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  • Modern Fancy Dance

    I want to discuss modern regalia making and dancing. Any input is welcome.

  • #2
    what do you want to discuss? discuss or ask questions?

    Comment


    • #3
      Heres an observation...

      You can tell old school from modern by the moves. Old school dancers had distinct individual movement.

      Modern dancers seem to copy each other and all look alike with the same moves. They spin A LOT more, that's for sure.

      Whatcha' think?
      Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

      Comment


      • #4
        I think that may be a little too simple of an answer. If you watch the same group of dancers all year, for several years, the differences are there, the unique movements are there. If you really want to appreciate fancy dancing today, watch the over 35 group. They've retained some of the style of the dance from the 80s/90s (not all, but some) whereas the younger boys do spin more. The younger guys forget that dancing is not just about athletic ability, but style, grace, etc.

        So much of fancy dancing (and probably all styles) depends on what part of the powwow world you are in, who the fancy dancers are (are they pros, locals, etc).

        Where I'm at in MN we've got a very good, experienced group of 35+ fancy dancers, plus some good young guys as well. I'm not as worried as I used to be about the style going away, but I do worry that it will drift away from what I call the "classic period" of the 80s/90s.

        Just my 3Cents

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        • #5
          In my area there aren't too many fancy dancers. And I don't know how modern they are. I'm making some regalia but I don't exactly know what is modern, and I'd like too be a little different of course.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by powwowdancer7 View Post
            In my area there aren't too many fancy dancers. And I don't know how modern they are. I'm making some regalia but I don't exactly know what is modern, and I'd like too be a little different of course.
            What's your area? If you don't know how "modern" they are, what are they?

            I don't mean to offend you, but this sounds like the "I'm a boy scout who wants to be a fancy dancer but I have no one to help me and all the other fancy dancers in the area all run around in round fluffy bustles and wear chainette fringe"

            I guess I'm asking, how old are you, what is your experience in dancing? If you want to learn about fancy dancing, it is not something that you can get quickly. A lot of people come here and want quick info, they say "tell me how to make bustles." But we don't want to. I've made over 20 pair, I made a boatload of mistakes, eventually respected makers offered me advice. Standing in line before grand entry and having someone say, "you know it would be better if you did this". We learned by doing and being "out there". I'm over 35 lets say for fun, and I am still learning.

            I'd like to talk about the changes in fringe material over time, from the chainette in the 70s/80s, to the shoestring fringe in the 90s, to the ribbon of today (getting wider each season). Any body want to talk about that?

            Comment


            • #7
              I am a boy scout. And I can't be offended because I know where I stand. I'm just the "wannabe". I started dancing because a friend encouraged me. I am lacking in some knowledge, but I want to learn. I haven't been dancing long and I'm borrowing regalia until I finish mine. I'm sorry if trying to learn offends anyone. I knew more or less what I was in for when I started. So any help would be greatly appreciated and I understand any disrespect.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Iowa_Boy View Post
                What's your area? If you don't know how "modern" they are, what are they?

                I don't mean to offend you, but this sounds like the "I'm a boy scout who wants to be a fancy dancer but I have no one to help me and all the other fancy dancers in the area all run around in round fluffy bustles and wear chainette fringe"

                I guess I'm asking, how old are you, what is your experience in dancing? If you want to learn about fancy dancing, it is not something that you can get quickly. A lot of people come here and want quick info, they say "tell me how to make bustles." But we don't want to. I've made over 20 pair, I made a boatload of mistakes, eventually respected makers offered me advice. Standing in line before grand entry and having someone say, "you know it would be better if you did this". We learned by doing and being "out there". I'm over 35 lets say for fun, and I am still learning.

                I'd like to talk about the changes in fringe material over time, from the chainette in the 70s/80s, to the shoestring fringe in the 90s, to the ribbon of today (getting wider each season). Any body want to talk about that?
                Good post.

                I remember seeing alot of symmetrical footwork in the 80's/90's. Meaning, They were just as good going left as they were going right.

                I remember Jerry Cleveland dancing against Beaver Grant on the east coast in that time period. Saw Jerry a couple of years ago in Morongo.


                Why must I feel like that..why must I chase the cat?


                "When I was young man I did some dumb things and the elders would talk to me. Sometimes I listened. Time went by and as I looked around...I was the elder".

                Mr. Rossie Freeman

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                • #9
                  I think doc or someone mentioned it before. I think the athletic moves,and things done during honor beats has become somewhat standardize if I can apply that word here. Yes, some still have signature moves/style. But folks do look very simalar a lot of times. The judging comes to execution of simalar moves instead of who is more graceful as well as being original.
                  The slow groove with many moves packed in is a lost Style.
                  Spins are are like rest periods, alot of flash but no substance.

                  Fringe seems to be ever changing , not just in our style though(i.e. the grass boys).
                  I think we all eventually grow tired of our look or want something different to catch the eye. That is why the flow from one trend to the other.
                  I know for me I enjoy the guys on the edge, making the newest fads.
                  Hell, forget "I wanna be like MIKE'
                  I wanna be like Kenny Pratt
                  "Now remember, things look bad and it looks like you're not gonna make it, then you gotta get mean. I mean plumb, mad-dog mean. 'Cause if you lose your head and you give up then you neither live nor win. That's just the way it is." JW

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You do have a thing for him.

                    i was taught that moves should be executed on both sides of the body, you "must be in balance" to dance. You do a move to with the left side, then transition into the same move on the right side.
                    the moves should flow together, kind of like ice skating in a way.

