Annual Hoop Dance Contest to take stage at Heard Museum

Feb 12, 2023, 7:15 AM

Moontee Sinquah (Hopi / Tewa / Choctaw) – 2020 Senior World Champion  (Photo courtesy of the Hear...

Moontee Sinquah (Hopi / Tewa / Choctaw) – 2020 Senior World Champion (Photo courtesy of the Heard Museum, Platt Photography)

(Photo courtesy of the Heard Museum, Platt Photography)

PHOENIX – The 33rd annual World Championship Hoop Dance Contest will bring dozens of the top Indigenous hoop dancers to the Heard Museum in Phoenix next weekend.

The competition with prizes totaling $25,000 across multiple age divisions will begin Saturday and conclude Sunday at the Libby Amphitheater.

“Our Hoop Dance Contest is a beloved event that the community looks forward to every year,” David M. Roche, the Heard Museum’s CEO, said in a press release.

“It is more than a contest, it is an opportunity to learn from those preserving their history and legacy. We see hundreds of people from all over the world travel to join us in celebrating Indigenous talent and culture.”

Dancers will be judged on five skills: precision, timing/rhythm, showmanship, creativity and speed. Routines can include from 4-50 hoops to manipulate into shapes of animals, globes and other figures. The hoops are made of willow tree wood.

There are five age divisions: Tiny Tots (ages 5 and younger), Youth (6-12), Teen (13-17), Adult (18-39) and Senior (40 and older).

Registration closes on Monday at 11:59 p.m. Applications are available online.

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Annual Hoop Dance Contest to take stage at Heard Museum