Teddy Anderson graduated from Maxwell International School where he received the highest award that Maxwell has to offer, the Eagle Award. The Eagle award is given to students who demonstrate outstanding scholarship, citizenship, character and service. In 2009 Teddy graduated from the University of Victoria with a degree in Child and Youth Care. In 2014 Teddy published his book Medicine Wheel: Stories of a Hoop Dancer and has sold copies all over Canada. (To See Teddy’s book- Click here!)
The Hoop Dance spoke to Teddy Anderson. Teddy offered a teacher ceremonial tobacco to a local Ojibway hoop dancer which was accepted. After 2 sessions Teddy was encouraged to study with other hoop dancers. Teddy continued his training in the Hoop Dance with Kevin Locke who has given his blessing for Teddy to perform the hoop dance and spread a message of unity.
Teddy is not First Nation’s by blood however Teddy has deep family connections with First Nation’s peoples and is a proven ally in the Red Deer community where many people consider him to be family. Teddy’s grandparents and father has been adopted through cultural ceremony into the Tlingnit Tribe of the Yukon. Teddy’s mother is Persian and his father is of European descent. This wealth of cultural history makes Teddy the living embodiment of his message of oneness. It inspires him to bring people from diverse cultures and backgrounds together through a dance that can be understood regardless of cultural, economic or social background.
Teddy has a community of Elders where he sits, listens and learns. In Teddy’s hometown of Red Deer Teddy is considered part of the community and continues to contribute by publishing First Nation’s children’s book through his company “Medicine Wheel Education.” Before Teddy started hoop dancing full time he worked as the youth coordinator at the Friendship Centre in Red Deer.
Teddy has been helping youths all over the world achieve success through his work with schools, community organizations and government institutions. The experience of seeing Teddy dance and speak has been described as life changing. Combining the traditional Native hoop dancing with a 21st century message he reaches into his audiences’ heart, imprinting there a message of peace and oneness.
Teddy has honed his skills as a motivational and keynote speaker as well as a workshop facilitator. Teddy has spoken to many audiences on issues including racism, bullying, violence, the importance of education, human rights, youth peace building and the experience of growing up in Rwanda. Throughout Teddy’s performances, workshops and motivational talks he draws on his experience of living and traveling around the world. Witnessing the diversity of cultures in the world has given Teddy a unique outlook on many issues that children face.
A message from Kim Southcombe, past president of the Red Deer Aboriginal Dance Troupe.
I have had the pleasure of knowing Teddy Anderson for fifteen years. Teddy had evolved into an outstanding member of our aboriginal community in Red Deer, Alberta. His programs are always well received. I personally have witnessed Teddy bridge the gaps between members of our community, with his calm smile, yet powerful message. Teddy has been taught the ways of the culture and protocol surrounding those teachings. He has always been extremely respectful, and grateful to our elders for rendering those teaching to him. Teddy Anderson offers a unique and valuable program to any culture. Teddy’s message, in my opinion, is one of unity and peace, which I feel is a message that anyone from any culture can learn and grow from.
We are truly blessed to have had him with us.