Yazzie, Native Pride Dancers performing at SheldonWorld champion Native American dancer Larry Yazzie will perform at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Sheldon Theatre. Joining him on stage will be the Native Pride Dancers.
World champion Native American dancer Larry Yazzie will perform at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Sheldon Theatre. Joining him on stage will be the Native Pride Dancers.
Yazzie is an international lecturer, educator and performer. Raised on the Meskwaki Indian settlement in Central Iowa, he began dancing at age 7.
Throughout his childhood he was instructed on the traditions of the Meskwaki people, including the flamboyant and energetic fancy dance and the Northern Plains style of singing.
“Through my dancing and singing, I experience a zone of free spirit, where everyday problems and worries are left behind,” he said. “As a performer, it makes me feel good to share this positive energy with other people.”
Yazzie began dancing competitively at American Indian powwows in his early teens. He consistently takes top honors in fancy dancing at powwows throughout the United States and Canada, and won the world championship for Northern Style Fancy Dance in 1995. He has performed throughout North America, South America and Europe.
In addition, he has served in a variety of positions for powwows, including arena director, singing judge, dancing Judge, and head man dancer.
“I have to give thanks to my grandmother, my grandfather, who bestowed the pride of the fancy dance, of my culture, of my language. I have to give thanks to my culture, to my way of live, for allowing me to travel, to experience the world,” he said.
“As I glide across the floor, I will be representing the manitus, the spirits of the animals present in my outfit, and most importantly human beings, those who have come before and those who can no longer dance. I dance for them, and with them,” he said.
His current solo show, “Native Pride Dancer,” balances entertainment with education and features the high-energy fancy dance.
He has performed this show worldwide, including appearances at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympic Games, the 1999 Goodwill Games in St. Petersburg, Russia, and an international cultural festival in Brazil in 2005. He and his 7-year-old son, Jessup, performed in the 2005 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Yazzie also has appeared in motion pictures including “Grey Owl,” which starred Pierce Brosnan, and the independent film “Come and Get Your Love.”
After performing with various other companies, Yazzie today performs solo, with his son, and since 2003 with his own company, the Native Pride Dancers of St. Paul. In addition to doing the fancy dance, he also does the hoop dance, sings and plays flute. His son is a fancy dancer also.
The troupe’s performance also includes women’s fancy dance, jingle dress dance and hoop dance; men’s grass dance; traditional dancing and singing, and chicken dancing.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for students.
Call (651) 388-8700 or (800) 899-5759, or go online to www.sheldontheatre.org.