A Native American dancer performs a hoop dance.


World Championship Hoop Dance Contest

February 17 - 18, 2024 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Libby Amphitheater

February 17 Tickets February 18 Tickets Register to Compete
A Native American man holding a medal in front of a crowd.
2023 Heard Hoop Dance Contest Adult World Champion – Scott Sixkiller Sinquah (Gila River, Pima, Hopi – Tewa, Cherokee, Choctaw)
For three decades, the world’s most talented Hoop Dancers have come to the Heard Museum to compete in this thrilling annual competition to secure the title of “World Champion Hoop Dancer.” This jam-packed weekend features nearly 100 contestants from across North America, two award-winning drum groups, activities for kids, community partners, food trucks and more. Whether you’re a Hoop Dance family or a first-time audience member, this is an experience you’ll never forget!

Dancer Registration

Click here to register to compete

Contest Rules

Rules have been developed with input from the Hoop staff and Advisors to the program. If you would like to enter the contest, please read the rules carefully, and direct any questions to: hoopdance@heard.org.

Heard Museum 2024 World Championship Hoop Dance Contest Official Rules

Discounted hotels available for a limited time

Hoop contestants can now get discounted room rates at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Phoenix and Radisson Hotel Phoenix Airport. There are a limited number of rooms, so book your accommodations as soon as possible. The last day to make a reservation is Jan. 18, 2024.

Book at Embassy Suites by Hilton Phoenix

Book at Radisson Hotel Phoenix Airport

What is 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.

About the Contest

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.

Photographers/Videographers: Please review our photo/video policy to protect the rights of Indigenous Artists.

World Champion Hoop Contest Highlights

  • A Native dancer with a hoop in front of a crowd.
    Tony Duncan (San Carlos Apache, Arikara Hidasta Mandan)
  • A youth hoop dancer jumping midair through a hoop during a performance.
    More than 30 Youth Hoop Dancers competed in the 2023 contest.
  • A group of Native Americans entering the hoop dance contest in front of a crowd.
    Each day, the contest begins with the Grand Entry for all contestants.


Get in touch via contact@heard.org for general inquiries.

Our sponsors

  • Major Sponsors

    The A P S logo.
    Susan Orr, in Memory of Bill and Tyler Orr
  • Youth & Teen Division Sponsors

    Jay Kahn Memorial Fund
    Richard O. Kern Fund
  • Supporters

    Renewal by anderson full service window and door replacement.
    Mary Ellen McKee
  • Youth & Family Programming Sponsors

    The A P S logo.
    The Molly Blank Fund logo.
    The Boeing Company
    The Diane and Bruce Halle Foundation logo.
    The Steele Foundation logo.