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Heard Museum World Championship Hoop Dance Contest

early February – Heard Museum, Phoenix, Arizona

Top American Indian and Canadian First Nation hoop dancers compete for the prestigious title of world champion during the two-day event showcasing one of Indian Country’s most unique sports

featuring performances of those competing for the chance to call tbhemselves the World Champion Hoop Dancer.

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

It’s one of Indian Country’s most unique sports – the dazzling performances of the men and women who compete for the chance to call himself or herself the World Champion Hoop Dancer.

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

Some of the legendary competitors are Derrick Suwaima Davis (Hopi/Choctaw) of Old Oraibi, Arizona, who has captured multi world titles, Brian Hammill (Ho Chunk), of New River, Arizona, and Charles Denny (Chippewa/Cree/Ute) from Fort Duchesne, Utah, Alex Wells (Lil Wat First Nation) of Morley, Alberta, Canada; and Lowery Begay (Diné) from Jonesborough, Tennessee, and the sisters Waskwane and Beedoskah Stonefish (Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa & Chippewa) of Suttons Bay, Michigan. Both women and men compete on an equal field for the title. Other categories of competition include Tiny Tot (under 5 years), Youth (5 to 12), Teen (13 to 17) and Senior (40 and older).

For many years, the intertribal hoop dance has expanded to incorporate new and creative designs and extremely intricate footwork. Each dancer presents a unique variation of the intertribal hoop dance, weaving in aspects of his or her distinct tradition and culture. Individual routines are presented using as few as four to as many as 50 hoops, which are manipulated to create a variety of designs including animals, butterflies and globes.

Dancers are judged on a slate of five skills – precision, timing/rhythm, showmanship, creativeness and speed. In recent years, younger competitors have incorporated modern dance steps like hip-hop into their routines.

Since 1929, the Heard Museum has educated visitors from around the world about the art and cultures of Native people of the Southwest. With more than 38,500 artifacts in its permanent collection, an education center and award-winning Shop and café, the Heard remains committed to being a place of learning, discovery and unforgettable experiences.

It’s easy to get to the Heard Museum and to events via light rail in Phoenix. Look for the Heard Museum parking signs along Central Avenue, take the light rail to the Encanto Station and avoid having to locate a parking spot. Or use Park and Ride lots all along the Light Rail route.

For more information visit

New Top Events USA nominations

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Battle of Horseshoe Bend
Moundville Native American Festival

Bisbee 1000 Great Stair Climb
Navajo Nation Fair
Verde Valley Birding & Nature Festival
World Championship Hoop Dance Contest

Bay to Breakers 12K
Coarsegold Tarantula Festival

Annual Craft Expo
Antique & Classic Boat Rendezvous

Jacksonville Jazz Festival
Pensacola Beach Air Show
Tallahassee Springtime Festival
Tallahassee Winter Festival and Celebration of Lights

Savannah Music Festival
Blessing of the Fleet

Honolulu Marathon

Coeur d'Alene Resort Holiday Light Show

Indianapolis 500
Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration
Indiana State Fair
Feast of the Hunters’ Moon

Des Moines Arts Festival

Dodge City Days
Smoky Hill River Festival

American Quilter’s Society National Quilt Show
Great American Brass Band Festival
Hillbilly Days
International Bar-B-Q Festival
Jerusalem Ridge Festival
Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Festival
Mainsstrasse Village Oktoberfest
St James Court Art Show
World Chicken Festival

Lake Charles Contraband Days

Ocean City Sunfest

The Boston Marathon

Holland Tulip Time Festival
Great Lakes Folk Festival

The Saint Paul Winter Carnival

The Mississippi Delta Blues Festival

Burning Man

New Hampshire
League of New Hampshire Craftsmen’s Fair
New Hampshire Maple Weekend
New Hampshire Seafood Festival
Strawbery Banke Museum Candlelight Stroll

New Mexico
Albuquerque International Balloon Festival
Santa Fe Indian Market
Santa Fe Spanish Market

New York
Oswego Harborfest

North Carolina
` • Biltmore Festival of Flowers
North Carolina Azalea Festival
North Carolina Seafood Festival

Columbus Arts Festival
The Vectron Dayton Air Show

Red Earth Native American Cultural Festival

Fall Kite Festival
Whale Watching Events

Rhode Island
Newport Jazz Festival
Newport Winter Fetival
Rhode Island International Film Festival

South Carolina
Beaufort Water Festival
Carolina Cup

South Dakota
Fort Sisseton Historical Festival
Tabor Czech Days

Dogwood Arts Fetival
Mule Day
Secret City Festival

Terlingua International Chili Championship

The Moab Music Festival

Washington DC
The National Cherry Blossom Festival

Washington State International Kite Festival
National Lentil Festival

American Birkebeiner
EAA AirVenture
Milwaukee Irish Fest
Milwaukee Summerfest

Cody Stampede Rodeo
Woodchoppers Jamboree and Rodeo