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  • learn to dance

    My friends! I'm new to the forum, so let me explain my plight.

    My family comes from the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, but we can not prove blood back to the Dawes Rolls, only Marriage rolls, so we are not enrolled in the tribe. That doesn't keep me from going to a minority leadership conference here in Wisconsin, every year, as a Native American woman. This year, my last year at the conference (since I will be graduating HS), I wanted to do something special for the talent show. Since I go to the conference as a Native American, I figured I would do something related for the talant show, and want to learn how to fancy dance. This is something I have wanted to learn for quite some time now, but never quite had the ambition. My mother and I are going to start on the regalia after Christmas, but the conference is in February so I don't have a lot of time to learn. I've seen some of the videos online that are about $20, but thats just something I can't afford!! Milwaukee's main Powwow is over for the year, so maybe you have some other suggestions for me??

    -Ahpi
    Sarah
    -Autumn Feather

  • #2
    hmm....thats a short peroid of time to learn to dance and get your regalia made. Your gonna have to practice hard. Mabey you know so some peeps who dance? Just pray about what you want to do. And ask for help/guidence. Whatevers meant to happen will. YOu could go to the archives and check them out.
    "You know, sometimes it's a good day to die, and sometimes it's a good day to dance."

    Comment


    • #3
      We are definately praying to get done in time, but 2 months (since it is the -end- of February) will hopefully be enough to get some basics down.

      There are usually less then 10 Native American representatives at the Conference, so I want to educate the rest of them, even if I am not perfect.

      I only know one girl who Fancy Dances, who I met at Milwaukee's Indian Summer Festival, but she travels a lot with Echos (www.fancydance.com), so I haven't been able to talk to her lately.

      Thanks for the reply though.

      -Ahpi
      Sarah
      -Autumn Feather

      Comment


      • #4
        Outfits tend to be kind of expensive. I don't mean to crash on your parade but if you really want to do this right it'll take hard work and some money. The videos you emntioned are really good to watch and learn from especially if you don't have anyone around you to learn from.
        What kind of outfit are you wanting? Beadwork, sequin, or fabric?
        Before you attempt to beat the odds, make sure you can survive the odds beating you!

        Why do some people bother breathing when you know their brain isn't getting the oxygen?

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        • #5
          Unfortunately, I know just how expensive full regalia can be, but we are hoping that if we make a simple fabric one for now, we can upgrade to beading and ribbonwork later.

          -Ahpi
          Sarah
          -Autumn Feather

          Comment


          • #6
            Autumn-Feather, you can do it! Belive me, I did, I learned to dance and made my outfit in a matter of 2 months, and it is beautiful. Mind you , it's not beaded--yet. Now I have the time to do it. My plight was the same, I wanted to learn to dance and have regalia in time for the Tdot Skydome powwow. I useed to dance when I was youger but as soon as the competitio powwows became popular, my mom pulled me out, I tried to practice at home but being so young I didn't have the discipline.

            Anyways, what I did was buy a couple cd's and dance, dance, dance every night and eventually I could dance through a good 4 songs. There are many sites on the net that you can download clips of Fancy, and when you have the basic moves down, like a couple kicks and spins and (help me out ladies...what would you call the old school step...KINDA resembles the running man but knees not so high?) Anyways, everyone has their own stlye...all you need are the basic steps, and as soon as you are able to dance on beat, the drumming will take over and you do what your body tells you.

            In terms of the regalia, I knew that I would have to have something pretty for fabric, since it was going to be plain, I choose white satin for the shawl and legging, lavender satin for the frill on my skirt,kinda like a pastel green satin for the yoke and body of skirt, and 12" black fringe. This is the best part, I went to Fabricland and found a really pretty butterfly fabric that was meant to be a pillow, but I cut out the butterfly and it was the perfect size for my yoke, I sequined the body, wings, etc and it turned out beatifully...oh ya for the front of the yoke I just sewed the back onto a black regular vest that I picked up at the thrift shop. So it workd and now I have all winter to bead the yoke and leggins.

            So after all this writing, I guess what I want to say is don't be discouraged, at first it will seem like a lot of work, but don't let that stop you, in the end you will be proud and extremely happy. I hope this helps.....Take care!
            Got percap?

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            • #7
              Good luck on your appearance at the conference. I am happy to hear you are going to educate and represent. I am happy to hear how determined you are to do this. I have gone through the practicing for dancing the regalia making and it makes me glad to know you are committing yourself to this. Good luck.
              ushoo' udish dee'

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              • #8
                DANG GURL!!!

                I dont want to sound like a bag full of discouragement, All I have to say is its not something you can learn in two months, and it shouldnt be learned as something to just show off.

