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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Phoenix’s Heard Museum Hosts World Hoop Dance Championship

The world’s best Native hoop dancers will return to Phoenix, Arizona, on February 5 & 6, 2011 to vie for the prestigious title of world champion at the Heard Museum’s 21st Annual World Championship Hoop Dance Contest – a unique competition which combines artistry, sheer athleticism and cultural traditions.

The last competition saw the return of Derrick Suwaima Davis (Hopi/Choctaw) of Old Oraibi, Arizona, who defeated all comers to capture his fifth world title – a record in the annals of the hoop dance. Davis is expected to return and try for another record win over former champions Brian Hammill (Ho Chunk) 41, of New River, Arizona, and Charles Denny (Chippewa/Cree/Ute), 20, from Fort Duchesne, Utah.

Also, check out sisters Waskwane and Beedoskah Stonefish (Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa & Chippewa) of Suttons Bay, Michigan. Other categories of competition include Tiny Tot (under 5 years), Youth (5 to 12), Teen (13 to 17) and Senior (40 and older).

Dancers are judged on a slate of five skills – precision, timing/rhythm, showmanship, creativeness and speed. In recent years, younger competitors such as Nakotah La Rance (Hopi/Tewa) who’s also an up-and-coming actor, are incorporating modern dance steps like hip-hop into their routines.

Both women and men compete on an equal field for the title and the winners will take home their share of more than $30,000 in prize money.

The Jay Kahn Memorial Fund sponsors the youth competition prizes and the Arizona Commission on the Arts is a supporter of the contest.

For more information about top events in Arizona take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Arizona.

For more information on the Heard Museum’s World Championship Hoop Dance Contest visit http://heard.org/hoop/2010winners.html