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Grand Entry during 23rd Annual Hoop Dance Contest

Heard Museum World Championship Hoop Dance Contest

Artistry, sheer athleticism, cultural traditions

This event showcases a unique sport. Prepare for stunning performances of the men and women who are vying to call themselves World Champion Hoop Dancer. The event combines artistry, sheer athleticism and cultural traditions to create an exciting, colorful and suspenseful competition.

On February 10 – 11, 2018, top American Indian and Canadian First Nation hoop dancers will compete at the Heard Museum to win the prestigious title and cash prizes at the two-day competition, in which men and women compete on an equal field.

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. Contestants compete in one of five categories: Tiny Tots (5 and under), Youth (6-12), Teen (13-17), Adult (18-39), and Senior (40 and older).

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 is available on a first come, first serve basis. Additional parking has been secured around the museum. Please refer to the map below for locations.
Lot 1: 2020 N. Central Ave. Parking garage
Lot 2: 2214 N. Central Ave. ITCA (Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona). Additional handicap parking is located here.
Lot 3: 2333 N. Central Ave. DWL Architects
Lot 4: 340 E. Palm Lane. Brookstone
Lot 5: 303 E. Palm Lane. Maricopa County Bar Association

Click the map for an enlargement

Off-site parking for Hoop

Contestant Information

Download the 2017 Hoop Dance Official Rules
Download the 2017 Hoop Dance Contest Registration Form
Download the Contestant Prize Money and Program Flyer
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

Circles of Giving Tent sponsored by: The Teen Competition sponsored by:
Logo for the Jay Kahn Memorial Fund
Additional support provided by the following sponsors:
Nakotah LaRance (Hopi/Tewa/Assiniboine) of Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo, N.M., earned 241 points to become the 2015 adult world champion hoop dancer at the 25th annual Heard Museum World Championship Hoop Dance Contest.

Nakotah LaRance (Hopi/Tewa/Assiniboine) of Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo, N.M., was the 2015 and 2016 adult champion at the Heard Museum World Championship Hoop Dance Contest in Phoenix.

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

Books & More, Central Courtyard, Courtyard Café, Libby Amphitheater, Museum Shop

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