Nakotah LaRance | Native American Hoop dancing
Homegrown Concerts from the Library of Congress, Co-sponsored by the American Folklife Center
MAY 18, 2016, Noon, No Tickets Required
Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo, New Mexico
Nakotah LaRance began dancing as a fancy dancer, at the age of 4. During his travels to Pow Wows, he met a world champion hoop dancer from his tribe, Derrick Davis. Mr. Davis helped Nakotah by making his first set of hoops and teaching him the basics of hoop dancing. Nakotah’s father Steve LaRance took him to the annual World Championship of Hoop Dance, which is sponsored by the prestigious Heard Museum in Phoenix, AZ. During his competitions at this event through the years, Nakotah garnered 3 youth division championship titles and 3 teenage division championship titles.
In 2004 Nakotah was invited to perform on NBC's "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" as "The Most Interesting Person in Arizona.” This gave him national exposure. He followed that by competing on PAX network's "America's Most Talented Kids," which he won with the highest score in the history of the show. This led to opportunities for acting in TV & film, including Steven Spielberg's Into the West miniseries, for which he won a best new actor award. He has also appeared in HBO's Bury My Heart as Wounded Knee and AMC's Longmire. In 2009 Nakotah received a contract offer to be a principal dancer in the Cirque Du Soleil show Totem. He performed hoop dance as part of the theme of the show: the evolution of man. Nakotah traveled the world performing for Cirque Du Soleil for 3 years, and is still called upon by them for special events, most recently as the principal dancer for the 2015 opening ceremonies of the Pan American Games held in Toronto, Canada.
Since returning to New Mexico, Nakotah has returned to compete in the World Championship of Hoop Dance at the Heard Museum and won the adult division championship title for both 2015 and 2016. He has also been the master instructor for the Pueblo of Pojoaque Youth Hoop Dancers for the past 3 years. In the first year of teaching, Nakotah led his young dancers on a European hoop dance tour and performed with them in France, Italy, and Switzerland at the invitation of U.S. Ambassador Keith Harper. Nakotah has been invited to return to Geneva to perform for the entire diplomatic community at the United Nations as part of the U.S. Independence Day celebrations. Nakotah most recently returned from his debut performance in Japan, which earned him rave reviews and cult status there.
A free noon concert series presented by the American Folklife Center and the Music Division of the Library of Congress. All concerts are held in the Coolidge Auditorium (located on the Ground Floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress) or the Whittall Pavilion (next to the Coolidge, on the Ground Floor, Jefferson Building). Presented in Partnership with the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage. NO TICKETS REQUIRED.