The Hoop Dance World Championship Dance Contest returns to the Heard Museum in February 2022. Save the date for February 12 & 13, 2022, when the top American Indian and Canadian First Nations hoop dancers will compete at the Heard Museum for the prestigious World Champion title and cash prizes.
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. Men and women compete on an equal fields, and 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 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.
Pictured at top: Lisa Odjig (Ojibwe, Odawa, Pottawatomi) competes at the World Championship Hoop Dance Competition at the Heard Museum, Phoenix, Arizona. Photo: Heard Museum.