The Native American Hoop Dance has profound meaning in Native American culture, as it symbolizes healing and eternal life. These instructions will guide you through some basic steps to get you started with the dance. We recommend that you start slow, start a step at a time, and have fun!
Equipment and Materials
1. Hoops, 3 (26 inches in diameter).
2. Comfortable shorts, pants, and shoes.
3. Optional: Native American Music (highly recommended).
It is important to be in a pair of athletic shoes. Also, be sure to have plenty of space around you to perform the dance. We recommend making a safety circle at least 10 feet in diameter around you.
1. Lay your three hoops on the ground in an orderly fashion so that each hoop will lay on top of another like the formation shown in the diagram.
2. Place your right foot in middle of the hoop 1. Then with your left foot, place it behind your right foot with the ball of your foot on top the hoop as shown in the picture. Then with your left foot, push down and backwards forcing the hoop to rise until it touches your right knee.
3. Now quickly kick your left foot forward and the hoop should be resting in top of your foot and be touching or near the bottom of your left shins
4. With the hoop resting on your left foot, lean forward on your left foot and you should be standing on one leg with the hoop now resting on of your right heel. Raise the hoop with your right leg (the one on the ground) by using your right leg to bring it to your waist.This will force the hoop upwards towards your upper body, permitting you to grab it with your left hand.
5. Now that you have the hoop in the your left hand, take your right hand and grab it from the inside out as pictured. Don’t worry if looks bent or disproportionate.
6. Take the hoop and raise it until the under portion of the hoop hits your armpit. The motion is similar to raising your hand.
7. With a strong flick of the wrist, or a motion like opening a door, fling the hoop outwards. At the end of the motion, you should look like the picture.
Step 8: Now It’s Time to Move Onto Your Second Hoop!
8. Repeat step 2, while holding the first hoop in your right hand. (place your right foot in the middle of the second hoop and then place your left foot on top of the hoop and slightly push your left foot against the hoop, making it raise about 45 degrees into the air)
9. Instead of kicking your other foot to raise the hoop, take the free hoop in your right hand and hook it underneath your right foot. You will hook it underneath your right foot and pull it out.
10. Grab the hoop nearest to your head with both hands, with your right hand above your left hand holding the hoop as shown in the picture.
11. Raise your right leg and duck underneath the hoop you are holding. Make sure your whole upper body goes through the whole hoop in one motion.
12. After your whole upper body has passed through the hoop, step down beneath your body with your right leg.
13. Grab the opposite hoop (the first hoop) and repeat steps 10-12. now, your left leg will raise and your left hand should be above your right hand when passing the hoop through your body.
14. When you have done this two or four times (make sure it’s an even number as the following instructions use your right hand.) You should end like the picture.
15. Grab the hoop closest to the ground. Pick it up next to your left foot’s side, and take your right foot out of the center of the two hoops.
16. Take the hoop in your left hand; raise it towards your waist with your right hand holding both hoops, as shown in the picture.
17. Let go of the hoops with your left hand.
18. While still holding both of the hoops with your right hand lift it just above your head.
19. Rest the closest hoop on your shoulder. It should resemble a wing.
20. Take the hoop furthest away from you and overlap it over the one closest to your shoulder. The right hand is technically on top of the hoop and grabbing the hoop furthest away. This allows the winged hoops to keep their formation.
Step 21: Now It’s Time for Your Third Hoop!
21. While your right arm is in wing formation find your third hoop on the ground and repeat steps 8-10, This time you will be using the hoop furthest away to hook it.
Step 22: Conclusion
These steps are basic steps, and are meant to introduce you to a Native American Hoop Dance. The best way to master these steps is by repetition. Once these steps are mastered, we invite you to look up more steps in performing this dance.