                An outfit is made from hard work and good thoughts. If you just throw together an outfit, than thats what its purpose will be. I wanted to do the fancy shawl dance for a youth conference I went to back in my day *aye!! LOL* But my mom explained to me that its not something you can just do to just do it. I didnt dance for about 3 or four years after that, because I worked on an outfit, got help from the women in my family and finished it. And when I danced for the first time, it meant something because I was on a dance ground, on the pow wow grounds with women who had worked just as hard as I did on theyre regalia, and people whose hearts felt the same way as mine did when theyre feet hit those grounds.

                If your going to be "representing" You better think about what your REALLY representing. Coming from a fancy shawler, I know that I earned the right to wear my outfit cuz I worked hard for it. I earned the right to dance on the grounds and compete cuz Im always looking for ways to improve my skills, to improve my movements, STILL to this day, I want to dance better, move better, and its HARD WORK!!!.And as far as feathers go, well, thats a whole new story!!!

                Im not saying that what your doing CANT BE DONE but rather saying how it should be respected on that level, especially if your representing the dance and the meaning of it.

                I really hope this dosn't discourage you gurl! Rather makes you think about it in a different light though, cuz us fancy shawlers out here take pride in what we do. And should you go through with the dancing, then be sure to follow through with it, dont give up on your outfit, and dance hard!!!!
                ..::First ever 2002-2003 Powwows.com Princess::..
                ~*~*~* The original POWWOWCHIC49 *~*~*~
                *~*JINGLE IT*~*

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                • #9
                  jeez chic...took tha words right outta my mouth! i dunno,girl...if you're really gonna go through with it ...i just dunno...put everything you got into it and youre gonna hafta work really hard, that's all i gotta say that powwowchic didn't already say...jeez though...not to sound all discouraging either but, i dunno, you're gonna do what you wanna do so just keep on praying,work your little butt off(dancing&outfit)...just put everything you got into it...good luck anyways

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Ennit though?

                    yeah girl, took both me and supergirlie_fancy1 3-4 years to even come close to good. I just hope no big headed Fancy Shawler comes up to you and laughs in your face or teases you about your outfit. I've seen it happen gurl, for real, some of the dancers are just not nice and they will be mean to you if you look like you dont know what your doing......Good luck though girl!
                    ..::First ever 2002-2003 Powwows.com Princess::..
                    ~*~*~* The original POWWOWCHIC49 *~*~*~
                    *~*JINGLE IT*~*

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Why dontcha get one of those plastic sheets with the footprints on it that you could follow the steps by the number. You'll be dancin in ten easy lessons. Just kiddin:) Couldn't resist.

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                      • #12
                        kiwehnzii,youre a geek....nah i'm just playin thats kinda funny

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                        • #13
                          LMAO!

                          Gaaaah!!! Kiwehnzhii See how you are!!! LOL
                          Last edited by RainyDaze49; 12-18-2002, 09:54 PM.
                          ..::First ever 2002-2003 Powwows.com Princess::..
                          ~*~*~* The original POWWOWCHIC49 *~*~*~
                          *~*JINGLE IT*~*

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I've heard a lot about some dancers being rude and laughing in someone face, but thankfully, I have yet to sight someone like that. The ladies I met (who are pretty well known on the trail) were supportive and like Powwowchic and Super girlie said, happy that I was starting, knowing the signifigance and honor that comes with dancing.

                            All I can say is that, yes, I made my outfit quick, and, yes, I had to work on it every night for two months, and, no, it's not yet finished, but I set a goal for myself (the TDOT powwow being an objective) and accomplished that goal in a tight period of time. And now I have the rest of my life (or at least till my knees hold out) to dance, and I feel great. I challenged myself to do something that, even though I'm Nish and used to dance, I felt like there was the possibility of ridicule from fellow dancers. But I said, squash dat, I'm gonna make my outfit, it's gonna be beautiful, I'm gonna get out there and dance my flat arse off (can I say arse?)... .

                            Anyways, it's all a matter of how much you feel the desire to be on that ground shakin a tail feather (ok that was corny but I couldn't resist) and representing your style of dance. Nothing is impossible, and nothing should stand in your way (ie. time, material, discouragement, etc). You want it? Take it.
                            Got percap?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Please understand, I don't mean to just throw this together and do a crappy job of it, but I don't mean to be perfect either. I don't mean to go to the conference and just show off. I want to show them that while I am just learning, this is something from MY culture, and if you want to be culturally aware, you cant just know about your OWN culture, you have to know something about others' too.

                              Hopefully my regalia won't LOOK thrown together because I didn't just make it with some fabric and thread, but love too. I have higher ambitions than just this conference, such as Milwaukee's Indian Summer Festival Pow-wow next September, but I didn't mention that because the conference is so much closer than the ISF.

                              Also, with regards to Fancy Dancer's coming to me to criticize, etc, I know all the female Native American reps at the Conference, and none of them dance at all, let alone fancy dance.

                              Please know that I am not trying to do a rush job just to do it, I want to to mean something too.
                              Sarah
                              -Autumn Feather

                              Comment

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