Hoop Dancer shares traditional art form hoop dancing

The Preeceville Recreation Board along with the Good Spirit School Division welcomed Terrance Littletent, hoop dancer, in a special presentation in Preeceville and Sturgis on June 7.

Littletent is from the Kawacatoose Cree Nation where he inherited much of his traditional teachings through family and elders, singers and dancers, storytellers and academics, stated Littletent.

article continues below

Littletent introduced himself and gave a brief explanation of his past and the meaning of the hoop. " Hoop dancing is not just about dancing, it is a way of life," he said. "The hoop has a special meaning. It incorporates the circle and the stages of life we go through. I have been hoop dancing for 31 years and tell a different story with each dance. Every year I like to change the hoops with different colours and lengths. I use 17 hoops that incorporate the special significance of the story of an eagle and the special meaning of the 17 weeks that an eagle takes to leave the nest. Through story telling and hoop dancing I hope to bridge the gap between non first nations and first nations people," he said.

He also explained the significance of his costume from the bright colours and spiritual art work on his clothing.

"I have used up to 25 hoops, but today I am using 17 as that is what I am more comfortable with and of the special significance related to the eagle. I taught myself the art form of hoop dancing and for me it is about respecting your spirit and your body," he said.

Littletent has traveled across Canada, the United States, and overseas, sharing his gift of song, dance, and narrative, in a humble way. At the age of six, he had already been introduced to the traditional techniques and movement skills used to create his own dance choreography. By the age of eight, his uncle, Kirby Littletent, presented him with the gift of the hoop, which inspired Terrance to continue his uncle’s legacy of sharing the ways of their people. Eleven years later, Terrance was recognized as a World Renowned Hoop Dancer. As an educator, producer, and performer, Terrance continues to find ways to bridge traditional and contemporary dance.