I want to get my children who are registered with a tribe to become a dancer. I know the recommendation is to get a mentor first. How and where can I find a mentor?

Great question.

I would start with your tribe, or your children’s tribe. If you know of any dancers there, reach out to them either through social media or mutual friends. If you don’t live on, or near your tribe’s reservation, then look for Native organizations in your city or near you. They might offer powwow dance classes or know of dancers who live nearby and are connected with the organization.

You can also check social media for any powwow groups in your area and post your question there.

When powwows are back in full swing this would be a prime opportunity to meet and talk with other dancers in your area. You can approach dancers directly with this question, or you can approach powwow leadership, such as the MC or the Head Man and/or Head Woman dancers who can help guide you and make suggestions.

In the meantime, your children can always try practicing at home while you wait to set up a mentor! YouTube can be a great resource for powwow videos; watching each category, or the categories they’re interested in is a great way to learn. They can start to become familiar with the songs associated to each category, what different dance styles and regalia look like, the rhythm of each song and the different dance steps as well.

The powwow community is such a vibrant and diverse space and powwow dancing is such a soulful and rewarding experience. If your children truly want to dance, I’m sure they’ll be on that path in no time!

Wishing you the best of luck and good thoughts on this new journey.

Auntie Amanda

See more from Auntie Manda
Topics: Culture and Language|Identity|Non-Native Allies

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