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  • All Around Contests. Good or Bad?

    My niece is wanting to enter an all around contest for her division this weekend. She is a champion fancy shawl dancer.

    She is not a jingle dress dancer, nor does she traditional dance. She is a competitor, athlete and determined young individual.

    After running this morning, she was in my back yard practicing jingle and traditional dancing to her favorite tapes.

    In this upcoming all around dance contest, she will be wearing a jingle dress and traditional buckskin dress, in addition to her own fancy shawl outfit.




    Do All Around Contests encourage a "mockery" of mixing dance styles and tradition?
    (I guess the same question could be asked of switch dancing? But, that will be a different thread).

    Are All Around Dance Contests good for powwows? Tradition?

    What's your take?
    Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

  • #2
    I think all arounds are great if you want to test yourself in how well you can do in each category besides the one you usually compete in...but you also have to know about how each style has their own songs to dance..such as double beat, crow hop, round dance, etc etc...you have to be able to adapt to each style and dance that style...and if you are a serious competitor than you will have your own regalia for each type of dance...as far as mixing dancing styles and mockery..??? I don't know..I see it as how well an individual can dance in each style and be judged on it...so as an all around contestant you are saying that you can dance all three styles and be good at each one..I don't know that I would compare it to switch dancing though.
    "Each of us is put here in this time and this place to personally decide the future of mankind. Did you think the Creator would create unnecessary people in such terrible danger? Know that you yourself are essential to this World."-A. Looking Horse

    Comment


    • #3
      I understand your point WhoMe in that you may run into a situation of contestants dancing styles they haven't properly entered into such as jingle. But, in this day and age, anything that can be done to keep Indian youth busy, occupied and away from drugs, gangs, and violence is a good thing. Your niece should be commended for practicing her dancing and not straying into other bad activities.
      I think everyone on this rez is addicted to Harry Potter...lol...

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Native 1
        I think all arounds are great if you want to test yourself in how well you can do in each category besides the one you usually compete in...but you also have to know about how each style has their own songs to dance..such as double beat, crow hop, round dance, etc etc...you have to be able to adapt to each style and dance that style...and if you are a serious competitor than you will have your own regalia for each type of dance...as far as mixing dancing styles and mockery..??? I don't know..I see it as how well an individual can dance in each style and be judged on it...so as an all around contestant you are saying that you can dance all three styles and be good at each one..I don't know that I would compare it to switch dancing though.

        Oh . . . she's fully used to all these drumbeats you have listed. She also sings behind the drum and travels coast-to-coast to learn different styles of singing and dancing. She has been dancing since she could walk.

        She listens to powwow music on her Ipod, plays soccer on two teams and is a friendly kid.

        She is not a serious "all around competitor."

        She is a teen shawl dancer and does not own her own jingle or buckskin outfits. Like many other All Around Competitors, she will borrow these outfits.

        It kind of does relate to switch dancing because it kinda' IS switch dancing isn't it?
        Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

        Comment


        • #5
          I think all-around competitions are acceptable..the dancers show their ability to dance in all categories. Only a limited few are talented enough to put on a good performance in this type of a special.

          Comment


          • #6
            That's neat if she's able to do that,..............But.... yes "money and competition" does encourage mockery. I'm a ladies traditional dancer; I have danced this way since I was very little. I do not know how to dance any other way. I have family that dance other styles, and they have always stuck to those styles. I guess it all depends on where and when you choose to dance. I was going to throw in the word,"tradition" but we all know that stirs up controversy. So I'll put it this way; does your family have a tradition of dancing at traditional gatherings, is your family's tradition only to compete for money, or is it a mixture of both???
            Last edited by WocusWoman; 06-07-2006, 05:28 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              guess you'll have to explain switch dancing??
              "Each of us is put here in this time and this place to personally decide the future of mankind. Did you think the Creator would create unnecessary people in such terrible danger? Know that you yourself are essential to this World."-A. Looking Horse

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Singerdad
                I understand your point WhoMe in that you may run into a situation of contestants dancing styles they haven't properly entered into such as jingle. .

                Singer,

                Yes, this is my main point.

                I see all around jingle and straight dancers who have not properly entered the arena .... wearing jingle dresses and straight dance cloths.

                In my "opinion" some all around dancers "dishonor the tribes who originated them and continue to honor them in ceremony - by not knowing how to dance these styles, within reason."


                Is this valid?
                Last edited by WhoMe; 06-07-2006, 05:27 PM.
                Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by WhoMe
                  Singer,

                  Yes, this is my main point.

                  I see all around jingle and straight dancers who have not properly entered the arena .... wearing jingle dresses and straight dance cloths.

