Jena dancing the Fancy dance at St. Joseph's annual powwow.
Sweeping arm movements and fancy footwork make the women’s fancy dance intricate and challenging.
The first impression people often have of the women fancy dancers is that of butterflies. Dancers wear American Indian decorated shawls that compliment a satin dress and knee-high beaded moccasins or decorated leggings.

The decorated shawl is made of cloth and fringe, reminiscent of the decorated buffalo robes worn in the past.

This dance is faster-paced, challenging dancers to keep in time with the beat while coordinating their fancy footwork and graceful fashion.

“I feel respect when I dance. I feel like I am dancing with my elders … like I am an eagle soaring through the air watching over my people. ~Erika

Like the Men’s Fancy Dance, this contemporary dance style was introduced as powwows drew more spectators and became more competitive.
Tonya dancing the Fancy dance at St. Joseph's annual powwow.
Fancy dancers wear knee-length moccasins or decorated leggings under a satin dress. A shawl covers their shoulders and arms.

 

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