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27th Annual Hoop Dance Contest Winner

February 14, 2017

Tyrese Jensen (Navajo / Maricopa) of Dilkon, Ariz. earned 237 points of a possible 250 to win his first adult world hoop dance title at the 27th-Annual Heard Museum World Championship Hoop Dance Contest.

Tyrese Jensen, 18, was a first-time adult contestant this year. He landed a $3,500 cash prize, and added the adult title to his world titles in the teen and youth divisions. Jensen topped former champion Tony Duncan (San Carlos Apache, Arikara, Hidatsa, Mandan) of Mesa by one point; Duncan won a $2,500 prize.

Seventy contestants from the United States and Canada competed Feb. 11 and 12 in the museum’s Libby Amphitheater in youth, teen, adult and senior divisions. In addition to Tyrese Jensen, world championships went to:

  • Terry L. Goedel, (Yakima/Tulalip), of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. He repeated his 2016 win as senior champion, earning $2,500 with a total of 221 points.
  • Nanabah Kadenehii (Dineh) of Big Mountain, Ariz., who won the teen division with 211 points, earning $750.
  • Kailayne Jensen (Navajo/Maricopa) of Dilkon, Ariz., who won the youth division with 216 points, earning her a $350 prize.

An estimated 5,000 people watched the two-day event; more than 5,000 watched the competition live on Facebook.

Dancers were judged on their precision, timing and rhythm, showmanship, creativeness and speed. To earn a spot in the finals, dancers had to survive two preliminary rounds of competition. A “tiny tots” division for dancers age 6 and younger drew 13 participants.

This year’s event also honored individuals who touched the Hoop Dance community. On Saturday, Valentino Rivera, a youth participant who passed in May 2016, was honored by his family, the community of Pojoaque Pueblo, and the Heard Museum. Also, trustee, Hoop Dance enthusiast and sponsor of the teen division Jeff Kahn was honored by the museum and his family for his contributions to the World Championship Hoop Dance Contest. On Sunday, Glen Ahhaitty was honored for his years of dedication to the hoop dance contest. Ahhaitty was one of the first to sing at Hoop Dance and his vocal influence on the judges set a high caliber for all who sign today.

27th-Annual Heard Museum World Championship Hoop Dance Contest Final Results

Adult Division

  • World Adult Champion — Tyrese Jensen (Navajo/Maricopa), 18, Dilkon, Ariz. with 237 points, $3,500
  • 2nd Place — Tony Duncan (San Carlos Apache, Arikara, Hidatsa, Mandan), Mesa, with 236 points, $2,500
  • 3rd Place — Dallas Arcand, (Cree, Nakota Souix, Metis), of Morinville, Alberta, Canada, with 231 points, $2,000
  • 4th Place — Talon Duncan (San Carlos Apache, Arikara, Hidatsa, Mandan), Mesa, 224 points, $1,500
  • 5th Place — James Jones (Cree), Tall Cree, Alberta, Canada, 223 points, $1,000
  • 6th Place — Michael Goedel (Yakama, Tulalip, Lumbee), Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., 219 points, $750

Senior Division

  • World Senior Champion — Terry L. Goedel (Yakama/Tulalip) Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., 221 points, $2,500
  • 2nd Place — Moontee Sinquah (Hopi/Tewa/Choctaw), Second Mesa, Ariz., 220 points, $2,000
  • 3rd Place — Celina Cada-Matasawagon (Ojibway), Sheshegwaning First Nations, Manitoulin Island, Canada, with 218 points, $1,500

Teen Division

  • World Teen Champion — Nanabah Kadenehii (Dineh), Big Mountain, Ariz., with 211 points, $750
  • 2nd Place — Josiah Enriquez (Pueblo of Pojoaque), Santa Fe, N.M., 207 points, $500
  • 3rd Place — Nathaniel Lakota Bears Heart, (Standing Rock/Santee Sioux), Monument, Colo., 205 points, $350

Youth Division

  • World Youth Champion — Kailayne Jensen (Navajo/Maricopa), Mesa, with 216 points, $350
  • 2nd Place — Delano Paddock, (Navajo), Holbrook, 200 points, $200
  • 3rd Place — RJ Lopez (Pima, San Carlos Apache, Arikara, Hidatsa, Mandan), Salt River, Ariz., 186 points, $150

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Media Contact: Shaliyah Ben, Heard Museum, SBen@heard.org, (602) 252-8840