On Feb. 8 – 9, the Heard Museum will host the 30th Annual World Championship Hoop Dance Competition, bringing more than 80 contestants from across North America to compete for a national title.
Top American Indian and Canadian First Nations hoop dancers will compete in the renowned competition for cash prizes and the title of World Champion Hoop Dancer. Each contestant will showcase their personal dance style and cultural traditions with dance performances that must demonstrate strength, creativity and intricate footwork.
The art of hoop dance honors cultural traditions from multiple Indigenous communities, reflecting the form’s roots in traditional healing ceremonies. Today, hoop dance is shared as an artistic expression to celebrate and honor Indigenous traditions throughout the United States and Canada.
Dancers are judged on five criteria: precision, timing/rhythm, showmanship, creativity and speed. Contestants compete in one of five categories during the two-day event: Tiny Tots (5 and under), Youth (6-12), Teen (13-17), Adult (18-39) and Senior (40 and older).
In their individual routines, dancers may use as few as four and as many as 50 hoops, which are manipulated to create a variety of designs including animals, insects and globes. This celebrated competition attracts thousands of attendees from around the world and is a testament to the long-standing history of American Indian dance traditions, and the Heard Museum’s commitment to advancing American Indian art and culture.
30th Annual World Championship Hoop Dance Competition
Feb. 8 – 9, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Heard Museum Amphitheater, 2301 N. Central Ave., Phoenix
For more information, visit heard.org.