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Grand Entry during 23rd Annual Hoop Dance Contest

Heard Museum World Championship Hoop Dance Contest

Artistry, sheer athleticism, cultural traditions

On February 10 & 11, 2018, top American Indian and Canadian First Nations hoop dancers will compete at the Heard Museum for the prestigious World Champion title and cash prizes. At the two-day competition, men and women compete on an equal field.

The art of hoop dance honors the cultural traditions from multiple Indigenous communities that first employed hoop dance as a healing ceremony. Today, hoop dance is shared as an artistic expression to celebrate, share and honor Indigenous traditions throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Over the years, the art of hoop dance has grown, incorporating new and creative designs and intricate footwork while still respecting the fundamentals of hoop dance, a form of tribal dance that sets itself apart. Each dancer presents his or her own variation of the intertribal hoop dance, weaving in aspects of tradition and culture. Individual routines use as few as four to as many as 50 hoops, which are manipulated to create a variety of designs including animals, insects, and globes.

Dancers are judged on a slate of five skills: precision, timing/rhythm, showmanship, creativity and speed. Contestants compete in one of five divisions: Tiny Tots (age 5 and younger), Youth (6-12), Teen (13-17), Adult (18-39) and Senior (40 and older).

Through the stunning performances of both men and women who are vying to call themselves the World Champion Hoop Dancer, the event combines artistry, athleticism, tradition and suspense to present a memorable competition.

NOTE: Lawn seating only. Please bring folding chairs or blankets to sit on. This is an outdoor event, so please plan accordingly for the weather. Bottled water is the only beverage that may be brought into this event.


Parking at the Heard Museum is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Additional parking has been secured in lots close to the museum. Please refer to the map below for locations.
Lot 1: 2020 N. Central Ave. (parking garage)
Lot 2: 2214 N. Central Ave. (Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona). Additional parking for people with disabilities is located here.
Lot 3: 2333 N. Central Ave. (DWL Architects+Planners)
Lot 4: 340 E. Palm Lane (Brookstone office complex)
Lot 5: 303 E. Palm Lane (Maricopa County Bar Association)

Click the map for an enlargement

Off-site parking for Hoop

Avoid parking completely and visit us via Metro Light Rail! #Stop 10009, Encanto/ Central Avenue, “Heard Museum”

Contestant Information

Download the 2018 Hoop Dance Official Rules
Download the 2018 Hoop Dance Contest Registration Form

Download Hotel Information for Contestants (includes discount rate information)

For information on signing up to compete, please contact Shaliyah Ben at 602.251.0259 or sben@heard.org.

2017 Winners

Adult (18-39)

World Adult Champion: Tyrese Jensen (Navajo/Maricopa), Dilkon, AZ
Second Place: Tony Duncan (San Carlos Apache, Arikara, Hidatsa, Mandan), Mesa, AZ
Third Place: Dallas Arcand (Cree, Nakota Souix, Metis), Morinville, Alberta Canada
Fourth Place: Talon Duncan (San Carlos Apache, Arikara, Hidatsa, Mandan), Mesa, AZ
Fifth Place: James Jones (Cree), Tall Cree, Alberta, Canada
Sixth Place: Michael Goedel (Yakama, Tulalip, Lumbee), Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Seniors (40 and over)

World Senior Champion: Terry L. Goedel (Yakama/Tulalip) Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Second Place: Moontee Sinquah (Hopi/Tewa/Choctaw), Second Mesa, AZ
Third Place: Celina Cada-Matasawagon (Ojibway), Sheshegwaning First Nations, Manitoulin Island, Canada

Teens (13-17)

World Teen Champion: Nanabah Kadenehii (Dineh), Big Mountain, AZ
Second Place: Josiah Enriquez (Pueblo of Pojoaque), Santa Fe, NM
Third Place: Nathaniel Lakota Bears Heart, (Standing Rock/Santee Sioux), Monument, CO

Youth (6-12)

World Youth Champion: Kailayne Jensen (Navajo/Maricopa), Mesa, AZ
Second Place: Delano Paddock, (Navajo), Holbrook, AZ
Third Place: RJ Lopez (Pima, San Carlos Apache, Arikara, Hidatsa, Mandan), Salt River, AZ

View: Scoring Sheets – Adult Division FINAL 2017
View: Scoring Sheets – Senior Division 2017 Finals

Tyrese Jensen (Navajo/Maricopa) of Dilkon, AZ, was the 2017 adult champion at the Heard Museum World Championship Hoop Dance Contest in Phoenix

Tyrese Jensen (Navajo/Maricopa) of Dilkon, AZ, was the 2017 adult champion at the Heard Museum World Championship Hoop Dance Contest in Phoenix. Photo by Caesar Chaves

Event Details

February 10 – 11, 2018
Saturday – Sunday

Saturday, Feb. 10
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (gates open 8:45 a.m.; grand entry 9:30 a.m.)

Sunday, Feb. 11
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (gates open 8:45 a.m.; grand entry 9:30 a.m.)

Adults: $18
Seniors (65 and older): $13.50
American Indians: $12
Heard Museum members: $12
Children age 4–12: $7.50
Children 3 and younger: $0

Heard Museum Campus

Event Category:
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Start time of each day's grand entry is approximate.