                    I usually don't like to refer to any one dancer in particular, but since Jerry C was mentioned by someone else, I talk about him. Jerry is a master at moving across a dance floor, he is constantly moving, in space across the dance floor by doing movements that actually "move him." Other dancers prefer to dance in one spot then move to anther spot. Jerry has been very successful up here in the north because of this style.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Iowa_Boy View Post
                      I'd like to talk about the changes in fringe material over time, from the chainette in the 70s/80s, to the shoestring fringe in the 90s, to the ribbon of today (getting wider each season). Any body want to talk about that?

                      I danced in all of those fringes over the years when I was fancying :) The chainette sure moved well, but tended to get hung up some in my goats and other stuff. The shoestring fringe was definitely cheap and came in a lot of colors, but it wore out quickly and I had to replace it after each season. Ribbon comes in a lot more colors and tends to last longer than the shoestring stuff. It was my favorite, no doubt, and I think the 3/8" width was my favorite. I tried wider, but didn't care for it as much as far as movement and all. Just the thoughts of a now-grass dancer :)
                      I think everyone on this rez is addicted to Harry Potter...lol...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Which brings up another topic, some guys (Boye Ladd, Roy Bison) still tear it up, other guys semi-retire (Gordon Lasley for example), other guys get hurt (bad knees, back).

                        I remember in the early 80s/mid 80s having 40 or 50 fancy in a group at medium sized powwows. It wasn't as expensive to fancy back then though, but many of those guys now grass or trad. Chico HMH did the transition to grass and now traditional.

                        Do you fancy until you can't anymore,or do you change to a diff style while you're still competitive?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Iowa_Boy View Post
                          Which brings up another topic, some guys (Boye Ladd, Roy Bison) still tear it up, other guys semi-retire (Gordon Lasley for example), other guys get hurt (bad knees, back).

                          I remember in the early 80s/mid 80s having 40 or 50 fancy in a group at medium sized powwows. It wasn't as expensive to fancy back then though, but many of those guys now grass or trad. Chico HMH did the transition to grass and now traditional.

                          Do you fancy until you can't anymore,or do you change to a diff style while you're still competitive?

                          I was talking about this same thing just the other day. I also remember contesting against a ton of other fancy dancers. These days, you're doing really well if there are 10 in the category. I wish it'd make a comeback, but I have a feeling it might be on the way out...hope not though...

                          I stopped fancy dancing two years ago when I was still competitive. I always said I didn't want to be that old guy out there who should've quit years ago and was not keeping up. I wanted to stop on my terms and not because I had to. In my training, I dance to fancy dance songs along with grass songs as they help my cardio...plus, they're fun!
                          I think everyone on this rez is addicted to Harry Potter...lol...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Wojapi4Me View Post
                            I was talking about this same thing just the other day. I also remember contesting against a ton of other fancy dancers. These days, you're doing really well if there are 10 in the category. I wish it'd make a comeback, but I have a feeling it might be on the way out...hope not though...

                            I stopped fancy dancing two years ago when I was still competitive. I always said I didn't want to be that old guy out there who should've quit years ago and was not keeping up. I wanted to stop on my terms and not because I had to. In my training, I dance to fancy dance songs along with grass songs as they help my cardio...plus, they're fun!
                            I really think the cost is a part of it. Roaches are now 500-1000, the bustles are big and expensive, all the "big dogs" have fully beaded outfits, some have more than one. but there is a good young group of kids out there, and they are second or third generation fancy dancers. Look at the juniors at the next powwow, there might be 15-20. teens are a bit small in numbers, but good quality for the most part.

                            At places like Denver, they used to have to break northern fancy into two groups, now at a big powwow there might be 20 total. I do like the split -35/35+, gives the oldtimers a chance.


                            And by the way, when did the northern style of fancy get sooo fast. i think its from the young singers, who equate fancy with fast, like the southern boys. i like 2 songs, one medium so you can really move everything, dance with your whole body, not just your feet (that's southern!)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Iowa_Boy View Post
                              ... but I do worry that it will drift away from what I call the "classic period" of the 80s/90s.

                              Just my 3Cents


                              Iowa,

                              In my opinion, the true classic period was in the 70's. During that era there was minimal hybridization between northern and southern fancy dancers. The styles were distinct, the outfits were distinct and the songs were distinct.

                              Today's modern dancers are hybrid dancers and can dance in both southern or northern fancy categories. This is evolution and being hybrid is not a negative term. Champions like yourself, Spike, Isiah, Jazz, Dwight WB, Michael Roberts, Tonch St. John, Shorty Crawford can jam to northern, southern, northern, southern. back-to-back! Nada problemo.

                              My point is, "modern fancy dancers have evolved to a point where the lines of distinction are not as clear as they once were."
                              Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

                              Comment

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