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View Poll Results: Contemporary or Tradition
I like to dance contemporary way. 6 12.24%
I like the tradition or old way 41 83.67%
I'm not sure what this stuff is about. 2 4.08%
Who cares. 0 0%
Voters: 49. You may not vote on this poll

Forum Home - Go Back > Pow Wow Arena > Men's Dance Styles > Straight Dancing Contemporary Dance Contemporary Dance

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Old 02-12-2003, 02:47 AM   #1
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Contemporary Dance

I was at a dance a while back and heard the contemporary word thrown around a lot. We joked about it, talked about it and never did come to any real definition.

My question is this. What do you all think about this term? Are we simply seeing evolution in the dance or is this something different from the traditional catagories? I think I am just getting toooooo old.

What would contemporary Straight dancing look like?
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Old 02-12-2003, 04:09 AM   #2
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I guess...

just changes in regalia, meanings behind the dance, and how it's danced...i just hear people saying it's not the same...not sure either...
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Old 02-12-2003, 01:32 PM   #3
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straight dancer

Contemporary straight dancer in my opinion and my family is.
Like "otoe-gurl" said change in regalia. Now days the dancers have feathers hanging from their shoulders, sequins, what people refer to as "flash". Hop, skipping around, making it around the arena two or three times more than the old style dancer, who in my opinion barely makes it once.

Contemporary dancers in some words of people, say the Otter poppin-Otter flippin, dance stick touching the ground, making a full circle (in one spot). Again, hearing people talk, most don't like it, but i guess if a dancer wants to dance like that, it's up to them. I dance the old style cause that's what I like and when I dance I feel good. I dance for those that can't and for those that are gone, but still watching
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Old 02-12-2003, 05:42 PM   #4
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I've been around straight dancing for a long, long time. There is a way that this dance is done...to me, if it's not danced this way, then it's no longer straight dancing.

A long time ago...back in the '50s and on up, I have seen dancers who could flat cut up at times. The singers still make these men scoot! There are many who don't dance just alike. But today I see many young men who don't dance straight....many of them still win contests. Maybe many of today's judges don't know the difference?!

It's like anything else......if one wants to experience the real essence of a particular culture, then you have to go where it is. In this instance, go to the tribes who have this dance and conduct it according to their traditions.

"Don't add to it...don't take away". That's what they say.
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Old 02-13-2003, 11:43 AM   #5
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old is gold

i have to agree with everyone , alot of dancers today look like they need bustles on their back , you know that otter-popin stuff
i remember when they all looked like they was dancing on glass,
now its hard to tell then from the tradish dancers. just my opp.
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Old 02-13-2003, 04:08 PM   #6
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STRAIGHT DANCING

I was always taught that straight dancing was supposed to be dignified and genteel, now sure it may be exciting to watch the dancers with flash, the "contemporary dancers" but it warms the cockles o' me heart to see someone, ANYONE, dancing what i guess we should call "old-style straight"
ya know what i mean?
the gliding, and i remember old men saying that in this dance the roach should not move, that was something that they used to tell me. That was one sure way that they judged a dancer back then. If ya was hoppin' and a skippin', then so was your roach. If your roach was a hoppin' and a skippin' then you weren't dancing STRAIGHT enough
that was what was told to me by older and wiser men, some who have passed on
but i also notice that some of our older ways are passing on.
so does this mean that our older styles of dance should pass on also, i dont think so
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Old 02-13-2003, 08:35 PM   #7
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Red face HmMmMm...

Well heres the first question...What do people think about Fancy Dance? Of course everyone should know that fancy dance didnt start out like that. No matter what it is EVERYTHING changes,I bet there was a time when the ol fancy war dancers were watching these young guys spinning around looking like they were spazzing out...and now brings us to today. Everyone has thier own style of dancing,some like to dance ol style some like to just plain bust a move. If its for flash and glamour then thats thier own thing, You know and I know that judges now adays dont pick dancers who just dance..its got the be THIER NAME~THIER OUTFIT~ETC...What do you expect out of a powwow where people are dancing for that green paper. They will do what they need to do to be noticed. But straight dancing will be around..Old Style or Contemp. Just because someone might get a little "wild" out on the arena doesnt mean to panic. But I like to see an ol timer bust a move OLD style of course.....
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Old 02-14-2003, 01:51 AM   #8
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Thanks guys, these are some good words and thoughts. I personnally prefer the older style of straight dance with the slick moves. I learned from straight country, as was mentioned earlier. I think we can brighten up our suits and keep the smooth step of old. An Elder once told me that if they had all of the colors when he was young he'd probably have had brighter clothing.
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Old 02-14-2003, 11:02 AM   #9
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Gotta love Old Style! It is sooooo awesome - especially when all in the "old Style Groove". Can't get enough of them!

