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Ask Iowa Boy: Contests?

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  • Ask Iowa Boy: Contests?

    Dear Iowa Boy,

    I was recently at a powwow where a fancy dancer I thought was just tearing it up didn't even place. What's up with that?

    Yours fancily,

    Wyoming Guy

  • #2
    Originally posted by Iowa_Boy View Post
    Dear Iowa Boy,

    I was recently at a powwow where a fancy dancer I thought was just tearing it up didn't even place. What's up with that?

    Yours fancily,

    Wyoming Guy
    Good to hear from you Wyoming Guy,

    Unfortunately lots of things can go into a dance contest besides the dancing.

    First, the judges themselves must be considered. Are they knowledgeable powwow people or are they local people? Are the biased for or against a particular person, place, or people? Are the judges the same each session?

    Its particularly hard for good/great teen dancers when the first step up into the adult category. Some judges feel that they have to "pay their dues" before they will pick them to place. It can take a couple of years before they get into the money again.

    There are powwows that have bad rep's when it comes to judging. At Sisseton this summer, another fancy guy said that he wasn't going to a particular powwow because of the bad rep it had.

    Second, judging is not easy. At a recent fancy special, I picked in my mind (not out loud) 1, 2, and 3. They judges came back with the same three in reverse order. WTF? The guy who won spent half of a pushup on one knee spinning his dance sticks. But the judges were moving around and probably didn't see him coasting. And they guy who got third who should have won, probably was seen by a judge or two only when he was moving from spot to sport, not when he was tearing it up.

    Judging, who knows, you go to enough powwows, you get the gate sometimes, other times, you get the money.

    -IB

    Comment


    • #3
      Hey Iowa Boy,

      I was at a powwow (not in Ohio, I know, that's where the good one's are), and got to see one of these fancy diva guys. you know, he didn't suck, but I wasn't peeing my pants over his dancing. What's up with that?

      -Lonely in Michigan

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Iowa_Boy View Post
        Hey Iowa Boy,

        I was at a powwow (not in Ohio, I know, that's where the good one's are), and got to see one of these fancy diva guys. you know, he didn't suck, but I wasn't peeing my pants over his dancing. What's up with that?

        -Lonely in Michigan
        Thanks for the email "Lonely in Michigan". Perhaps if you didn't pee your pants, you wouldn't be so lonely.

        But, about your question. You know, after driving 13 hours in a car full of stinky guys straight from the last powwow, sometimes guys have an off night. Or they were up all night with a sick kid, or they hurt their knee playing golf that afternoon. Try and hold off making an opinion about a dancer until you've seen them quite a few times. You never know what's up during a given session.

        -IB

        any other contest related questions?

        Comment


        • #5
          This last question got me thinking. There are the "pro" fancy dancers, who basically make their living off of dancing. These guys can't take a powwow off (unless they are in a really bad world of hurt), so they go out there and use their rep to get them 4th or 5th, so they got something for the weekend.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Iowa_Boy View Post
            Thanks for the email "Lonely in Michigan". Perhaps if you didn't pee your pants, you wouldn't be so lonely.

            But, about your question. You know, after driving 13 hours in a car full of stinky guys straight from the last powwow, sometimes guys have an off night. Or they were up all night with a sick kid, or they hurt their knee playing golf that afternoon. Try and hold off making an opinion about a dancer until you've seen them quite a few times. You never know what's up during a given session.

            -IB

            any other contest related questions?

            dear IB,

            How do you cope with driving 13 hours, being tired, of sitting in the car, couped up, arriving at the powwow minutes before grand entry, dressing and powwowing for 3 days.

            Don't you stay tired the whole weekend before having to drive to the next powwow?

            I know fatigue is an issue with a lot of dancers who travel from powwow-to-powwow as a way of life.
            Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by WhoMe View Post
              dear IB,

              How do you cope with driving 13 hours, being tired, of sitting in the car, couped up, arriving at the powwow minutes before grand entry, dressing and powwowing for 3 days.

              Don't you stay tired the whole weekend before having to drive to the next powwow?

              I know fatigue is an issue with a lot of dancers who travel from powwow-to-powwow as a way of life.
              That is one of the reasons why "locals" often get really peeved at the "diva dancers." They arrive at the powwow right before the first grand entry where points are given (they were driving the day before just to get there) and then they basically walk through grand entry. After the "opening" they are back at their camp sitting down, the locals are out there doing the intertribals. Once they are dismissed for the night, they are in outta there. But the locals stay and keep dancing, getting madder and madder at these "divas" who are too good to stay in dance. When they are simple tired.

              Now, coffee, red bull, amp, all those other energy drinks/shots are used by some guys, others use mt dew or who knows what else. I've had dancers tell me that the "spirit moves them" when they dance. Maybe is was just all the crap they drank before the went out there.

              Once you get at a powwow after traveling, its like you have mini-jet lag. Many of us will get up on sat morning early and do the fun-run or 5K race. It kind of gets us going. Some guys figure they just have to get up for 2 songs a day, maybe 6-10 minutes of work, so they conserve the rest of the day.

