Native American offers free dance lessons to children

Published: Jun. 27, 2022 at 3:44 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Children can now learn traditional Native American dances thanks to the Sacred Pipe Resource Center. The Tiny Tots dance program started in June.

The sound of a drum sets the beat for feet to dance to. The Tiny Tots program teaches children these Native American pow wow dances to help build community and continue traditions.

“Dancing is one of the fun ways to learn our culture,” Bismarck resident Kenrick Eagle said.

Kendrick Eagle used to perform dances at pow wows as a teenager. Now he brings his two kids to the program so they can learn more about their culture and dance with him.

“One of my uncles had a leftover outfit and I squeezed in and started dancing, and I felt like it was amazing,” Eagle said.

Cheryl Cary, executive director of Sacred Pipe Resource Center, says the urban Native American population is often isolated from their culture and it is harder for them to get access to learn pow wow dances if they did not grow up doing so.

“We just wanted to give them an opportunity, you know, to come together and teach their little ones how to dance and meet each other. It’s about learning to dance and building community,” Cary said.

Tiny Tots is meant to help not only those within the Native American community, but everyone to connect with pow wow culture.

“Come out and have fun and share some moments and some memories with your family,” Eagle said.

Cary hopes to see the dance class grow over the summer and get the kids excited for the United Tribes pow wow in September. All in the community are welcome to attend the class which meets at 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at Sertoma Park, shelter two.

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