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Differences between old school fancy dancing and new school fancy dancing????

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  • ysherwood
    replied
    I'd like to hear the story of the fancy dance! I've always questioned the butterfly correlation. It all seemed extremely romanticized, but its hard to tell anything a part these days as well as its just difficult to question those things - especially when you hear them told in the powwow circle. So, what did you hear?

    Leave a comment:


  • Mz_FoXy_MoMmA
    replied
    Ol Skoo

    My aunt is Liz George. She was a fancy shawl dancer WAY back n the day. I've only c'n her dance a few times @ the pw's but was always mesmerized by her movments. Very smooth and graceful-not choppy or jerky. Every step seemed choreographed and she made it seem so effortless. I loved it. She is the 1 who has inspired me and my style of dance. Personally, I don't really like flashy florescent colors (they remind me of construction workers-lol) I also kind of cringe when I see massive amounts of unneccessary applique (don't get me wrong...a lot of it is VERY nice but many over do it anymore). I try to keep it simple and basic. It's not the outfit that dances it's the person. It's just too bad the judge's don't always see it that way. Today, there are very few GOOD ol style dancers out there. I miss c'n the Ol ladies get out there and do their thing...maybe one of these days I'll get my aunt out there again...but 4 now, we'll all jes have to watch Gracie, Gale & Patty lol

    Leave a comment:


  • pow-wow person
    replied
    Originally posted by ndnMSW View Post
    Okay, had to jump back on here when I posted and then saw this new one...lol.

    According to Eddie Little Sky, a story he used to tell of the origins of shawl dancing had nothing to do with the butterfly story. The Butterfly Dance is a Zuni dance and we think that it may have been confused a little with shawl dancing somehow over the years. When Red Earth did the first women's fancy shawl spotlight dance, Dale Old Horn and several others got together to put the story together, and it had nothing to do with a butterfly. I can email you what they told us if you want, not sure I can do it justice in a post here.

    Me and Lisa remember when we were little that we used to dance in buckskin dresses and hold our shawls over our arms. I don't really remember any shawls without fringe, I just remember all the chainette fringe. I just may have been oblivious to alot back then when I was 5....lol.
    Shawls without fringe didn't last that long and I don't think it went any where north, just a phase. Uncle Edsel was my Moms first cousin/brother and he would know a bit they lived in California same time we did.

    Leave a comment:


  • they_drag_him
    replied
    I remember during the 80's and 90's, a woman fancy shawler somewhere had ballet training. One time in 93 or 94 at the UCLA powwow, she felling during her contest song on Saturday night.

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  • ndnMSW
    replied
    Originally posted by WhoMe View Post
    Are shawl dancers supposed to look like butterflies????

    Hmmmm?


    Does anybody remember a phase of shawl dance evolution when many shawl dancers wore robes without fringe?
    Okay, had to jump back on here when I posted and then saw this new one...lol.

    According to Eddie Little Sky, a story he used to tell of the origins of shawl dancing had nothing to do with the butterfly story. The Butterfly Dance is a Zuni dance and we think that it may have been confused a little with shawl dancing somehow over the years. When Red Earth did the first women's fancy shawl spotlight dance, Dale Old Horn and several others got together to put the story together, and it had nothing to do with a butterfly. I can email you what they told us if you want, not sure I can do it justice in a post here.

    Me and Lisa remember when we were little that we used to dance in buckskin dresses and hold our shawls over our arms. I don't really remember any shawls without fringe, I just remember all the chainette fringe. I just may have been oblivious to alot back then when I was 5....lol.

    Leave a comment:


  • ndnMSW
    replied
    Originally posted by they_drag_him View Post
    I heard that ballet does not mix with fancy shawl. French and Native American do not mix.
    I took dance lessons for a long time when I was younger, both ballet and jazz. Learning techniques from these classes has helped me in my dancing all along, even though I'm not doing those exact steps. Things such as balance and strength, posture, learning how to lift onto your toes and staying centered and upright are all things I learned in my classes that have helped with my shawl dancing.

    I've seen a few ballet moves that have been slightly modified and incorporated into shawl dancing, but unless you've taken dance lessons you wouldn't know it. I even know veteran men's fancy dancers that have gotten ideas for moves from country line dancing, hip-hop, and other dance styles and modified them to fit fancy dancing.

    It doesn't mix when you take the exact dance move from a different dance style and try to make it fit with shawl dancing...I've seen that done also and it looks funny. But there is nothing wrong with taking elements from different dance styles and modifying them to to fit shawl dancing.

    I remember seeing Lisa Ewack back in the day at GON, must have been in the late 80's. GON had a dance exhibition for all the former Miss Indian World princesses....she was so light on her feet and way up on her toes, and so graceful and strong that it looked like ballet even though it wasn't.

    For me, that's the biggest different between old school and new school dancing....old school dancing had STEPS, it had grace, women danced hard but they still landed lightly on their feet. New school dancing has more speed and endurance because the songs are faster and longer, but in the frenzy of getting noticed and getting around the arena the dancers miss alot of steps. That started happening in the early 90's when Schemitzun was in it's prime. I remember visiting with Donetta Ewack and she was telling me that at that powwow you have to get around the arena and look fast even though you'll miss alot of steps...the reason behind that was that the arena was huge, the judges were spaced far apart and there were ALOT of dancers trying to maneuver around. The way she approached it was you had to get around the arena, get noticed, make it to the finals where you could pull out all the moves.

