The Hoop Dance is a First Nation’s cultural art form. It is a unique, energetic and colourful dance. Many First Nation’s cultures have different styles and customs around the hoop dance. Hundreds of years ago, the traditional healers of various tribes used the hoop dance as a way to pray, meditate and become stronger in spirit. These healers, using a single hoop, would perform the dance to help facilitate spiritual healing. More recently, hoop dancers have begun to use higher and higher numbers of hoops, adding a complexity to the ritual that demands much more of performers. Teddy performance uses as many as 30 hoops at a time.
Today, each hoop dancer develops, builds and grows their unique performance as a reflection of their equally unique life story. Dancers have been known to use their performance to address issues relevant to both themselves and their community. Performances run the gamut from frank representations of substance abuse to celebrations of the sacredness of the dance. Teddy Anderson, believing strongly in the unity of all people, uses his hoop dance to speak of this in a poignant and touching way that frequently moves his audiences to warm compassion and a shared vision.
Teddy’s hoop dance is a reflection of his belief in medicine wheel. The medicine wheel is compromised of 4 colours; black, white, red and yellow. To some, the four colours represent the four directions, four elements and/or four peoples of the world. In Teddy’s performance Teddy uses the fours colours of hoops to bring the four directions, four elements and four people into harmony. The Hoop Dance is deeply spiritual and a real pleasure to watch.