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Heard Museum World Championship Hoop Dance Contest

Artistry, sheer athleticism, cultural traditions

On February 9 & 10, 2019, 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.

Contestant Information

Download the 2019 Hoop Dance Official Rules

Early Registration

Online early registration is now available. We strongly encourage early registration. Online registration closes at the end of business on Feb. 8, 2018.

If you have not registered for previous Hoop Dance Championship Contests you will need to supply your tribal ID the day of the event or on your registration form.

On-site registration will be available for $5.00 per dancer starting at 8 a.m. on Saturday morning, Feb. 10 in Steele Auditorium. Blessing and rules review will follow at 9 a.m.

Click Here for Special Hotel Deals for Traveling 2019 Hoop Participants

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


1st $3501st $7501st $35001st $2500
2nd $2002nd $5002nd $25002nd $2000
3rd $1503rd $3503rd $20003rd $1500
4th $1500
5th $1000
6th $750

2018 Winners

Adult (18-39)

World Adult Champion: #324, Nakota LaRance (Hopi-Tewa, Assiniboine), 233 pts.
2nd Place: #310, Scott Sinquah (Hopi, Gila River Pima, Cherokee), 224 pts.
3rd Place: #301, Tyrese Jensen (Diné, Maricopa), 223 pts.
4th Place: #315, Tony Duncan (San Carlos Apache, Mandan, Arikara, Hidatsa), 221 pts.
5th Place: #306, Michael Goedel (Yakima, Tulalip, Lumbee), 218 pts.
6th Place: #322, James Jones (Plains Cree), 217 pts.

World Senior Champion: #401, Lane Jensen (Diné/Maricopa), 228 pts.
Second Place: #400, Moontee Sinquah (Hopi, Tewa, Choctaw), 220 pts.
Third Place: #404, Terry Goedel (Yakima), 227 pts.*
*Goedel’s final score reflects Dance Off points for 3rd place with Brian Hammill

Teens (13-17)

World Teen Champion: #211, Ascension Harjo (Mohawk, Kickapoo, Seminole), 232 pts.
Second Place: #212, Jaron Yazzie (Diné), 224 pts.
Third Place: #205, Josiah Enriquez (Pueblo of Pojoaque), 191 pts.

Youth (6-12)

World Youth Champion: #118, Kailayne Jensen (Navajo/Maricopa), 230 pts.
Second Place: #119, Rito Lopez Jr. (Pima, Apache, Mandan, Arikara, Hidatsa), 213 pts.
Third Place: #117, Jerry Hunt (Diné)192 pts.

2018 Hoop Scoring Sheets – Adult Division – Final Scores
2018 Hoop Scoring Sheets – Senior Division – Final Scores
2018 Hoop Scoring Sheets – Teen Division – Final Scores
2018 Hoop Scoring Sheets – Youth Division – Final Scores

2018 Supporting Sponsor 2018 Signature Sponsor 2018 Circles of Giving VIP Tent Sponsor 2018 Youth Competition Prizes Sponsor
Logo for the Jay Kahn Memorial Fund
2018 Tiny Tot Competition Prizes Sponsor
2018 Hoop Dance Champion Nakota LaRance

2018 Hoop Dance World Champion Nakota LaRance (Hopi-Tewa/ Assiniboine)

Event Details

February 9 – 10, 2019
Saturday – Sunday

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

Sunday, Feb. 10
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
2-DAY PASS : $30

Heard Museum Campus

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

Listed in Travelmag.com as one of the "Best Festivals" in Phoenix and Arizona in 2018.