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
- Dances must be NON-RELIGIOUS and in good taste.
- 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.
- 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.
- Dances that are kept so secret that information on them
is incomplete should be avoided. You must have accurate
- Synchronized line dancing, as done at modern day pow wows
is NOT appropriate for Historical Group Dance competition.
- 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.
- 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
- No protected species parts allowed on any attire. Please
be aware of State and Federal laws regarding endangered species parts.
- 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.
- 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
- The Boy Scouts of America policy regarding weapons
will be followed.
D. Group Dance Registration Procedures
- 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
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.
838 Sir Michael Dr.
Salt Lake City, UT 84116
- 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.
- 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.
- Group dancing is a coordinated effort. It is not a series of
solo performances grouped under one title.
- 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.
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:
- A description of the dance(s) as you will perform them.
- The historical background of the dance(s).
- The historical background of the song(s) used in the dance(s).
- A clear description of any props used. Include pictures and/or
- A clear description of the outfits you will wear for the
dance(s). Please include pictures and/or drawings.
- A description of the music & accompaniment you will use.
- A complete bibliography of references you have used to research
your dance(s), (i.e., books, publications, unpublished material,
interviews, personal correspondence, etc.).
- A copy of the letter or permission from the tribal council,
society, clan, or family as required for certain dances.
- Name, address, and phone number (e-mail if available) of a
contact person representing the team.
- 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.
- 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).
- As noted above in Registration Procedures (D - section 1), late research
submissions will result in mandatory point deductions.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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
- Awards will be given to the top three teams.
- Special Awards for authenticity may be given if deemed
- Certificates will be awarded to each entering team.
- The top team will be given the opportunity to perform
at the American Indian Show on Monday, August 2, 2004.
G. Important Notes
- Group Dance Competition will be held on Monday, August 2, 2004.
- 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.
- Any questions regarding the Historical Group Dance
Competition should be addressed to:
Mr. Phil Clark
838 Sir Michael Dr.
Salt Lake City, UT 84116
[American Indian Activities Committee Info]