Kevin Locke: Native Hoop Dance
No, these aren’t hula hoops. They are symbols of the seasons, the cardinal directions, and the diversity of our nation’s people. They can signify a soaring eagle or a nest to call home. They can tell a story—as long as they’re in the hands of an expert.
Kevin Locke is a renowned hoop dancer, musician, and storyteller of the Lakota Sioux and Anishinabe tribes. Based in Wakpala, South Dakota, he has devoted his life to practicing and teaching his cultural expressions around the world. In 1990 the National Endowment for the Arts awarded him a National Heritage Fellowship for his work in preserving and sustaining these traditions.
His performance at the 2016 Ralph Rinzler Memorial Concert—which featured a range of National Heritage Fellows—was colorful and inspiring, as he explained each hoop formation in the dance.
Camera: John Wetmore, Shaun Weber, W.N. McNair, Caleb Hamilton, David Barnes
Editing: W.N. McNair
Text: Elisa Hough