Little Dancing Buffalo
Teaching First Nations styles of dancing and drumming gives the instructors a catalyst to oral teachings passed down from elders. The youth and families are given a unique opportunity to learn a specialized style of dancing that is still part of our social gatherings like Powwows. The drumming that is taught is a traditional style that is unique to the Calgary community, and practiced in Indigenous cultural events. Youth are taught in a weekly program with knowledgeable instructors who give hands on instruction to the kids that involves learning basic dancing skills, coordination, rhythmic knowledge, drumming skills, music development, shape creation, repetition movements, sound development, confidence, and success.
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Success Story 2016
This year, we had our young people start to learn the Hoop dance, which has a very unique story that is attached to this dance. In the beginning our youth struggled with learning this dance because it requires you to be highly coordinated, you need to dance to the drum beat and create signs and symbols with your hoops. Most of the youth either lacked confidence or tend to have lots of energy that can be very hard to focus. These young people that were learning fit into this category, they had a hard time at first learning this extremely unique dance, but they completely loved it and rarely missed a dance class. As the year went on you could observe change in behaviour, from lacking confidence to gaining confidence, and the attitude change that went along with this transformation. These youth became so confident they performed in front of their school and were so happy and excited that could barely contain themselves that day. The pride and joy from this experience not only left a huge impression on their peers but it was such a morale booster that they couldn’t wait to perform again. At the AAWC Family Day & Pow-wow, they got their chance and performed in front of a large community crowd with live music. The crowd loved it and the youth have gained so much more confidence and pride that has helped them grow in the most positive way.