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Old 08-03-2005, 12:25 AM   #1
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Cuttin' Up

Over the recent years, the term "Contemporary" applied to describe Straight Dance has confused me. Growing up in the 60's and 70's, I never heard that term applied to this elegant style of dance. I have been priviledged enough to see the most elite Straight Dancers of my era. The list is endless. There have been many and the list continues to grow. "Old Style", yeah, there is the basic one-two. Every one can do that. To me, there is a "Spirit" that comes from the drum, that the singers bring out, that makes the "Elite" bring out their best moves. "Cutting Up" is what I always heard it called. Good songs sung by good singers makes the "Real Ones" cut-up. So it only stands to reason, when the "Real Ones" contest, they "cut-up". You know, showing their best moves. "Contemporary"...Whoever coined this term, had idle time on hand or something against "Good Straight Dancing". AH-HO!
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Old 08-03-2005, 01:37 AM   #2
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Wa Zha Zhe, good observations. Especially about the coining of the term. I agree that I am some what conservative but now and then when the song is just right I may put a little more into the dance.
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Old 08-03-2005, 10:37 AM   #3
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It has been my experience, that the recent terms of "traditional" or "contemporary" when applied to Straight Dance, mostly refers to the outfit more than the dancing style. As an example, some prefer the "traditional" red or dark blue tradecloth, and some prefer the more modern or "contemporary" bright colors now available in trade cloth.
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Old 08-03-2005, 02:14 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Historian
It has been my experience, that the recent terms of "traditional" or "contemporary" when applied to Straight Dance, mostly refers to the outfit more than the dancing style. As an example, some prefer the "traditional" red or dark blue tradecloth, and some prefer the more modern or "contemporary" bright colors now available in trade cloth.
Hey....thanks for the clarifyin' insight!
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Old 08-04-2005, 03:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Historian
It has been my experience, that the recent terms of "traditional" or "contemporary" when applied to Straight Dance, mostly refers to the outfit more than the dancing style. As an example, some prefer the "traditional" red or dark blue tradecloth, and some prefer the more modern or "contemporary" bright colors now available in trade cloth.
While at a pow-wow a couple of week-ends ago, I was visting with Wilma BlackOwl. And, she was telling me that they asked her to be a judge for "Contemporary Straight Dance" contest at Walters Pow-wow a few week-ends ago. She said, "Contemporary...I don't know what to look for." She told me, "Let me judge Fancy Dancers and I know what to look for." Footmovement, the pace they keep with the drum, how well they stop, etc.
Some how, I wish they could make the announcement or it could made known that the term "Contemporary" has to do with the style of dress and not the style of dance.
I know, I know, you can wish in one hand and @$*; in the other.
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Old 08-15-2005, 11:18 AM   #6
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Historian I'm gonna have to disagree with you. But your view is a good one. When I think of these two styles, Old style vs. contemp. I think of the dancing and not necessarily the dress part of it.

Ex:

Old style : John Hughes, Ron Harris, Earl Plumley, Terry Tsotigh

Contemp: Jared Buffalohead, Angelo Normand, Ronnie Goodeagle Jr., Wahkeen YB

Think about the dance styles there.

John Hughes came out with some good outfits, bright yellow and stuff, kinda like Ralph Haymond, then to me added feathers and basically full eagletails on their shoulders. Yet to me they remained old style.

Lewis Cozad what would you consider? old style or contemp? Check out his battery lit shirts! holy chit!!! hahaha

Osages have them glitters shirts too, yet most dance old style.

Cuttin up, yup yup, whenever that drum brings it out, let loose, dance your style.

When I see a straight dancer jammin (skippies) across the dance floor I think contemp.

Another beer please.................
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Old 08-15-2005, 03:54 PM   #7
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Interesting observations
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Old 08-15-2005, 04:04 PM   #8
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I saw angelo this weekend and the first thing i thought wow...ive never seen a contemporary straight dancer...

course id never heard of "contemporary" straight dancin... but alls i know it was different.
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Old 08-18-2005, 04:48 PM   #9
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wa-zha-zhe, yep, I know what yer talk'n bout, When I was (a lot) younger, never heard anyone putting labels out there. As for Wilma, I know very well she could judge a fancy dance contest because of the many times she watched her papa dance. Say, does she still have looooong hair??
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Old 08-21-2005, 01:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wa-zha-zhe
Over the recent years, the term "Contemporary" applied to describe Straight Dance has confused me. Growing up in the 60's and 70's, I never heard that term applied to this elegant style of dance. I have been priviledged enough to see the most elite Straight Dancers of my era. The list is endless. There have been many and the list continues to grow. "Old Style", yeah, there is the basic one-two. Every one can do that. To me, there is a "Spirit" that comes from the drum, that the singers bring out, that makes the "Elite" bring out their best moves. "Cutting Up" is what I always heard it called. Good songs sung by good singers makes the "Real Ones" cut-up. So it only stands to reason, when the "Real Ones" contest, they "cut-up". You know, showing their best moves. "Contemporary"...Whoever coined this term, had idle time on hand or something against "Good Straight Dancing". AH-HO!

