PHOENIX — Native American and Canadian First Nations members will gather at the lawn at the Heard Museum Saturday and Sunday to compete in the 30th World Championship Hoop Dance Contest.

“Hoop Dancing began in the 1920s and 1930s,” said Dan Hagerty, director of Strategic Development at the Heard Museum. “A gentleman by the name of Tony Whitecloud began touring the country demonstrating this new intratribal style of dance.”

Tribes from all across North America participate in the contest that has been held at the museum for the past 29 years.

“Every competitor comes and wears amazing regalia," Hagerty explained. “Beautiful clothing that they'll wear that will oftentimes represent their tribal histories and stories.”

The contest has certain moves that are required by all dancers to perform, but the rest of their routine is entirely up to the dancer.

“You'll find within individual dancers, each represents their tribal traditions and tribal cultures. Some competitors will use as many as 20, 30 or 50 hoops.”

The World Championship Hoop Dance Contest runs this weekend from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the door, or they can be purchased here for roughly half the price.


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