    There were a few dancers that started the trend of using their shawls to accentuate their moves back in the day and that looked really nice...it was pretty and still graceful, but they used more of their outfits to bring out their steps. The difference between then and now is that it seems today's dancers just really throw their shawl to get noticed, it doesn't seem to fit with or accentuate their moves, they just look like they are flailing around.

    I've had to judge teen girls fancy at GON and I just cringe when I hear the girls dancing so hard that I can hear their feet slapping against the floor. I have an old videotape of Lillian Goodeagle in the early 90's where she just looks like she is floating...she's dancing hard but she makes it look effortless. I think that's missing alot in today's shawl dancers.

    My favorite dancers today have alot of the old school elements, but incorporate contemporary elements also without losing alot of what made shawl dancing so unique...they have speed but they are graceful at the same time, they have steps and footwork that is balanced, they use their shawls well without constantly having their arms up next to their ears, and their outfits are fully beaded and complete. Their shawls are tasteful not garish, have traditional designs, even if they use contempory materials such as sequins or other bright materials. They are in shape, work hard to stay that way, and they just love to dance.

    Okay, there's my thoughts on this topic...took me long enough to finally post them! Lol.

    Leave a comment:


  • pow-wow person
    replied
    powwow time is a good time

    Originally posted by WhoMe View Post
    Are shawl dancers supposed to look like butterflies????

    Hmmmm?


    Does anybody remember a phase of shawl dance evolution when many shawl dancers wore robes without fringe?
    I remember a time when women dancing fancy with or without a shawl was not well received but that was ages ago it seems and the butterfly thing is just another story, to make good print. I do remember the Ribbon Shawls (made with no fringe) and some of the tougher girls tried to wear leather shawls/robes but they were too hot and heavy to wear, they were painted sometimes.

    Leave a comment:


  • WhoMe
    replied
    Originally posted by DancingBlueButterfly View Post
    I teach a few girls in Western Mass ...they are supposed to look light and airy like a butterfly....

    Are shawl dancers supposed to look like butterflies????

    Hmmmm?


    Does anybody remember a phase of shawl dance evolution when many shawl dancers wore robes without fringe?

    Leave a comment:


  • DancingBlueButterfly
    replied
    I teach a few girls in Western Mass ranging from ages 8-16, and I try my best to teach them a mixture of both old school and new. However, some of them don't get the point that they are supposed to look light and airy like a butterfly, and I see them too often either being WAY too stiff, or landing really hard on the ground, especially during turns.
    I know myself I have some trouble doing some of the fancier footwork because I'm fairly overweight and have arthritis, but I do try.

    Leave a comment:


  • ballin_n_shawlin
    replied
    i used a little bit of tap (modified) of course when i danced! i think i see girls do the same thing now.. but don't really realize where it came from! I used love stealing grass dance moves too!! ha ha ha... just as long as it's done w/ grace!! there's no reason 2 look all manly out there dancing :p just MHO

    Leave a comment:


  • they_drag_him
    replied
    Originally posted by nativedancer5 View Post

    what I was saying that with all of her knowledge and her dancing ability she will be bringing that into her learning the fancy shawl steps as well. One of the early fancy shawl dancers (Julie Roach-Rinconte) has said that she took her tap dancing skills into her fancy dance.
    That is a bit odd and strange but if she wants to infuse and mutate, I say let her do what she wants.

    Leave a comment:


  • nativedancer5
    replied
    I heard that ballet does not mix with fancy shawl. French and Native American do not mix

    what I was saying that with all of her knowledge and her dancing ability she will be bringing that into her learning the fancy shawl steps as well. One of the early fancy shawl dancers (Julie Roach-Rinconte) has said that she took her tap dancing skills into her fancy dance.

    Leave a comment:


  • pow-wow person
    replied
    fancy shawl

    I don't think there is much difference in the dance steps its what you do with the basic steps that makes the difference, for a dancer, creating your own style is what makes any style(traditional, fancy, grass or jingle) of dancing unique, there is only so much that you can do with the basics of powwow dancing and the rest is your own.
    Last edited by pow-wow person; 04-09-2008, 04:16 PM. Reason: forgot agin

    Leave a comment:


  • they_drag_him
    replied
    Originally posted by nativedancer5 View Post
    well back when I danced fancy I was taught REALLY old school like the exabition dance at NMAI powwow a few years ago. but now my daughter wants to dance fancy and since she dances competitively in clogging, street funk and jazz and also a cheerleader and has ballet classes mixed in too. I'm sure she'll bring all that to the circle with her.I'm hoping for a little of old school and new.

    myself I like it when it's light and graceful with alot of good footwork.
    I heard that ballet does not mix with fancy shawl. French and Native American do not mix.

    Leave a comment:


  • pow-wow person
    replied
    As I was saying "thats what so cool about fancy shawl outfit has changed and I really like the way the shawls are now. I remember when it was just a shawl, maybe they could get back to the "float like a butterfly" thing instead of trying to put holes in the ground (referring to the footwork) these days it looks like they are really working hard when they are competing, I thought it was supposed to look effortless? " That was a post I put in the other forum but I agree with the footwork being different from back in the day, but the new fancy shawl outfits are great. We actually started putting designs on them in the early 80's, so I was there!! I saw! I was aware, (ahbleza!!)

    Leave a comment:

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