Blue Line
Red Line
Blue Line
National Order of the Arrow Web Site
White Line
White Line
National Events
NOAC 2004

Historical Group Dance Competition
Eligibility, Rules, and Guidelines

A. Group Dance Teams

Group dance teams shall be made up of four (4) or more members (at least three of who must be dancers). All members MUST be from the same lodge. No section teams or teams made up of members from more than one lodge may enter the competition. All team participants must be under twenty-one (21) years of age at the time of the conference, be registered members of the Order of the Arrow, and registered conference participants.

B. Acceptable Historical Group Dances

In choosing the dance(s) in which you will perform, consider the following:
  1. Dances must be NON-RELIGIOUS and in good taste.

  2. Society, clan, or family dances are acceptable ONLY if written permission from the Tribal Council, society, clan or family of the specific tribe from which the dance comes grants permission. Note: SUCH WRITTEN PERMISSION MUST BE INCLUDED IN THE BOUND PACKET REQUIRED FOR PACKET REGISTRATION. Therefore, permission must be requested far enough in advance to meet the registration packet deadline. Without this permission the dance will not be allowed.

  3. Tribal Councils have asked that The Boy Scouts of America refrain from performing the following dances (THESE DANCES ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE FOR CONFERENCE COMPETITION.)
    Masked dances of: Pueblos, Apache, Iroquois, Creek, Cherokee Creek, or Northwest Coast tribes. A mask is defined as anything that covers the face of the wearer hiding his true identity. The Ghost Dance, The Pipe ceremony, The Pipe Dance, The Sun Dance, The Hopi Snake Dance, and the Peyote Ritual.

  4. Dances that are kept so secret that information on them is incomplete should be avoided. You must have accurate information.

  5. Synchronized line dancing, as done at modern day pow wows is NOT appropriate for Historical Group Dance competition.

  6. TIME LIMIT is fifteen (15) minutes total time on stage. Total time includes: prop/scenery set up (if any), narrative, dance(s), attire/costume changes (if any), and removal of any props/scenery. Timing begins when the first participant steps onto the competition floor. Note: Background scenery is not necessary or required.

  7. Teams are limited to a maximum of two (2) dances. Performance of more than one dance is not required, but teams should ensure that judges are provided enough presentation time to fairly assess the team's knowledge and abilities.

C. Rules Concerning Attire

  1. No protected species parts allowed on any attire. Please be aware of State and Federal laws regarding endangered species parts.

  2. Within the guidelines found in the U.S. Code as to the American Flag, flags are not to be used as wearing apparel. With this in mind, no type of U.S. Flag(s) will be permitted as a part of dance attire and should be removed prior to the conference. Flag motifs in quillwork and beadwork are acceptable.

  3. National Order of the Arrow Face Paint Policy: Order of the Arrow National Conferences and activities conducted beyond the individual lodge will not permit face paint, body paint or wigs to be used in social or competition dancing, in ceremonies, or ceremonies competition.

  4. The Boy Scouts of America policy regarding weapons will be followed.

D. Group Dance Registration Procedures

  1. The team must submit seven (7) copies of their required research material (defined in E. Group Dance Judging Criteria - Section 2) not later than June 30, 2004 to:
    Mr. Phil Clark
    838 Sir Michael Dr.
    Salt Lake City, UT 84116
    Late submission (not postmarked by June 30, 2004) will result in an automatic deduction of three (3) out of ten (10) possible points from each judge. Research submitted after July 18, 2004 will result in an automatic deduction of six (6) of the possible ten (10) points from each judge.

  2. The team's Chairman and/or Adviser must check in at the Historical Group Dance table of the American Indian Activities registration area on Saturday, July 31, 2004, to confirm competition registration, receive a performance time, and receive up to date information on mandatory meetings, team roster requirements, etc.

E. Group Dance Judging Criteria

Teams competing in Group Dance will be judged and awarded a score by each judge on the judging panel in each of the seven (7) areas discussed below. Each area is worth a maximum of ten (10) points and teams may receive a point score ranging from 0 to 10. Some areas have mandatory point deductions associated with failure to comply with stated guidelines, rules, etc. Each judge in the affected area will take mandatory point deductions. Team standing/placement is determined by totaling all points received from the judges. Actual scores/points given by judges will not be provided to the teams, however critique sheets from all judges will be provided to the team at the conclusion of its performance. Relative ranking of the teams will be available the day after the competition is finished.
  1. Authenticity
    1. The dance(s) must be historical group dance(s) of specific tribes - therefore - northern plains or pueblo are not appropriate because they are culture areas, not tribes. Inter-tribal is even less specific. The dance(s) and outfit/attire should represent one particular tribe during a particular time in their history. The current and/or historic use of the dance(s) and their proper interpretation by the team will be considered.
    2. Group dancing is a coordinated effort. It is not a series of solo performances grouped under one title.
    3. Size of team- No preference is given to large or small teams therefore all teams will compete in one category. The judges look for quality of presentation and the selection of dance(s) suitable to the lodge dance team and the resources available to them.

