Joseph Secody, hoop dancer

I am 26 years old and Navajo/Dine. I have been hoop dancing for 8 years and performed at the National Museum of the American Indian Smithsonian in Washington D.C and New York City. I have also performed for the tire company Big O Tires Corporation in Moab, UT. I have been on a TV commercial with a TV brand called Phillips TV. I have also been on a music video with Hip Hop artist “Taboo”,  a member of the Black Eyed Peas. I did a week performance in Dubai at the 2020 Dubai World Expo showcasing our World Class Hoop Dancing. The hoop dance has gotten so competitive that now there’s a Worlds Championship Hoop Dance Contest, held every year in downtown Phoenix. Tribes from all of North America come to this competition to compete for the world title of hoop dancing. I am the 2022 top 6 hoop dancer in the world. 

Hoop Dancing to me means that I am able to dance for those who can’t. The hoop dance is a healing and storytelling dance. I like to tell the story about the history of the Native American Race of what our ancestors went through. On the Navajo Nation in the late 1800s Navajos were forced to go to boarding schools “until we learned to live like the white men”. So they took away our long hair, our cultural dancing,  and told us not to speak Navajo.  So when I do hoop dance or speak Navajo, I dance for those who were told they couldn’t.