It is no small feat to dance in a pow wow. Apart from the dancer’s style, footwork and moves there is vigorous physical training that competitive dancers practise year round to be ready once pow wow season takes off; making competition Pow Wow dancing as much a sport as it is artistic expression.
This rigorous training inspired Kaha:wi Dance Theatre’s Artistic Director Santee Smith, who has award winning career as a dancer/choreographer to look at incorporating Pow Wow Style and bringing into personal fitness. This weekend Smith, who also has a degree in Kinesiology, is hosting Six Nations first Pow Wow Boot Camp with Kaha:wi Dance Theatre.
Smith told Two Row Times, “KDT started our first Powwow Boot Camp style class last summer with Larry Yazzie from the US. He taught a powwow based class that focused on cardiovascular training, leg strength and powwow footwork.”
Yazzie is a world champion Men’s Fancy Dancer from the Sac & Fox Nation of the Mississippi. Smith says that Pow Wow Boot Camp “will combine training styles; incorporating strength and conditioning, spatial and body awareness and Indigenous dance forms into a full bodied fun workout.”
The first class was held last March in Toronto, led by Smith and James Jones, dancer for A Tribe Called Red.
If you love to get a good workout, and enjoy dancing this is a MUST! Powwow Boot Camp will be held on Six Nations at the Tourism Building on Sat June 14th from 12:00-1:30pm and will be led by Alex Twin, a Cree Fancy Feather/Prairie Chicken dancer and Joshua Deperry, a Cree/Blackfoot Fancy Feather/B-boy and Smith.
For more information call 416-923-7373 or visit the Kaha:wi Dance Theatre events page on Facebook.