Hoop dancer defends title as adult champion in Heard Museum contest

 

Nakotah LaRance (Hopi-Tewa) is the adult world champion (Photo by Heard Museum)

Nakotah LaRance (Hopi-Tewa) is the adult world champion (Photo by Heard Museum)

Nakotah LaRance (Hopi/Tewa/Assiniboine) of Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo, N.M., earned 237 points to win his second consecutive adult world hoop dance title at the 26th annual Heard Museum World Championship Hoop Dance Contest Feb. 14. The honor also included $3,500 in prize money.

Mr. LaRance’s total, out of a maximum of 250 points, bested that of the second-place finisher, former champion Dallas Arcand (Cree/Nakota Sioux/Metis), of Kipohtakaw First Nation, Alberta, Canada.

Mr. Arcand had 231 points, earning him a $2,500 prize. In 2015, Mr. LaRance’s victory over his next closest opponent, seven-time adult world champion Derrick Suwaima Davis (Hopi/Choctaw) of Old Oraibi, Ariz., was also by six points, 241-235.

This year, Mr. Davis placed fifth. Eighty-one contestants – 23 more than in 2015 – competed this weekend in the museum’s Libby Amphitheater in youth, teen, adult and senior divisions, according to a press release.

Terry Goedel (Yakama/Tulalip) is the senior world champion. (Photo by Heard Museum)

Terry Goedel (Yakama/Tulalip) is the senior world champion. (Photo by Heard Museum)

Third place in the adult division went to Scott Sixkiller Sinquah (Gila River Pima/Cherokee/Hopi), of Phoenix, who received 227 points and a $2,000 prize. Patrick Willie (Navajo), of Orem, Utah, earned 224 points to place fourth. Mr. Davis was fifth with 223 points, while Lane Jensen (Navajo/Maricopa), of Dilkon, Ariz., placed sixth with 212 points.

World championships were also won Sunday in the senior, teen and youth divisions:

  • Terry L. Goedel, (Yakima/Tulalip), of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., repeated his 2015 feat as senior champion, earning $2,500 with a total of 231 points.
  • Teen champion Talon Ree Duncan (San Carlos Apache/Mandan/Hidatsa/Arikara), of Mesa, Ariz., won with 239 points, earning $750.
  • And Jaron Yazzie (Navajo/Apache) of Farmington, N.M., won the youth division for the third consecutive time, with 235 points, earning him a $350 prize.
Jaron Yazzie (Navajo/Apache) is the youth champion. (photo by Heard Museum)

Jaron Yazzie (Navajo/Apache) is the youth champion. (photo by Heard Museum)

The two-day event Saturday and Sunday featured 81 competitors from the United States and Canada, with one dancer coming from as far away as the Canadian province of Ontario and one from Honolulu, Hawaii. An estimated crowd of 5,000 was present over the two days of the competition, the release stated.

Dancers were judged on a slate of five skills – precision, timing/rhythm, showmanship, creativeness and speed. To earn a spot in the finals, a dancer must survive two preliminary of competition. Six finalists compete in the adult division’s final round while three each compete in the others. A “tiny tots” division for dancers age 6 and younger is not scored; it drew 11 participants.

26th Annual Heard Museum World Championship Hoop Dance Contest Final Results:

Adult Division

  • World Adult Champion — Nakotah LaRance (Hopi/Tewa), 26, Ohkay Ohwingeh, N.M., with 237 points, $3,500
  • 2nd Place — Dallas Arcand (Cree/Nakota Sioux/Metis), Kipohtakaw First Nation, Alberta, Canada, 231 points, $2,500
  • 3rd Place — Scott Sixkiller Sinquah, (Gila River Pima/Cherokee/Hopi), Phoenix, Ariz., 227 points, $2,000
  • 4th Place — Patrick Willie (Navajo), Orem, Utah, 224 points, $1,500
  • 5th Place — Derrick Suwaima Davis (Hopi), Old Oraibi, Ariz., 223 points, $1,000
  • 6th Place — Lane Jensen (Navajo/Maricopa), Dilkon, Ariz., 212 points, $750

Senior Division

  • World Senior Champion — Terry L. Goedel (Yakama/Tulalip), Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., 234 points, $2,500
  • 2nd Place — Brian Hammill (HoChunk), Phoenix, Ariz., 227 points, $2,000
  • 3rd Place — Moontee Sinquah (Hopi/Tewa/Choctaw), Second Mesa, Ariz., 208 points, $1,500

Teen Division

  • World Teen Champion — Talon Ree Duncan (San Carlos Apache/Mandan/Hidatsa/Arikara), Mesa, Ariz., 230 points, $750
  • 2nd Place — Tyrese Jensen (Navajo/Pima-Maricopa), Mesa, Ariz., 226 points, $500
  • 3rd Place — Josiah Enrique (Pueblo of Pojoaque), Santa Fe, N.M., 219 points, $350

Youth Division

  • World Youth Champion — Jaron Yazzie (Navajo/Apache), Farmington, N.M., 235 points, $350
  • 2nd Place — Kailayne Jensen (Navajo/Maricopa), Mesa, Ariz., 227 points, $200
  • 3rd Place — Rylee Sandberg (Norway House Cree Nation), Winnepeg, Manitoba, Canada, 198 points, $150
Talon Ree Duncan (Apache/Mandan/Hidatsa/Arikara) is the teen champion. (photo by Heard Museum)

Talon Ree Duncan (Apache/Mandan/Hidatsa/Arikara) is the teen champion. (photo by Heard Museum)

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