My father is full native(secwepemc and cherokee) my mother is full white (german) i was born very light skinned. I do not look native even tho i am status indian and live on reserve. Is it disrespectful if i learnt to dance jingle i feel wrong even asking

You’ll find dancers have extensive Indigenous backgrounds.

The first thing I would do is encourage you to get a mentor. This person can help guide you through all the things you’ll need to know about jingle dancing. They can coach you on dancing with the traditions of style, meaning, and etiquette.

Start making some jingle dress friends! Once you start meeting people, you can ask about how they first got started, if they or someone else made their regalia, and if they would be willing to show you a few moves so you can dance with confidence your first time out.

Just so you know, dances are usually around 3 minutes 30 seconds, which takes an enormous amount of stamina, so to get prepared you could check out Shoshone-Bannock’s work out video’s called Powwow Sweat. You could always start with the intertribals before working your way up to dancing in the jingle dress category.

As always, you’ll want to feel the situation out and be respectful of the sacred connection of dance.

Good luck and have fun!


Aunty Manda

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