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Arrowmen Put Dance Knowledge to Work

Arrowmen practice dancing at an American Indian dance training session.By 9:00 a.m. every morning, Native American programs are in full gear. Whatever type of dancing an Arrowman wants to learn about here at Ridgecrest, Indian Summer has an experienced trainer for it.

Whether an Arrowman is from Maine or California, he will be able to learn about the activities and attire of his local Indian nation. He can make a bustle or work on his coup stick. Either way, the goal of the American Indian Activities is to make a lasting impact on Arrowmen by immersing them in Native American culture.

An Arrowman learns more about how to construct dance outfits from a trainer. If dancing is appealing, Arrowmen can attend an open session where they can work one on one with a dance champion. The friendly trainers encourage questions and are glad to share their knowledge with amateurs and experts.. As Michael Dukes, an 18 year old Northern Plains grass dance trainer said, "If you're a beginning dancer, just have fun, and if you have questions, ask them... because right here people are answering."

Dukes later said that he is glad the Order is having a Native American-based event because the "Native American culture is so intertwined with our ceremonies." Dukes has been involved with Indian dance as long as he can remember. He says, "when other kids were learning to ride bikes, I was learning to grass dance." He still remembers going to pow-wows with his family at a young age.

Scouts who have attended the sessions are energized. Will Kelso of Tatanka lodge said, "The sessions were very informational and the instructors were great. [The instructors] have been dancing for over ten years and are full of information. They are also very patient with a lot of the newer guys."

Whether from a trainer or from a friend, the Native American knowledge being passed on will last a lifetime.

Revised 08/04/2003.

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