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- Proverbs 3:5-6
February 2024
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Scott Sinquah Wins 33rd Annual World Championship Hoop Dance Contest
By Claire Natale - Monday Feb 27, 2023
The Heard Museum is proud to announce the winners of the 33rd annual World Championship Hoop Dance Contest. Judged on precision, timing/rhythm, showmanship, creativity, and speed, 108 of the top Indigenous hoop dancers competed for the prestigious title and prizes totaling $25,000 across multiple age divisions.

With a score of 208 out of 225 points, Scott Sinquah (Gila River, Pima, Hopi-Tewa, Cherokee, Choctaw) was recognized as the 2023 Hoop Dance World Champion.

“This is what I love to do. It is a privilege to be a part of the Hoop family and dance with everyone. It’s incredibly rewarding to pass on the teachings and healings to generations through our traditions,” said Scott Sinquah.

The winners across the age divisions are:

2023 Heard Hoop Dance Contest Champion – Scott Sinquah (Gila River, Pima, Hopi-Tewa, Cherokee, Choctaw)
Second place – Talon Duncan (San Carlos Apache, Arikara-Hidatsa-Mandan)
Third place – Tony Duncan (San Carlos Apache, Arikara-Hidatsa-Mandan)
Fourth place – Josiah Enriquez (Pueblo of Pojoaque, Isleta, Navajo)
Fifth place – Eric Hernandez (Lumbee Tribe)
Sixth place – Sampson Sinquah (Gila River, Hopi-Tewa, Cherokee, Choctaw)

2023 Heard Hoop Dance Contest Senior Champion – Moontee Sinquah (Hopi-Tewa, Choctaw)
Second place – Terry Goedel (Yakama, Tulalip)
Third place – Jerry (J.J.) First Charger

2023 Heard Hoop Dance Contest Teen Champion – Mateo Ulibarri (Pueblo of Pojoaque)
Second place – Jerry Hunt (Diné)
Third place – Jerrhan First Charger (Blood Tribe)

2023 Heard Hoop Dance Contest Youth Champion – Naiche Duncan (Cree, Taino, Apache, MHA Nations)
Second place – Jai’Po Harvier (Pueblo of Pojoaque, Santa Clara Pueblo, Taos Pueblo, Tohono O’Odham Nation)
Third place – Isaiah George (Santa Clara Pueblo)

“The Heard is honored to be the home of the World Championship Hoop Dance Contest, a tradition that now spans four decades.” said David M. Roche, Dickey Family Director and Heard Museum CEO. “We deeply appreciate the dancers who thrill visitors with their artistry and athleticism.”

The art of hoop dance honors cultural practices shared by multiple Indigenous communities. With roots in healing ceremonies, traditions and practices, today’s hoop dance is shared as an artistic expression to honor Indigenous traditions throughout the U.S. and Canada. The annual event was sponsored by was sponsored by Arizona Republic Service, Union Pacific, the Richard O. Kern Fund, the Jay Kahn Memorial Fund, Mary Ellen McKee, Mary Jo & Ted Shen, and Renewal by Andersen.

About the Heard
Since its founding in 1929, the Heard Museum, a private nonprofit organization, has grown in size and stature to become recognized internationally for the quality of its collections, world class exhibitions, educational programming and unmatched festivals. Dedicated to the advancement of American Indian art, the Heard successfully presents the stories of American Indian people from a first-person perspective as well as exhibitions that showcase the beauty and vitality of traditional and contemporary art. The Heard Museum is supported, in part, by the generosity of Heard Museum members and donors, the Arizona Commission on the Arts, and the City of Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture. In association with the Smithsonian, the Heard Museum is part of a select group of museums and cultural, educational and arts organizations that share the Smithsonian’s resources with the nation. For more information, please visit http://www.heard.org.
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