Contemporary: happening, existing, living, or coming into being during the same period of time. or marked by the characteristics of the present period. Modern, Current.(dictionary term)

Unfortunately, wa-zha-zhe, the younger dancers of today just cant seem to get that spirit that the "Real" dancers use to get.

If you watch some of the younger dancers today, IF you know what to look for....you'll notice some of those dancers dancing the same style to a cheap/scabby song, and turn right around and pretty much dance the SAME WAY to a "earth shakin" song. I know some of you can back me up on this one.

And for those of you that dont know what I'm talking about.....you need to learn more about this.

Of course, there are some younger dancers out there that do dance with heart, and feed off that good spirit that a earth shakin song can provide......and we applaud/lulu/clap/hoop for you.

Nothing irks me more than a dancer who is in straight dance regalia, dancing like a traditional dancer.
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Old 08-21-2005, 10:40 AM   #11
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Just a quick comment from a Northern girl......

Couple years back at Iowa City they had the dance exhibitions.... they announced each category and style and said a few blibs about each one. When it came to straight.. the showed the "old style" and gave a history... then they had Ron Goodeagle Sr. come out and announced his dance style at contemporary straight and explained it was how he moved ( glided) across the floor in the faster pace. They then had him, Jr. and his nephew do a song together.

Welp...... that's all I know about that. Carry on Southern people....
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Old 08-21-2005, 10:55 AM   #12
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When I think of contemporary/original, I would have to agree with the above post that put my dad, Ron Harris, Earl Plumley, etc..because even though they could "cut up" they never turned around, spun in circles, kicked way high(lol), etc. They danced straight, their demeanor was one of elegance and when the spirit hit, they went low, they kept time, their feet never skipped..they hit everybeat.
Now in the Osage districts, you will see some of the flashier dancing, thus the name Ronnie Dee. He has always danced like he does now and that is the style he carries. I have yet to see him go flourescent, though.
I think that everybody dances their own style and now that we have competitions that can label a certain style, then you will get categorized as such. Just like jingle has the same labels. You have contemp(flashier, rhinestoned, flourescents,etc) then original(denise onestar,diane derosier, annamae Pushetonequa) You can pretty much see the difference just by the dress and the form of dancing( spinning, turning, going backwards). It is pretty much the same for every category.
I myself like the original, like my dad, earl,bobby pewo,terry tsotigh,etc. I like to watch the contemps, they are exciting to watch but I think as long as they are still dancing then they are carrying on our songs, etc. then that is the main thing.
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Old 08-21-2005, 02:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sltate
I think that everybody dances their own style and now that we have competitions that can label a certain style, then you will get categorized as such....but I think as long as they are still dancing then they are carrying on our songs, etc. then that is the main thing.
I agree that dance competitions have been the main source in categorizing or sub-categorizing dance styles. The pros and cons of which, could probably be debated for some time. (Another thread perhaps.)

In addition, I think sltate's last comment is one of the most important things for all Straight Dancers to remember. It is the songs that make the dance. Whether a dancer considers himself in a traditional or contemporary sub-category of Straight Dancing, it is the songs that he is dancing to that should have the primary focus. A good dancer will know the songs and what the songs say and mean, so as to fully interpret the spirit and feeling of the song in dance form, either in a traditional style or a contemporary style. Of course that's just my opinion.
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Old 08-26-2005, 03:04 PM   #14
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When I think of comtemporary straight dance that includes all the spinning in circles, high kicks, fancy war dance steps. And the very flashy, bright, shiney clothes.

It makes me a little sad to see young and old both picking this style up. I know the great straight dancers of the past would be shook to see how this honorable dance has been manipulated.

I like the traditional, clean look, especially on the younger dancers. Straight dancers of America~~Just keep it real! Stop trying to keep up with the jingle dress dancers neon apparel.

PS: Hey Wa-Zha-Zhe how's it going?

