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Dressed in colorful regalia, Patrick Willie, a Navajo Hoop Dancer begins his presentation by spinning and twirling nearly twenty hoops in every direction. The students of Lakeview Elementary cheer him on, fascinated by his energy and movement.

In honor of Native American Heritage Month, Meredith Lam, American Indian Education Director for Provo City School District and Logan McKinney, Kodály Music Specialist at Lakeview Elementary, coordinated this cultural presentation to educate the students about the Native American culture.

One aspect of Native American culture includes the traditional hoop dance which, as Willie explained to the students, is a way to create meaning and tell stories. For this presentation, Willie used the hoop dance to represent the story of the warrior. Throughout the dance, Willie used the hoops to create the shapes of different animals and other things found in nature. Many of the students visualized butterflies, eagles, flowers and dragons as he danced.

After the dance, Willie used the hoops once more to take on the shape of a sphere, explaining that we all belong to the same world and should treat each other as equals. While only one part of the Native American culture, the hoop dance helped relay many customs and values to the students of Lakeview.

Madison Bliss
  • Madison Bliss