30th Annual Heard Museum World Championship Hoop Dance Contest | Heard Museum
Loading Events
Native American Hoop dancers in traditional regalia gathered around a circular sand dance plaza with the US and Canadian flags held in the center

30th Annual Heard Museum World Championship Hoop Dance Contest

Artistry, sheer athleticism, cultural traditions

Kick off First Friday Evening February 7, 6 to 10 p.m.
Contest- Saturday February 8 and Sunday February 9, 2020


  • The World Championship Hoop Dance
  • Over 80 competitors in five age groups from the U.S. and Canada
  • 2020 is the 30th¬†Annual World Championship
  • Hoop Dance is a two-day championship with roots as an Indigenous healing ceremony
  • Competitors may use dozens of hoops in this unique dance

On Saturday and Sunday, 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 and honor Indigenous traditions throughout the U.S. and Canada.

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). See the contest rules below for further detail.

NOTE: This is an outdoor event, rain or shine. Lawn seating only. We recommend bringing folding chairs or blankets. Outside food and beverages (excluding water bottles) may not be brought into this event.

About Hoop Dancing

Hoop dancing is a long-standing tradition in many Native cultures. This unique dance can involve the use of more than 50 hoops. Passed down from one generation to the next, hoop dancing communicates individual and tribal stories using hoops to create symbols and depict animals of great meaning in Native communities. The continuous circle of the hoops symbolizes the circle of life and the continual changing of the seasons.

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.

2020 Judges

Eddie Swimmer (Eastern Band Cherokee and Chippewa-Cree)
Eddie is the First Official World Champion Hoop Dancer, winning the title in 1991 at the New Mexico State Fair. Before his title win, Swimmer trained with modern hoop dance founder Tony White Cloud. Swimmer has continued to contribute to the art of Hoop Dance through the programmatic support of the World Champion Hoop Dance Contest at the Heard Museum. Eddie has taught and performed the art of hoop throughout the world and we are honored to welcome him back to the arena as a judge!

Ann Abeyta (Eastern Shoshone and Isleta Pueblo)
Ann Abeyta is from the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. She is the curriculum coordinator for Fort Washakie Schools in Fort Washakie, WY, and leader of the Native Strut Hoop Dancers. Ann has been hoop dancing for 30 years and was selected as one of the five hoop dancers along with Lisa Odjig, Jackie Bird, Eddie Swimmer, and Dallin Maybee to represent the five Olympic rings for the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.

Preston Eugene Tone-Pah-Hote Jr. (Kiowa)
Preston Eugene Tone-Pah-Hote Jr. is an enrolled member of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma. He currently resides in Uncasville, Ct with his wife Melanie, Oneida from Six Nations Ontario Canada, his three children Donann, Tarlynn, and Preston III as well as two grandchildren Ava and Bianca.
Preston stays active in the Native American Community by singing, dancing and serving as color guard at many pow-wows and cultural events throughout the United States and Canada, He has served as arena director, head judge and the pow-wow Chairman for several pow-wows to include the 2013 Inaugural Ball in Washington D.C. As an accomplished dancer, he is familiar with all styles of pow-wow dancing and receives the honor of judging specific contest categories at many pow-wows.

Thomas Phillips (Kiowa/Muskogee Creek)
Thomas has been involved in the Pow Wow Dance arena all of his life and more recently in California for the past 45 years. Thomas was raised in the Kiowa Tribal culture and traditions of the Southern Plains region. Over the years he has traveled to many tribal communities learning and exchanging the songs, dance and culture of many tribes. In this effort, he has become knowledgeable of the customs, traditions, and dances of the Northern and Southern tribes and has served as Master of Ceremonies for many major Pow Wows throughout the nation. Thomas is also a member of the Kiowa Gourd Clan and participates in Pow Wow dances as well. He has served as Head Man Dancer, Head Gourd Dancer, Arena Director and Judge at many POW Wow’s as well. Tom recently retired from the California State University, Stanislaus as a member of the Masters of Social Work Faculty.

Charlene Bomberry
Charlene Bomberry is a member of the Onondaga Nation, Deer Clan from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory in Ontario, Canada.
Charlene is a champion women‚Äôs traditional pow wow dancer, and has also been honoured by other pow wow committees to serve in head dancer and head judge positions at various pow wows throughout Ontario, Michigan, Wisconsin, New York and Utah.¬† She is involved as one of the founding members and as a volunteer of the Grand River ‚ÄúChampion of Champions‚ÄĚ Pow Wow Committee since its inception in 1979.¬† She has been the Chair of the Committee since approximately 2005.
Charlene sings and performs with the Six Nations Women Singers, who are included on Robbie Robertson‚Äôs Grammy nominated album, ‚ÄúContact from the Underworld of Redboy‚ÄĚ.¬† Other notable performances include The Smithsonian Institution‚Äôs 150th birthday celebrations as well as the Opening Ceremonies of the National Museum of the American Indian.

