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Why do some dancers dance counter-clockwise?

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  • Why do some dancers dance counter-clockwise?

    Why do some dancers dance counter-clockwise at a pow-wow, where all the other dancers dance clockwise? Is this a right that is needed to be earned or is it done out of choice to get noticed? I'm kinda sick of seeing certain dancers from the north do this. I just wish they could just dance the same way as everyone else, mainly towards respect of that pow-wow, or just get out of the damn way. A good pow-wow that does not allow this practice is at the Little Shell celebration in New Town, ND. The Antelope Society doesn't allow dancers to dance counter-clockwise there.

  • #2
    I was asked by a spectator why i dance backwards. I dont, i explained that i turn and dance backwards a little bit infront of judges during contest powwows. Then i turn back-around and dance clock-wise. Does this answer your qestion?
    Even YOU can change!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by FairSkinnedWarrior
      Why do some dancers dance counter-clockwise at a pow-wow, where all the other dancers dance clockwise?

      FSwarrior,

      Maybe they had a hard week at work and came to the powwow to ...... "unwind?"


      *L


      j/k
      Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

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      • #4
        rotfl...unwind...
        Watch your broken dreams...
        Dance in and out of the beams of a neon moon

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        • #5
          in some areas that is just the way they dance, esp out in the lakota country area.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by FairSkinnedWarrior
            Why do some dancers dance counter-clockwise at a pow-wow, where all the other dancers dance clockwise? Is this a right that is needed to be earned or is it done out of choice to get noticed? I'm kinda sick of seeing certain dancers from the north do this. I just wish they could just dance the same way as everyone else, mainly towards respect of that pow-wow, or just get out of the damn way. A good pow-wow that does not allow this practice is at the Little Shell celebration in New Town, ND. The Antelope Society doesn't allow dancers to dance counter-clockwise there.
            You shouldn't judge what you obviously don't understand.
            I think everyone on this rez is addicted to Harry Potter...lol...

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            • #7
              Judge What?

              I shouldn't judge what I don't understand, Ok, say I never judge what I don't understand, fine. Simply, why can't I ask about what I don't understand, and maybe I might enjoy it. If everyone did not understand anything today where would we be. If our ancestors did not understand other tribes in the war days/ the white people today......
              Some things are wise to say but some things are not best left unanswered. If and only if there is something good then post it, but not something lame as that!

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              • #8
                I would like to know if you are a dancer?

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                • #9
                  As a NTrad dancer in the south, I've only seen this a couple of times. It is usually a Veteran representing his 'read-guard' action until such time as all soldiers come home. Other times I've heard of particular dancers (whip men?) dancing this way as a prayer, trying to get rid of any negativity in the arena. And another story I heard(please keep in mind, I have no proof of this) was that a group of folks who practice backwards ways(a type of medicine) will do this in their practices.
                  Now, it could very well be that these dancers are confused. Maybe they are old-style Northern dancers and feel the dance should go counter-clockwise as opposed to clockwise. Maybe they haven't been taught the right respect for the circle. Maybe they just don't know. But, I'm inclined to believe there is a higher purpose to what they do.
                  Scott

                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                  Quick to judge,
                  Quick to anger,
                  Slow to understand
                  Ignorance and prejudice
                  And fear walk hand in hand.
                  --Neal Peart(from the song Witch Hunt)

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by FairSkinnedWarrior
                    I'm kinda sick of seeing certain dancers from the north do this. I just wish they could just dance the same way as everyone else
                    Is this statement part of your "understanding other tribe's ways" philosophy?

                    Instead of judging - call it what you will but that's what you're doing - why don't you go ask those dancers why they dance the way they do. You'll learn something and might even make an acquaintance in the process.
                    I think everyone on this rez is addicted to Harry Potter...lol...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by scottlollar
                      As a NTrad dancer in the south, I've only seen this a couple of times. It is usually a Veteran representing his 'read-guard' action until such time as all soldiers come home. Other times I've heard of particular dancers (whip men?) dancing this way as a prayer, trying to get rid of any negativity in the arena. And another story I heard(please keep in mind, I have no proof of this) was that a group of folks who practice backwards ways(a type of medicine) will do this in their practices.
                      Now, it could very well be that these dancers are confused. Maybe they are old-style Northern dancers and feel the dance should go counter-clockwise as opposed to clockwise. Maybe they haven't been taught the right respect for the circle. Maybe they just don't know. But, I'm inclined to believe there is a higher purpose to what they do.
                      All of these are myths and are incorrect. Ask a true northern traditional dancer and they'll tell...keep in mind there are several different tribal traditions regarding this so answers may vary, but all are correct for their own tribe and do not represent anything listed above.
                      I think everyone on this rez is addicted to Harry Potter...lol...

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                      • #12
                        Just a thing I heard. In Sioux way, all the men dance counter clockwise around the outside and the women stay clockwise in the middle.




                        But in 20 years, who is going to give a $#!t
                        Mr Oakley was here

                        see my powwow videos here...
                        www.youtube.com/oaklee84

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                        • #13
                          i've noticed this practise in the north-west US area (washington and oregon states - white swan - celilo - simnasho) - i've asked the people that i knew there why they danced that way - never got a "good" explaination...just "we always danced that way" but they dance the round dance clockwise

                          but when some of these dancers from these areas go to other areas - they dance counter-clockwise on the outside of the circle while the other dancers try to avoid "collisions"...but when dancers from the clockwise areas go there they dance counter-clockwise...guess its more along the line of "when in rome..."

                          does anyone know why they dance counter-clockwise?
                          Watch your broken dreams...
                          Dance in and out of the beams of a neon moon

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I heard that as warriors they are obliged to protect the circle of life including the pow wows circle So I personally think its an impersonation of a warrior patrolling the circle keeping an eye out for enemies or evil spirits. I dont know...what do I know Im just an Indian.

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                            • #15
                              One explanation I have heard is because they are "contrary"-some tribes had people that did things the opposite of others. They were regarded as having powerful medicine. If I can find my book that refers to this I will let you know.

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