What is the Hoop Dance?

The Hoop Dance is a form of Indigenous dance that incorporates a number of hoops (which can vary from a few to up to 50). A hoop dancer uses both their hands and feet to move these hoops to form different shapes that can represent animals, spheres or other designs and can tell a story by doing so.

Traditionally, the Hoop Dance was used by many First Nations as a healing or spiritual dance, tapping into the symbol of the hoop or circle to represent harmony, balance and the never-ending circle of life. Today it is a very popular dance and seen frequently in competition or as part of public performances where the great dexterity, stamina and strength of the dancers is on display.

Hoop dancers wear impressive bright and colourful regalia (that often match the hoops themselves) and are free to improvise and develop their own steps and version of the dance. What is important is that the feet keep to the beat of the drum while the body moves in and out of the hoops. In competition they are judged on five categories: precision, timing/rhythm, showmanship, creativity, and speed.