Contest Rules

World Championship Hoop Dance Contest 2020 Rules

Contestant Information


1st $3501st $7501st $40001st $2500
2nd $2002nd $5002nd $30002nd $2000
3rd $1503rd $3503rd $25003rd $1500
4th $2000
5th $1500
6th $1000


Hoop Dance Contestants Proof of Enrollment

NEW: All contestants must bring proof of tribal enrollment at check-in on Saturday morning to compete, even if you have provided a digital copy with your registration.

Online Registration for contestants is open!
Online registration closes at the end of business on Feb. 3, 2020.

For information on registering as a competitor, please contact Cassandra Lofgreen at clofgreen@heard.org.

Discounted hotels available for a limited time

The Hoop organizers have secured discounted Hotel rates for contestants and visitors at the four properties listed below! Discounts are available Friday, Saturday & Sunday nights Feb. 7, 8, & 9th. All must make and pay for their own reservation. Rooms are limited! The deadline for booking with these rates extended to January 17, 2020, or until the block is filled.

Hampton Inn ‚Äď Phoenix Midtown

160 W. Catalina Drive, Phoenix, AZ 85013     602-200-0990

2 Queen Beds                                      $165.00 + tax

You can also call the hotel directly at 602-200-0990 and ask for the Heard Museum Hoop Dance rate. The hotel is located off Central and Thomas.  The rate includes breakfast, parking, Wi-Fi and use of all the hotel amenities plus in-room refrigerator and microwave.

Book Hampton Inn for Hoop 2020 here       


Embassy Suites Phoenix

10 E Thomas Road, Phoenix, AZ 85012          602-222-1111

1 King                                                 $189.00 + tax   $10.00 night parking

2 Queen Beds                                      $199.00 + tax

You can also call the hotel directly at 602-222-1111 and ask for the Heard Museum Hoop Event rate. The hotel is located at Central and Thomas. The rate includes breakfast, an evening reception, hotel amenities, Wi-Fi, in-room refrigerator and microwave. There is a $10.00 fee for parking.

Book Embassy Suites for Hoop 2020 here   


Please contact Sue Pappas via email at sue.pappas@pappasmail.net or by calling 503 706-6964 if you have any problems with booking at any of the hotel listed above.


2019 Winners

Adult (18-39)

World Adult Champion: Cody Boettner, #403 (Creek)
2nd Place: Tyrese Jensen, #411 (Diné / Pima-Maricopa)
3rd Place: Sampson Sixkiller Sinquah, #409 (Hopi / Pima / Cherokee)
4th Place: Scott Sinquah, #408 (Hopi / Pima / Cherokee)
5th Place: Patrick Willie, #422 (Diné)
6th Place: Tony Duncan, #416 (San Carlos Apache / Arikara / Hidasta)

Senior (40 and above)

World Senior Champion:Lane Jensen, #502 (Diné / Maricopa)
Second Place:Terry Goedel, #501 (Yakama / Tulalip)
Third Place:Moontee Sinquah, #503 (Hopi / Tewa / Choctaw)

Teens (13-17)

World Teen Champion:Nanabah Kadenehii, #310 (Diné)
Second Place:Josiah Enriquez, #308 (Pueblo of Pojoaque)
Third Place:Nedallas Hammill, #322 (Diné / HoChunk)

Youth (6-12)

World Youth Champion:Kailayne Jensen, #217, (Diné / Maricopa)
Second Place:Rito “RJ” Lopez, #228, (Pima / Apache / Arikara / Hidasta)
Third Place:¬†JaiP’o Harvier, #202 (Pueblo of Pojoaque / Santa Clara Pueblo)

Signature Sponsors Supporting Sponsors


Hoop Dancing logo. 3 hoops in a star pattern with a feather in the middle

Event Details

February 8 ‚Äď 9
Saturday – Sunday

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

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

Adults: $25
Seniors (65 and older): $22
American Indians: $10
Heard Museum members: $15
Children (Ages 6-17): $9
Children (Ages 5 & Under): $0

Heard Museum Campus

Event Category:
, ,

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