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Lehi Hoop Dancers Compete in World Championship

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale was proud to see ten of its Lehi Hoop Dance participants compete this February in the 26th Annual World Championship Hoop Dance Competition, hosted by the Heard Museum in Phoenix. The event brought dancers and spectators together from all over the U.S. and Canada to highlight unique dance styles and skills. Judges evaluated the nearly 70 performances this year based on five criteria, including precision, timing/rhythm, showmanship, creativity and speed. Both female and male competitors performed in four age divisions: “tiny tots”, youth, adults, and seniors.

The Hoop Dance is practiced by tribes around North America as a form of visual storytelling. Traditionally made of wood or reed, many modern dancers also use plastic and decorate hoops with tape or paint to make their performance stand out. Many dancers portray the seasons, sacred colors and other symbolic designs on their hoops, honoring their communities and heritage. The competition featured a wide array of dancers performing their best routines. “I liked watching other hoop dancers from around the country. I have never seen so many before,” said Club member Deian, one of the Lehi performers. Another Lehi performer, D’Andre, likes the family connection he feels when hoop dancing. “It gives me a challenge [and] it’s a family thing,” he said about the hoop dance.

The Lehi Hoop Dance group was started in January 2015 and provides space for 20 youth and teens to express their creative talent through dance. Coaches Kevin Duncan and Josh Billison lead classes for Club members at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale - Lehi Branch in Mesa, Arizona. “I like learning from Kevin. He is so patient,” said Deian about his dance coach. “I like when our families got to see all our hard work,” said Lehi hood dancer, Yenbaah, who appreciated the support from his community and friends during the competition. By providing a safe and fun learning environment, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale supports programs like the Lehi Hoop Dancers to celebrate participants’ culture and challenge them to accomplish their goals.

To see a video of the 26th Annual World Championship Hoop Dance Competition, click here.