World Championship Hoop Dance Contest | Heard Museum

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World Championship Hoop Dance Contest

SAVE THE DATES! February 18 – 19, 2023

About Hoop Dancing

The art of hoop dance honors cultural traditions shared by multiple Indigenous communities. With roots in healing ceremonies, traditions and practices, today hoop dance is shared as an artistic expression to celebrate and honor Indigenous traditions throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Over the years, as the hoop dance community has grown, dancers have incorporated new and creative designs and intricate footwork while still respecting the fundamentals of the form. Each dancer presents his or her own choreography, weaving in aspects of tradition and culture. Men and women compete on an equal field, and individual routines may feature as few as four to as many as 50 hoops, which are manipulated to create a variety of designs such as animals, insects and globes.

Traditional hoops were made from the wood of a willow tree. Modern-day hoops are often made from reed and plastic hose because of the durability of the material when traveling. The hoops are decorated with tape and paint to symbolize the changing colors of each season. The traditional wooden hoops are still used on rare occasions.

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). Cash prizes totaling $25,000 are awarded to winners in each division, and victors in each division can claim the honor of being the World Champion.

Through stunning performances of those women and men competing to be named the next World Champion Hoop Dancer, the event combines artistry, athleticism, tradition and suspense for an unforgettable weekend of fellowship and competition.


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Major Sponsors Youth & Teen Division Sponsor
Text only which says Richard O. Kern Fund
Anonymous sponsor

Event Details

February 18 – 19, 2023
Saturday – Sunday

Libby Amphitheater

Event Category:
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Event Timings:
Saturday, February 18
Gates Open: 8:45am
Event start: 9:30am
Event ends: 5:00pm

Sunday, February 19
Gates Open: 8:45am
Event start: 9:30am
Event ends: 5:00pm

*All listed times are approximate*