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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 11 – 12, 2017, 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).

In 2016, more than 80 contestants participated in the competition, in which Nakotah Larance (Hopi/Tewa/Assiniboine) successfully defended his 2015 title as adult world champion. Terry Goedel (Yakama/Tulalip) received another Senior Championship title, while Talon Ree Duncan (San Carlos Apache/Mandan/Hidatsa/Arikara) is now the new World Teen Champion. Jaron Yazzie (Navajo/Apache), 12, took top honors in the Youth Division.

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.

Contestant Information

Download the 2017 Hoop Dance Official Rules
Download the 2017 Hoop Dance Contest Registration Form

For information on signing up to compete, please contact Jaclyn Roessel at 602.251.0244 or jroessel@heard.org.


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 11 – 12
Saturday – Sunday

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

Sunday, Feb. 12
9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (gates open 9 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

Includes museum admission.

Purchase Tickets Online
(General Admission only)

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.