Whirling colors, fancy footwork, acrobatic motions, and "show stopping" endings all performed to a machine-gun-like contest song - this unforgettable sight is Fancy Dance. With quality dancers all competing in rhythm to a "top ten" song, every Pow Wow fan can't help but stop what they are doing and watch in awe.
The dance is not only an athletic contest but also has been likened to a battleground of former hereditary tribal enemies. Today, individuals compete as friends, still retaining the mutual respect for one another as their great grandfathers once did when they faced each other on the battlefield.
Over the past four decades, several articles and books have been published which chronicle the evolution of Fancy Dancing. This booklet is designed to update those texts along with additional photographs that present both the historic and current state of Fancy Dancing. As an art form, both the dance and the outfit styles undergo perpetual change...
The dancers interviewed and pictured come from many tribes and Pow Wow regions - each of the outfits are uniquely their own creations. Some of the elements of the outfit are personal and private, and as such, should not be copied. For those interested in building a Fancy Dance outfit, personal and tribal touches can be added after one sees the basic outfit presented here.
One learns from doing - even beginners can enjoy the drum, the other dancers, and the total Pow Wow world.