On April 14th students, teachers and guests gathered at the Barriere Elementary School gymnasium to watch a performance by Hoop Dancer Teddy Anderson, who expresses a worldwide message of peace for everyone through his dancing.
First Nation students from Chu Chua, Clearwater, and Vavenby were also in attendance to enjoy the Hoop Dancer’s performance.
As Teddy weaved his message of ‘Oneness of Humanity’ into his talented dance he held every student’s attention during the entire presentation.
Teddy has an interesting cultural background. He is not native himself, but was adopted into the Tlingnit Tribe as a Crow. The rich cultural history of his life then gave him the inspiration to expand this message about the oneness of humanity.
His hoop dance training began at age 15, under the guidance of Scott Ward, a Native Salteux trained in the traditional hoop dancing, starting with nine hoops. Due to Teddy’s love for the art it did not take him long to expanded his ability to master 30 hoops.
Teddy’s hoop dance presentation at the school was entirely interactive. As he moved through his dance he had the full attention of the children, and when he explained what the different hoops and their colors stand for, and then asked questions, there was no lack of participation; everyone had paid attention it seemed and they were all ready to answer.
The performer then invited several students and teachers to come forward for a brief lesson in hoop dancing, and although they appeared rather self-conscious, they gave it a try. Each one had a hoop and it appeared to be quite a struggle to move their bodies through them in time to the recorded drumbeat in the background.
Although the gym was full of youngsters that would usually display restlessness when they have to sit still, they had no problem remaining attentive during the hour long presentation. This demonstrated Teddy’s ability to reach out to young people in a manner that they understand and accept. He knows how to bring the message of tolerance, acceptance, cooperation and peace to all ages; but especially to young people who benefit most by incorporating it into their adult lives in the future.