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Memorial Union to host fancy dancer Larry Yazzie during National American Indian Heritage Month

Memorial+Union+to+host+fancy+dancer+Larry+Yazzie+during+National+American+Indian+Heritage+Month
Courtesy of Discover Ames

In celebration of National American Indian Heritage Month, the Multicultural Awareness (MCA) chairs of the Student Union Board (SUB) are bringing in two-time world champion fancy dancer Larry Yazzie to perform at Iowa State University. 

“He has a production company that he’ll occasionally tour with. They’re not coming on this time though; it’s just Larry,” said Piper Carroll, an MCA director for SUB.

The event is going to take place at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Memorial Union Great Hall. The event is open to the public and Iowa State students. Entry is free for all attendees.

“We had our Global Gala Celebration in March, and we had some people come chat with us about bringing in more Indigenous viewpoints to campus and we really wanted to take that to heart,” said Bryan Stewart, an MCA Director for SUB.

Carroll also noted the university chose to host Yazzie in an effort to commemorate Native American Indian Heritage Month.

SUB’s website provides additional information about the event in detail, stating, “Fancy dances, pan-Indian or fancy feather/fancy war dance is a type of dance known to be created by the Ponca tribe in 1920s/1930s.”

The College Agency, in regards to Yazzie, wrote, “Larry is an actor, two-time world champion fancy dancer, an eagle dancer and is from the Meskwaki Nation in Tama, Iowa. He is the founder and artistic director for Native Pride Productions, Inc., based in St. Paul, Minn. His repertoire includes performances at the Olympics, the Kennedy Center and the Smithsonian Institute. Yazzie has performed all over the world and has won many awards for his dancing.”

The event is funded in part by Student Government, according to Stewart.

Yazzie’s goal is to share cultural traditions through artist-in-residency workshops, performances, lectures, classroom instruction and theatrical performances, enhancing access to diverse, multicultural artists for people of all ages and backgrounds, according to Royal News.

“He comes in full traditional attire and does a lot of performances,” Carroll said. 

“He’s going to perform through dance, word and song,” Stewart said.

Find out more about how to get involved with SUB on their website.

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