              -IB

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Iowa_Boy View Post
                That is one of the reasons why "locals" often get really peeved at the "diva dancers." They arrive at the powwow right before the first grand entry where points are given (they were driving the day before just to get there) and then they basically walk through grand entry. After the "opening" they are back at their camp sitting down, the locals are out there doing the intertribals. Once they are dismissed for the night, they are in outta there. But the locals stay and keep dancing, getting madder and madder at these "divas" who are too good to stay in dance. When they are simple tired.

                Now, coffee, red bull, amp, all those other energy drinks/shots are used by some guys, others use mt dew or who knows what else. I've had dancers tell me that the "spirit moves them" when they dance. Maybe is was just all the crap they drank before the went out there.

                Once you get at a powwow after traveling, its like you have mini-jet lag. Many of us will get up on sat morning early and do the fun-run or 5K race. It kind of gets us going. Some guys figure they just have to get up for 2 songs a day, maybe 6-10 minutes of work, so they conserve the rest of the day.

                -IB
                Iowa_Boy, I'm a little confused here. When you say 'us', are you saying that as in 'us' the local, 'us' the pro fancy dancer, or 'us' the "Dancing Diva"???


                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

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Joe's Dad View Post
                  Iowa_Boy, I'm a little confused here. When you say 'us', are you saying that as in 'us' the local, 'us' the pro fancy dancer, or 'us' the "Dancing Diva"???
                  that "us" is just pro dancers, although some are "divas"


                  another thing, thinking of the 5k runs, is that the pro guys see each other all the time, they may not be friends, in fact some can't stand others, but they still will hang around each other and not the locals. i remember a run last summer where there were 7 or 8 fancy guys hanging out after the run, and all the locals were by themselves. That may have affected the judging later that day/night.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Iowa_Boy View Post
                    This last question got me thinking. There are the "pro" fancy dancers, who basically make their living off of dancing. These guys can't take a powwow off (unless they are in a really bad world of hurt), so they go out there and use their rep to get them 4th or 5th, so they got something for the weekend.
                    IB,

                    Regarding a Pro and making a living at pow wows.

                    I would think that the true number "making" a living" is small compared to the number that "getting by".

                    What is "making a living"? Earning enough to eat? More?

                    The economics of it seem to make "making a living" hard (incurred costs vs winnings).

                    I am a pro outside the circle and lucky enough supplement my day job earnings now and then in the circle, but those supplements sure don't go far.

                    I find the whole econmics of it all interesting.

                    I would guess that Golfing is about as close as a comparison as we can get, but golfers don't have to worry about anyone putting the hate on them. Their shots speak for themselves.

                    This guy took the weekend off. Stayed at home, visited, BBQ'd and relaxed. A choice I am glad I can make. Next week...back to the trail.

                    jed

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jed View Post
                      IB,

                      Regarding a Pro and making a living at pow wows.

                      I would think that the true number "making" a living" is small compared to the number that "getting by".

                      What is "making a living"? Earning enough to eat? More?

                      The economics of it seem to make "making a living" hard (incurred costs vs winnings).

                      I am a pro outside the circle and lucky enough supplement my day job earnings now and then in the circle, but those supplements sure don't go far.

                      I find the whole econmics of it all interesting.

                      I would guess that Golfing is about as close as a comparison as we can get, but golfers don't have to worry about anyone putting the hate on them. Their shots speak for themselves.

                      This guy took the weekend off. Stayed at home, visited, BBQ'd and relaxed. A choice I am glad I can make. Next week...back to the trail.

                      jed
                      incurred costs, versus winnings? My Canadian brother, you do your educational system proud!

                      There are fancy dancers here in the American Northern Plains (SD, ND, MT, MN, WI) that literally are full-time dancers. On average they dance 45-48 weekends a year, plus mid-weeks. How can they do this?

                      1) there are enough powwows in this area that you don;t have to travel far if you don;t want to

                      2) you either don't have kids or are divorced and your former woman has the kids, that way you can leave on thursdays or earlier to travel

                      3) In addition to powwowing, you get a nice per cap payment from your tribe from their casino (this would be similar to your "day job")

                      4) when the powwow season up here thins out, if you can, you hit California for the big ones, or other places where its warm.


                      between per cap and winnings you can more than get by, esp if you get a cut from singing, or if you travel with a crew that pitches in on expenses.

                      You can also supplement by becoming a "show ndn",doing school shows and presentations.

                      Pro golfing or pro bowling are good comparisons.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        It can be done.

                        I know I get wore out at doing just 20ish Pow wows a year.

                        I guess you sure gotta like driving and living on the road.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jed View Post
                          It can be done.

                          I know I get wore out at doing just 20ish Pow wows a year.

                          I guess you sure gotta like driving and living on the road.
                          if you mix in some head dancer, ad, head judge gigs that have guaranteed money and hotel rooms, it can be done.

                          It helps if you have lots of friends to stay with on the trail and have people that can switch off driving.

                          Most people can't do it.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Iowa_Boy, can you drop some names of the 'pro dancers' who will be hitting the casino powwows in Cali this fall?

                            I might want to get their autograph...if they don't charge too much!


                            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

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Joe's Dad View Post
                              Iowa_Boy, can you drop some names of the 'pro dancers' who will be hitting the casino powwows in Cali this fall?

                              I might want to get their autograph...if they don't charge too much!
                              just look for the people "not from California"

                              Comment

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