There were two hoop dancers at the special fest in celebration of graduates at the high school. The sun shone hot. There was even a partial circle of rainbow around the sun. It was a day of encouragement, of watching young people lead out and be rewarded for work well done.
The youngest hoop dancer could not contain her anticipation. When the Metis fiddler played she jigged. She had to be reminded to wait when other dancers were in the circle. Her feet lightly danced whenever she could find the space to move them. If she wasn’t supposed to show she would go behind a white stand in front where her feet could be seen spinning and stepping in time to the drum. She was a joy to watch, uninhibited in her exuberance, responsive to the music.
When first they announced the hoop dancers, they said there would be a separate song for each of them. Then the change came over the speaker. The dance would be done together. The father, a champion for our province, would share the public dance for the first time with his daughter. Watching them was a perfect highlight for the day.
Within aboriginal teaching, modeling is an important factor. The learning by watching and experiencing was marked. Her eyes went between her father and the pink thick hoops she was using to perform. Her father patiently waited as she got her hoops into position before unfurling the next hoop image. When the number of hoops in his design were more than his daughter had, she danced around him as he created his new array.
Each shape has names I do not know. But the beauty shown in the teaching and celebration right where she is at was something beautiful to see. She is a hoop dancer like her father.
My mindful gift today is that beautiful lesson in modeling and encouraging as father and daughter shared their dance together.