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Old 08-26-2005, 04:40 PM   #15
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No such thing as comtemp s. dancing

There is no such thing as different categories for staight dance. It is is you heart and athletic ability to perform.
I've been dancing this dance my whole life and my father before that starting in the 1930's and before that my grandfather just before the turn of the century. my elders say I dance just like my grandfather. That being very fast. sometimes to skip when the song and my heart said so. To spin when I was looking for the tracks of my enemy.
My father and other Osage elders say people believe the stately style of straight dancing was considered the proper style because for years 1920's -1950's primarily only elders danced. Even among Osages, there were few dancers even tho our tribe was carrying on the same dance for over a hundered years. It almost died out. But as pride in being Indian came back to our people, people started to dance again and put younger people in in greater numbers.
But the truth is Osage people have always danced hard.
I hate to hear about this kind of changes and distortions of the history of our dance.
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Old 11-19-2007, 05:40 PM   #16
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HA.KA.ZHE Contemporary Wa.zha.zhi

Quote:
Originally Posted by wa-zha-zhe View Post
Over the recent years, the term "Contemporary" applied to describe Straight Dance has confused me. Growing up in the 60's and 70's, I never heard that term applied to this elegant style of dance. I have been priviledged enough to see the most elite Straight Dancers of my era. The list is endless. There have been many and the list continues to grow. "Old Style", yeah, there is the basic one-two. Every one can do that. To me, there is a "Spirit" that comes from the drum, that the singers bring out, that makes the "Elite" bring out their best moves. "Cutting Up" is what I always heard it called. Good songs sung by good singers makes the "Real Ones" cut-up. So it only stands to reason, when the "Real Ones" contest, they "cut-up". You know, showing their best moves. "Contemporary"...Whoever coined this term, had idle time on hand or something against "Good Straight Dancing". AH-HO!
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Old 11-25-2007, 01:04 PM   #17
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i concurr

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rafe View Post
There is no such thing as different categories for staight dance. It is is you heart and athletic ability to perform.
I've been dancing this dance my whole life and my father before that starting in the 1930's and before that my grandfather just before the turn of the century. my elders say I dance just like my grandfather. That being very fast. sometimes to skip when the song and my heart said so. To spin when I was looking for the tracks of my enemy.
My father and other Osage elders say people believe the stately style of straight dancing was considered the proper style because for years 1920's -1950's primarily only elders danced. Even among Osages, there were few dancers even tho our tribe was carrying on the same dance for over a hundered years. It almost died out. But as pride in being Indian came back to our people, people started to dance again and put younger people in in greater numbers.
But the truth is Osage people have always danced hard.
I hate to hear about this kind of changes and distortions of the history of our dance.
i definetly believe this post. we call contemp dancers contemp because as i was told by elders back in oklahoma that some dancers cant get that spirit. cuttin up is hard for them. lol. those songs tell stories of taunting the enemy and one should dance in the manner of the song. i remember when no young guyz danced straight. it was called the old man's dance. lol. Juaquin Hamilton was one of the first young guyz in oklahoma that could actually win at straight dance. he inspired a lot of young guyz to dance straight. we would only dance straght at tail dances, then we seen Juaquin, we all started to really want to dance straight. we would think of crazy things to do like gun moves or striking the enemy moves. i know i could get contemp, but now that im getting older i noticed that im going back old style. its funny cuz it seems that im placing more, lol. well, any wayz tdance the best way you can and remember to try to interpret the song that you're dancing to. i fyou know what u are dancing to then you can cutt up a lot easy.
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Old 12-04-2007, 04:21 PM   #18
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uppit has a reputation beyond reputeuppit has a reputation beyond reputeuppit has a reputation beyond reputeuppit has a reputation beyond reputeuppit has a reputation beyond reputeuppit has a reputation beyond reputeuppit has a reputation beyond reputeuppit has a reputation beyond reputeuppit has a reputation beyond reputeuppit has a reputation beyond reputeuppit has a reputation beyond reputeuppit has a reputation beyond reputeuppit has a reputation beyond reputeuppit has a reputation beyond reputeuppit has a reputation beyond reputeuppit has a reputation beyond repute
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"makesHERlulu" your observation to these styles are right down to Earth. More partial to them old guy's (old style).

No matter what style you are dancing you dance with the drum and when I was young man when contesting really got started, I was told you dance hard because at that time you were dancing against "GRANDPA" (the drum). When I go to dances there is only a few that I observed dancing to and with the drum.

Dance on fellas.
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Old 12-05-2007, 07:37 PM   #19
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Gledanh Zhinga has a reputation beyond repute
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I know what you mean by cuttin' up, but once I was powwow dancing alongside another straight dancer; he grinned and shared the following. "I just changed from fancy to straight, and I keep wanting to cut up." Of course, he was talking about breaking into fancy steps and whirling around.
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