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Old 03-14-2007, 06:53 PM   #1
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Question A Humble Request

I was wondering if there is a group of folks or someone who would be willing to teach me to dance Straight. I'm from Wisconsin and we don't really have that way up here.

I'm more than likely going to school in either Oklahoma, Arizona or New Mexico. It is my hope to find some people who dance Southern Straight there.

Why I've opted to dance Southern Straight is:

I've suffered a spinal injury in Dec 05 when I was in the Navy. Due to the physical limitations of my back, I can't bend at the waist or move around too quickly. I have heard and seen that the Straight style is very graceful and the men don't bend at the waist too much and have a calm way about them.

I also think it's a beautiful style. I respect the Southern Straight Dancers, and I wish to be among their ranks. I respect all dancers and styles to the utmost degree.

I hope I don't sound like a big fool. I'm trying to be respectful and humble as possible. I'm only asking for advice and help.


Miigwech

Very Respectfully,
James
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Old 03-14-2007, 09:37 PM   #2
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Being a woman from the Northern plains tribes, I can't help you out in teaching you anything, but I can offer some encouragement.

First of all, you asked in a very good, respectful way. I hope others can see that and return the respect, regardless of what they have to tell you.

Secondly, I think that in order for your dancing to be truly yours, from your heart, you should go to powwows and watch, carefully, the dancers you most admire. There are no "classes", no "lessons", since each dancer has individual styles and signature moves. Imitation is a great compliment in many things, but to dance, regardless of which style, should be done as a unique individual. Dancing celebrates many things, including your own "self". So since you are willing to travel, you should travel to, maybe, Oklahoma, and attend powwows there. Attend the bigger powwows and watch carefully, take notes, maybe video tape your favorites, and go home and practice. During intertribals, when you are invited to join in, do it!

Like I said, I cant offer you anything except lots of encouragement. You are approaching this with respect, so I hope you keep that with you as you progress. Never, ever make the common mistake of getting to "familiar", since the dancing you will be doing is a gift that is SHARED with you, from a culture that is generous enough to share what they are, at the same time, trying to hold on to.
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Old 03-14-2007, 10:00 PM   #3
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Smile Miigwech

I respect what you said Lakota Wivan. I just don't want to seem all naive. Guess I just want to put it out there is all.

Perhaps all I was looking for was encouragement.



Miigwech
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Old 03-14-2007, 10:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OneidaDreamer View Post
I was wondering if there is a group of folks or someone who would be willing to teach me to dance Straight. I'm from Wisconsin and we don't really have that way up here.

I'm more than likely going to school in either Oklahoma, Arizona or New Mexico. It is my hope to find some people who dance Southern Straight there.

Miigwech

Very Respectfully,
James
If you are in Wisconsin now, I believe the Hochunk people are reviving their mens straight Dance Society so you might want to ask when they are having their ceremony. And if you are going to go to school in Oklahoma that would be ideal. I noticed that you are part commanche, you might want to contact your relatives and ask them because the commanche people straight dance as well. They probably would be more than willing to assist you. Good Luck!
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Old 03-14-2007, 10:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OneidaDreamer View Post
I was wondering if there is a group of folks or someone who would be willing to teach me to dance Straight. I'm from Wisconsin and we don't really have that way up here.

I'm more than likely going to school in either Oklahoma, Arizona or New Mexico. It is my hope to find some people who dance Southern Straight there.

Why I've opted to dance Southern Straight is:

I've suffered a spinal injury in Dec 05 when I was in the Navy. Due to the physical limitations of my back, I can't bend at the waist or move around too quickly. I have heard and seen that the Straight style is very graceful and the men don't bend at the waist too much and have a calm way about them.

I also think it's a beautiful style. I respect the Southern Straight Dancers, and I wish to be among their ranks. I respect all dancers and styles to the utmost degree.

I hope I don't sound like a big fool. I'm trying to be respectful and humble as possible. I'm only asking for advice and help.


Miigwech

Very Respectfully,
James
Sorry to hear about your injury. Back injuries are particularly nasty in the way they can limit one's daily life so long after the injury...

I would think that anyone who knows the Straight dance would be willing to teach you. Your request is very gracious and respectful. It is a challenge to learn Southern ways in the North here, but as KoolNDN suggested, maybe the Ho-Chunk would be a resource? I know they contest Southern Straight at their Gathering of Warriors Powwow over Memorial Day weekend.

In my quest to learn my ancestors' ways and powwow traditions I have yet to find anyone who was not willing to share what they know when I have humbly asked for help.

Either AZ or OK would be great places to study. I grew up in AZ and enjoyed my time there, although it's changed a lot since I moved away, bigger and more dangerous. My family is from OK originally, and everybody that I've talked with there has been really kind and helpful, too.

By the way - I thank you for your service to our country!
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Old 03-15-2007, 01:48 PM   #6
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Oklahoma! It has already been said, but Comanche War Dance will be found in Oklahoma... among other doings. Good luck!
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Old 03-15-2007, 04:52 PM   #7
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yes from what i hear southern dancing is gaining popularity in the upper midwest, they even had southern straight dancing at the aic powwow in chicago, there was only one contestant, little ron. not to mention the few southern drums that are now forming, im sure there is some help you can get there as koolNDN said.

i am very different in the straight dancing that i do (contemperary) compared to the traditional straight dancing that is more exceptable here in Oklahoma. But it is from watching and admiring the older straight dancers that i found my own way of dancing.

so to you, i wish you the best of luck. and thank you for your service to country.
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Old 03-21-2007, 10:17 AM   #8
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If you come to New Mexico, you'll find some straight dancers, some good, some not so good. You can pick and choose by watching.
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Old 03-21-2007, 08:07 PM   #9
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If you really want to learn how to Straight Dance. Go to Oklahoma. It is where I am going to school. Go Sooners'!!!
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Old 03-21-2007, 09:31 PM   #10
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Boomer.......!!!!
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Old 03-25-2007, 01:22 PM   #11
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It's great to know that you would like to dance Straight and if you are heading to Oklahoma it would be nice if you could attend one of the three district Ilonska's of the Osage.

Three weekend's in June, each have four day's of dancing with all and different styles. Each has his own and unique style. My ole friend "pawtoeman" also has a bad back but you can't tell it when he's dancing, like all the hurt and pain is left outside, that's the healing for the circle.

I too respect and understand the condition of your injury.
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Old 03-29-2007, 08:30 PM   #12
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Well first off thanks thanks for your service to our country and second I am sorry to hear about your back. Straight dancing is a very awsome and powerful thing if done right. You can never go wrong with being in Oklahoma, but Arizona and New Mexico are nice places too.

Send me a PM sometime and I would love to chat with you about the stlye and offer you what very little I know about the clothes and stlye.

TMS
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Old 03-30-2007, 03:24 AM   #13
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Smile

Miigwech for all of your support.




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Old 05-30-2007, 07:27 PM   #14
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Chi Miigwech again for all of your support everyone.
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