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The 2-Spirit Hoop Dancer

February 28, 2016

 
I found this video going around Facebook. It’s about a two-spirit hoop dancer.  The thing which struck me the most, in addition to the cultural take on trangenderism, is that it opens up a discourse on the very nature of dance itself. What exactly is dance and who is it for, and for what, exactly? Why dance. What constitutes dance. Last year I went to an event celebrating the wonderful holiday, Holi. That’s the Indian celebration where everyone throws colors on each other and social barriers are temporarily broken. There’s a lot of social dancing and also this particular celebration had choreographed performances featuring various styles of contemporary and traditional Indian dance.  At this event the organizers had also brought in Native American Hoop Dancers to perform. At the time I thought it was wonderful, evidencing an interesting way to approach, acknowledge, incorporate and celebrate the ‘other Indian’. Showing a multifaceted way of thinking, beyond binary, beyond continuums, beyond ‘appropriation’. But after watching the video I can see that it goes more deeper than that. The hoop dance is more than I understood ( of course, I understood nothing about the hoop dance, and still don’t). I’m really grateful to have learned this much. 

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