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News Release

Heard Museum


On Saturday, February 8, and Sunday, February 9, the Heard Museum will host the 30th Annual World Championship Hoop Dance Competition, bringing more than 80 contestants from across North America to compete for a national title. Top American Indian and Canadian First Nations hoop dancers will compete in the renowned competition for cash prizes and the title of World Champion Hoop Dancer. Each contestant will showcase their personal dance style and cultural traditions with dance performances that must demonstrate strength, creativity, and intricate footwork.

The art of hoop dance honors cultural traditions from multiple Indigenous communities, reflecting the form’s roots in traditional healing ceremonies. Today, hoop dance is shared as an artistic expression to celebrate and honor Indigenous traditions throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Dancers are judged on five criteria: precision, timing/rhythm, showmanship, creativity and speed. Contestants compete in one of five categories during the two-day event: Tiny Tots (5 and under), Youth (6-12), Teen (13-17), Adult (18-39) and Senior (40 and older). In their individual routines, dancers may use as few as four and as many as 50 hoops, which are manipulated to create a variety of designs including animals, insects, and globes. This celebrated competition attracts thousands of attendees from around the world and is a testament to the long-standing history of American Indian dance traditions, and the Heard Museum’s commitment to advancing American Indian art and culture.

Prices vary for admission, but fees include day-of museum admission. Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets and folding chairs for this outdoor event. Learn more about the 2020 World Championship Hoop Dance Competition here.


Saturday, February 8, 2020

9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Grand entry 9:30 a.m.)

Sunday, February 9, 2020

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9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The 2020 World Championship Hoop Dance Competition will be broadcast live via Gila River Broadcasting Corporation – the first Low Power television station in Indian Country. The event will also be live streamed via the Heard Museum’s Facebook page.


Heard Museum Amphitheater

2301 N. Central Avenue

Phoenix, Arizona 85004


The Heard Museum has hosted this prestigious event since 1991, and thousands of spectators each year are drawn by the competition, culture and stunning visuals. With more than 90 contestants, dancers across all divisions are honored to perform and share their knowledge of hoop dancing with the greater Phoenix community. This event is also generously supported by APS, Jay Kahn Memorial Fund, Sanderson Ford and Lightning Boy Foundation, Inc.

About the Heard

Since 1929, the Heard Museum, a private non-profit organization, has enchanted visitors from around the world with the art, culture and history of indigenous peoples of the Americas. With more than 40,000 fine artworks and cultural artifacts in its permanent collection, 12 long-term and changing exhibition galleries, an education center, an award-winning Shop, the Books & More boutique bookstore, Coffee Cantina, and Courtyard Café, the Heard Museum is a place of learning, discovery and unforgettable experiences.

Exhibition, event and program funding are supported, in part, by the generosity of Heard Museum members and donors, the Arizona Commission on the Arts, City of Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture, Institute of Museum and Library Services, National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. In association with the Smithsonian, the Heard Museum is part of a select group of museums, cultural, educational, and arts organizations that share the Smithsonian’s resources with the nation.

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