                  In my "opinion" some all around dancers "dishonor the tribes who originated them and continue to honor them in ceremony - by not knowing how to dance these styles, within reason."


                  Is this valid?
                  I agree with what you have to say.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by WocusWoman
                    . . . does your family have a tradition of dancing at traditional gatherings, is your family's tradition only to compete for money, or is it a mixture of both???
                    Wocus,

                    My family does a mixture of both.

                    We attend traditional gatherings as well as spiritual ceremonies. We have also been invited to attend traditional gatherings and spiritual ceremonies of other nations (including your state).

                    We also travel to competitive powwows. In the last month, my niece has placed in New Mexico, Wisconsin and Oklahoma. This weekend she is headed to another state to compete.




                    Originally posted by Native 1
                    guess you'll have to explain switch dancing??

                    Native,

                    Switch dancing is when a competitor switches and dances in cloths of the opposite sex.


                    In the nonIndian world they call it...






                    "dancing in drag!"


                    *L
                    Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Maybe and I would hope that as a good mentor and uncle; try an reinterate to your niece since this is a competition she has chosen to partake in, it is her responsibility to learn the dance and dance them properly and with respect. And that is out of respect for the dances, the people and her family.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by WocusWoman
                        Maybe and I would hope that as a good mentor and uncle; try an reinterate to your niece since this is a competition she has chosen to partake in, it is her responsibility to learn the dance and dance them properly and with respect. And that is out of respect for the dances, the people and her family.

                        Wocus,

                        She is already a highly respectable young lady.

                        Can a person "truly" respect these dances if they are only doing it to contest?


                        Hmmmmmm?
                        Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hmm, thats what I thought switch dancing was..but no I don't think it compares to an all around special?? I still say you are being judged on your dancing ability for each of those categories with appropriate regalia. As for contest? I guess if it weren't for contest there would be no all around right??? as far as not being properly brought into the arena..hmmm guess it depends on your traditions..on how that would be?? Because a lot of traditionalists consider pow wow as contemporary and yet there are those individuals whom yes dance and yet go to spiritual ceremonies..sooo...its complex and I don't know if you will get a straight and simple answer.
                          "Each of us is put here in this time and this place to personally decide the future of mankind. Did you think the Creator would create unnecessary people in such terrible danger? Know that you yourself are essential to this World."-A. Looking Horse

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by WhoMe
                            Can a person "truly" respect these dances if they are only doing it to contest?
                            I had a similar question from co-workers when they saw me watching Red Earth this past Saturday (I got stuck having to come in and babysit computers, so while the processes were running.....).

                            "How can you have a 'contest powwow'? Isn't singing, dancing and drumming part of the religious ceremony?" they asked.

                            Well, uhm... yes and kinda?

                            I tried to put it into terms they were familiar with. You can have a Christmas program with church choirs from all over singing religious music. You can charge them entry fees and the people who come to watch an admission. You can have judges and award prizes. The choirs may be singing the -exact same music- that they will be singing in their own churches on Christmas day.

                            Is it the same thing? Choirs singing in a contest and choirs singing during service?

                            Before you answer that though - think.... the people in the choirs are religious people, the music that they sing has significance in their rites of worship. (Making an assumption of intent).

                            Is a choir contest -devoid- of worship or just a different (slightly more secular) expression? Is the intent still there even in a contest?


                            And to extend to your question, WhoMe, if the choir normally sings Bach on Christmas Day and only for the contest sings gospel instead - given the assumption of intent - would that be "truly" disrespectful?

                            There are things we may -all- agree on that would be disrespectful, there are things that just aren't done under any circumstances in the circle. The "truly" in your question is a qualitative and subjective qualifier. I suspect using "truly" every person will see and answer these sorts of questions differently.

                            ~b2w
                            with more questions than answers

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              There's another similar topic......"Why Do You Dance?"

                              Our Elders teach us that we express ourselves to the Creator as we dance. Through our dances we bring blessings of strength and happiness to our people. We dance for those who can not dance and for those who have gone on before us.

                              Now back to your question.....should one participate in an all-around dance contest? To answer the question we ask ourselves-----is dancing in an all-around contrary to any of the reasons why our elders teach us to dance? The answer ....no. So then......are all-arounds good?.....yes!

                              At the same time--- like others have mentioned--- each dance category should be done in a respectful way. Of course, this is true of any kind of dance, whether it's a regular dance competition or all-around.

                              The switchdance??? That's altogether different.....pretty sensitive topic there----I'll stay away from that one 4 now!
                              "DANTS in beauty!"

                              Comment

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