The Never-Ending Circle of Life: Native American Hoop Dancing from Its Origin to the Present Day

Authors: Johnston, Rhea; Hixon, Kathy; Anton, Vanessa

Source: Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, 1 August 2009, vol. 80, no. 6, pp. 1-66(66)


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The hoop dance, which is one of the most popular genres of Native American dance today, was originally performed as a part of private healing rituals and spiritual ceremonies. The modern-day, public form of the hoop dance is symbolic of the interconnectedness of life (the circle of life). It requires a great deal of physical stamina and dexterity. When watching the hoop dance, spectators sense they have slipped into another time, feeling a sense of joy and connection to those who came before, as well as to those in the present. This article describes the history and symbolism of the hoop dance and the role it plays in modern Native American culture. The download option below is for the full issue of this publication.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2009

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