World class hoop dancer and storyteller visit

Nak’al Bun students make their circle wider with drumming, song and dance.

Alex Wells wows the students with his hoop dances during a performance at Nak'al Bun Elementary School June 3.

Alex Wells, Lil’wat Nation hoop dancer, and Nelson Leon, Stó:lo Nation story teller and drummer put on a performance for the students at Nak’al Bun Elementary School June 3.

Leon said he and Wells began performing and working together leading up to the 2010 Winter Olympics. Currently the two performers are traveling to schools and doing shows at various venues around B.C.

The duo didn’t just perform hoop dancing and storytelling for the students, Wells and Leon also incorporate lessons to the students through their dances and songs about being good reflections of their families, the connection between all people and the Earth and working together as a community.

Nelson explained to the students that being a part of the circle during the hoop games made the circle stronger and even though the game was difficult, working together made the game easier.

“It was a challenge, I wanted to thank you all for working together,” he said. “There are many types of circles in our culture. It really does mean a lot, the circle … that life cycle.”

Wells, a hoop-dancer for more than 25 years, taught students about dancing with the hoops and the traditions and stories behind the dances.

“When your family passes that story down to you, that’s what they say, ‘You cannot change that story’,” Wells said. “You treat the hoops like they are something that is sacred.”

At the end of Wells’ last hoop dance he placed the ball he had made from the hoops in front of the students and explained how it represented all the nations of people and the world and community working together.

“When we all work together we create a beautiful world,” he said as he pulled out a hoop from the globe and the ball came apart. “And, it only takes one person to wreck that. That’s the story of the world we weave.”

Students had opportunity to learn the basics of hoop dancing, play hoop games – which illustrated how circles are a part of the strength of a community by holding hands in a circle and passing the hoop around the circle without breaking the circle.

“This is my passion, this is what I love to do.” Wells said. “By teaching we are also teaching ourselves as well.”

 

Just Posted

Smithers man receives two-year sentence for fatal car crash

Over a year after a fatal crash, a Smithers man has been sentenced to two years plus a day in jail.

Fraser Lake business offers equine therapy to deal with life stressors

The idea is to have diverse businesses that provide more options to residents and tourists says Kim Watt-Senner

First Nations push for massive conservation area in northern B.C.

Includes ancestral areas of three Kaska Dena First Nations, just shy of the B.C.-Yukon border

Tahltan reach benefits agreement over Seabridge’s massive KSM gold mine project

$308M agreement provides additional billions for Tahltan jobs, contracts

B.C. court to mull continuing order against Coastal Gaslink pipeline opponents

Coastal GasLink was granted an interim injunction in December following arrests and protests

VIDEO: Rare white killer whale captured by drone near Campbell River

The transient orca has been named Tl’uk, a Coast Salish word that means ‘moon.’

Victoria area school grapples with death of 13-year-old

Teenager died after being struck and pinned by tree while on a field trip near Sooke

B.C. imposes interim moratorium on resource development to protect caribou

The caribou population in northeastern B.C. has dwindled over the last two decades

B.C. sculptor depicts epic eagle battle in latest piece that took 2,500 hours

Clasped in one of the raptor’s talons is each one’s desire: a living venomous diamondback rattlesnake

Students disciplined after anti-LGBTQ signs posted in Kamloops high school

Vessy Mochikas, SD73’s principal for inclusive education, called incident a learning opportunity

Air Canada expects Boeing 737 Max to resume flying by September or October

Air Canada isn’t worried about safety of the planes, says vice-president

‘The Fonz’ gives thumbs up in letter to dyslexic students at B.C. school

Students in Maple Ridge reached out to Henry Winkler after reading one his Zipster books.

PHOTOS: MP Mark Warawa loses brief battle with cancer

The Conservative Member of Parliament and long-time community advocate died in hospice this morning

Most Read