  2. Research
    In addition to the seven (7) copies submitted to Mr. Clark, two (2) complete copies of your research material should be brought to NOAC. ALL RSEARCH MUST BE TYPE WRITTEN AND SUITABLY BOUND. Suitably bound means stapled with a cover and back sheet of at least 65-lb. card stock. Three ring binders, plastic comb binding, duo-tang style folders, etc. are not required. RESEARCH SUBMISSIONS MUST INCLUDE:
    1. A description of the dance(s) as you will perform them.
    2. The historical background of the dance(s).
    3. The historical background of the song(s) used in the dance(s).
    4. A clear description of any props used. Include pictures and/or drawings.
    5. A clear description of the outfits you will wear for the dance(s). Please include pictures and/or drawings.
    6. A description of the music & accompaniment you will use.
    7. A complete bibliography of references you have used to research your dance(s), (i.e., books, publications, unpublished material, interviews, personal correspondence, etc.).
    8. A copy of the letter or permission from the tribal council, society, clan, or family as required for certain dances.
    9. Name, address, and phone number (e-mail if available) of a contact person representing the team.
    10. NOTE PLEASE: Xeroxed pages from any published works are NOT acceptable. Due to a lack of audiovisual equipment, videotapes, video CDs, DVDs, and data discs are NOT acceptable.
    11. Research booklets should be a minimum of eight (8) single spaced typewritten pages, not to exceed fifteen (15) typewritten pages, (photos and drawings/diagrams are not part of this limit).
    12. As noted above in Registration Procedures (D - section 1), late research submissions will result in mandatory point deductions.

  3. American Indian Attire
    Teams will be judged on the authenticity and completeness of the attire. If a particular dance does not call for special attire, teams will be judged on the quality and appropriateness of each participant's attire. In the event of a team performing more than one dance, points will not be subtracted for using the same attire for both dances, if from the same culture area.

  4. Performance of Dance
    Teams will be judged on the quality of the interpretation and presentation of their dance(s). Good use of allotted dance time will be considered. Teams will lose one (1) point for every minute or part there of that they exceed their scheduled dance time from each judge. PLEASE NOTE: If a team chooses to use the same dance(s) or outfits/attire at consecutive National Order of the Arrow Conferences, they can expect to have a more critical review from the judges. Specifically, the judges will look for additional research as well as improvements and refinements in attire, dance, and presentation.

  5. Ability to Perform as a Team
    Teams will be judged on their ability to perform their dance(s) so as to exhibit a true oneness and feeling for the dance(s). Teamwork and perceptive interpretation of the dance(s) by the team as a whole will be considered.

  6. Music
    Teams will be judged on their use of drumming, singing and any other necessary musical accompaniment that should be used for their particular dance(s). As always, quality as well as authenticity of the musical aspect will be considered. The use of recorded music will be allowed, but it will cost the group a mandatory deduction of three (3) points by each judge in this judging area.

  7. General Effect and Impression
    The general effect and impression of the overall presentation will also be evaluated. This somewhat subjective area will permit judges to evaluate the educational, entertainment and informational worth of the overall presentation.

F. Recognition and Awards

  1. Awards will be given to the top three teams.

  2. Special Awards for authenticity may be given if deemed appropriate.

  3. Certificates will be awarded to each entering team.

  4. The top team will be given the opportunity to perform at the American Indian Show on Monday, August 2, 2004.

G. Important Notes

  1. Group Dance Competition will be held on Monday, August 2, 2004.

  2. There will be a meeting of all judges and leaders of the teams in competition one half hour after the Show, on Sunday, August 1, 2004. The adult advisor and youth chairman of each entering team must be present at this meeting. Location of the meeting will be available at check in.

  3. Any questions regarding the Historical Group Dance Competition should be addressed to:
    Mr. Phil Clark
    838 Sir Michael Dr.
    Salt Lake City, UT 84116
    (801) 595-8191



    [American Indian Activities Committee Info]

    Revised 5/25/04.