Jasmine Pickner at the World Championship Hoop Dance. Heard Museum, Phx. Az..
Two-time world champion hoop dancer Jasmine Pickner-Bell, her native name being Good Road Woman of the Crow Creek Sioux, told The Epoch Times, “There are pictographs of hoop dancers on the walls of caves along the Cheyenne River. Hoops were traditionally made of willow with an under-layer of natural tobacco. Now hoops are made from plastic with electrical tape,” Pickner-Bell said, laughing.
“Years ago, we were born out of the Black Hills, and we loved to see the hoop—both man and woman. We start with one hoop: yourself. First you have to learn to dance with yourself,” she said. “Some of the formations were handed down through our family.
I learned from my older and younger brothers before they died. Luke, my husband, will drum. Without the heartbeat, without that drumbeat, there is no dance.” she continued. “There are about 200 hoop dancers in the U.S. and Canada. There are only four women.
Every February in Tucson, Arizona, hoop dancers come together to compete. Some 10,000 people come to watch. Women compete against men since there are too few women hoop dancers to make our own category,” she said.