HomeArtArt Galleries › The 2021 Heard Museum Hoop Dance Contest Goes Virtual

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The Heard Museum Virtual Hoop Dance Contest will be presented as a prerecorded online event on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021.

Go online to heard.org/event/hoop/ or visit us on social media for continued updates. 

“Considering the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic is having around the world, most especially the devastating toll it is taking on many American Indian and First Nations communities, we felt it was important to transition our Hoop Dance Contest to a virtual platform for 2021,” said Dan Hagerty, Director of Strategic Programming at the Heard Museum. “In partnership with our strategic advisors, we are excited to invite competitors from around the U.S. and Canada to participate this year in a safe manner. We look forward to welcoming the hoop community and spectators back to the Heard Museum’s campus in 2022.” 

Dennis Bowen, Sr. (Seneca), Steve LaRance (Hopi/Assiniboine), Sue Pappas, Moontee Sinquah (Hopi/Tewa/Choctaw) and Ginger Sykes Torres (Diné) have joined the Virtual Hoop Dance Team as advisors. Eric Hernandez (Lumbee) who will produce the virtual program is a Native filmmaker from Los Angeles known for creating viral videos on his YouTube channel, CirqueLife. He has competed in the annual Hoop dance event six times in the past, and most recently has been on a world tour as the lead Hoop Dancer with Cirque du Soeil’s TOTEM.

 “The roots of hoop dancing can be traced back to traditional Native healing ceremonies,” said Bowen, longtime host, and emcee of the World Championship Hoop Dance Contest. “Considering what we have all experienced this year, I can’t think of a better way of sharing this tradition of healing and offering hope and joy to audiences across North America.” 

Support for this program has been provided by:

Albertsons and Safeway Foundation


The event webpage includes a PDF of Contest Rules, developed with input from the contest staff and advisors to the program. Please read the rules carefully and direct any questions to: 

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In order to compete, you must fully complete your online registration before the cutoff deadline of Jan. 11, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. Arizona time. We strongly encourage you to register early. Registration will open on Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2020.

For a link to Contest Rules and online registration, visit: 


Once you have registered, your registration materials will be verified within three (3) business days. Upon verification, you will receive a confirmation email at the address you provide that will contain further information about preparing and submitting your video.

Video submissions for each contestant must be received according to the guidelines outlined in the Rules no later than Jan. 18, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. Arizona time.

Contest Rules

World Championship Hoop Dance Contest 2021 Rules

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A cash prize of $250 in each age division will also be awarded for a “Viewer’s Choice.” Online voting will take place the week prior to the virtual event. Further details on voting will be announced.

About the Heard Museum
Since its founding in 1929, the Heard Museum, a private nonprofit organization, has grown in size and stature to become recognized internationally for the quality of its collections, world-class exhibitions, educational programming and unmatched festivals. Dedicated to the advancement of American Indian art, the Heard successfully presents the stories of American Indian people from a first-person perspective, as well as exhibitions that showcase the beauty and vitality of traditional and contemporary art. The Heard Museum is supported, in part, by the generosity of Heard Museum members and donors, the Arizona Commission on the Arts, and the City of Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture. In association with the Smithsonian, the Heard Museum is part of a select group of museums and cultural, educational and arts organizations that share the Smithsonian’s resources with the nation.