken me in my life journey as a hoop dancer. Part of my plan is to show future generations the power of the hoop dance in what it can do for you and where it can connect you to in other art disciplines. Who knew that being a hoop dancer means that you have to be a tailor or a seamstress and a designer/ engineer to pioneer the proper hoops and designs to use while dancing this sacred but contemporary style of hoop dancing?

We want the future generations to embrace this circular way of living in balance with everything, living as a master of all the trades and tricks necessary for survival in life. I also plan to construct a ‘hoop dancer sculpture’ that will be holding a ‘globe’ aligned with the sun in medicine wheel (circle of rocks with four quadrants). It will be built from stone and steel to last for generations.

Natalie: What issues of our era do you want to see {or create} solutions for in your lifetime?

Dallas: The only issue I see presently in our society is that not enough people are connected to their roots, extending to the earth and the universe. Not enough people work the land anymore; therefore, we have lost our connection to the earth. Like the little worker bee that makes the honey in the hive, we have to strive to do our part to be in balance with the earth and universe.

Natalie: What advice would you give young hoop dancers just starting out?

Dallas: My advice to young aspiring hoopers is for you to stay true to your art and visions. Master your style and art to your perfection. Become one with the hoop, and discover its power and energies. Research your art; know your craft inside and out. With passion, patience, and persistence, your art will shine.

Natalie: Finally, is there a message you most hope to spread with your art?

Dallas: My message to the universe is that we are all connected through the circle to all living things, and within the circle is the energy of life that connects us all. We must live in balance with our own cultures and the rest of the world. We all have to balance between worlds and continue to move in a circle. Hi-hi kinanaskomtin {Thank you}.


Natalie Kane Contributor, Pyromaniac and GIS analyst Natalie Kane helps young, aspiring travelers launch the lifestyle of their dreams and elevate the world through her website Kinetic Karuna. She hoop dances with the Dogtown Hoop Mafia in Richmond, Virginia, USA, and founded FloWiTheJames to clean up the James River. Her passions include environmental conservation, exploration, yoga, self-sufficiency and gettin’ silly in her circle. She’s on Facebook.

Native American Hoop Dance with Lumhe Micco Sampson

lumemiccoLuhme Micco Sampson of Sampson Bros demonstrates his Native American hoop dance skills in this video created by PK in Santa Fe. With a multitude of hoops, Luhme brings them to life as he dances to the talented and marvelous music of Robert Mirabal and Robby Romero, performing live at the Santa Fe Bandstand in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. The Sampson Bros can be found performing all over the country and originate from Chicago, Illinois, USA.