:D

I think that AD's and committees need to specify if they want Old Style or Contemporary when picking judges - let them know what you are looking for. There is a big difference in styles and it's not just clothes - my opinion only!

Just wanted to say Old Style Rules!
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Old 02-14-2003, 08:16 PM   #10
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contempoary dance

I straight dance and i do the "contempoary" style. If any dancer tells you he is not there for the money and has a number on then he's there for the money. now days we (dancers) will do anything to try to place.Besides thats what gets us home and pays our bills.
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Old 02-15-2003, 01:06 AM   #11
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Powwowforlife: I for one don't care about the money, or placing. I do it for the dance, I just like to dance. I figure that in a contest the best way to get the most dancing is to contest. On the other hand I don't turn away any winnings when I place or win.

I am one that prefers the old style I grew up with. I always enjoyed watching the elders strut their stuf with the best of grace and smoothness.

Not trying to argue just giving my position. I don't think I am a good dancer, but know what I believe makes a great dancer. Again only my belief.
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Old 02-16-2003, 04:41 PM   #12
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dancing

Friend of mine always danced the contest song just because "it would probably be the best straigh song he would hear all weekend". He was usually right too. He didn't compete just danced it.
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Old 02-17-2003, 02:01 PM   #13
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I guess it all depends on where you are from and how you were taught. Personally I have more hop to my step but that is the way I was taught at Hominy. Some times that drum will draw you to it and make you dance hard. Old school vs new school to me it's all about what that drum tells you to do.
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Old 02-19-2003, 10:03 PM   #14
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hoka hoka hoka

I think the old style will always be there, there are alot of people out there who are scared that the old style is vanishing and I know its not. Its just a new style. Id rather see the old style but something about someone just cutting lose just makes my stick hit the drum harder.lol...
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Old 02-22-2003, 01:20 PM   #15
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contemporary dancing

Just a few words on contemporary style dancing. Most young'ns dance this style and some old heads also. I personally like the old way, it's just looks good to see the one's that dance the old style with their smooth graceful moves.
"pawtoeman" has some good words as do "BoloneySkins", and "singer dad" has good point too. "powowforlife", we were always taught that if you go to a pow-wow make dang sure you have enough money to get back home but before you go you also make sure your home is taken care of before you travel(bills and food for your house). Seen to many that go to pow-wows and have to ask others for money to get home.
When I was younger and even now I do go and dance just to dance, sometimes I do contest, and sometimes I just dance the contest song, then walk off. There is a few straight dancers that dance at the edge of the circle when others are dancing their song for contest and that was one of the most honored things to do.
"Tsi-tse Wa-tsi" don't get me wrong but what you stated how you learned, I wasn't refering to the Osages, I have alot of friends that are Osages and some relatives too who have Osage blood.
As for me, I will have to stay with the "Old Style", I think it looks too smooth.

A-ho!
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Old 02-24-2003, 09:29 AM   #16
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You old style guys are the best ------- makes my heart flutter just readin your words!:Blush :Blush
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Old 02-24-2003, 06:39 PM   #17
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Im with ya there luvstratedancers old style , like floating on air. gives me chicken skin...:Chatter
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Old 02-24-2003, 06:47 PM   #18
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OH YEA!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 02-25-2003, 06:57 PM   #19
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old man-old style

How bout it "paw-man' heard you real good last weekend. They said you danced "5" songs and got 3rd, sure bet you were just breathing as you normally do and those two young'ins were breathing really hard and they said they were comtemporary style dancers. Man, sure wish I could have been there, makes my heart feel good that you placed. Maybe this summer we will dance together again, especially at Quapaw Pow-wow, heard you goin to be Head Gourd Dancer, good!
waaaaaahhhhhh-chaaaaaaaa !!!!
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Old 02-25-2003, 07:22 PM   #20
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Personally, I love dancing the traditional way as well. Every now and again I'll begin dancing more of the contemporary style during an Intertribal because of two reasons....

1) too many people out in the circle

2) northern step (from dancing this style first) is very influential

During contest, I really prefer that "old style". What makes me mad is when the judges take more to the contemporary style in a crowd of traditional straight dancers.:Yell

For the most part, I control the northern influences. Only rare occassions.

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