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self-sacrifice during a Sun Dance

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Sun Dance, most important religious ceremony of the Plains Indians of North America and, for nomadic peoples, an occasion when otherwise independent bands gathered to reaffirm their basic beliefs about the universe and the supernatural through rituals of personal and community sacrifice. Traditionally, a Sun Dance was held by each tribe once a year in late spring or early summer, when the buffalo congregated after the long Plains winters. The large herds provided a plentiful food source for the hundreds of individuals in attendance.

The origin of the Sun Dance is unclear; most tribal traditions attribute its conventions to a time deep in the past. By the end of the 19th century it had spread with local variations to include most of the tribes from the Saulteaux in Saskatchewan, Can., south to the Kiowa in Texas, U.S., and was common among the settled agriculturists and the nomadic hunting and gathering societies of the region.

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Plains Indian: Belief systems

…inaccurately in English as the Sun Dance. The indigenous terms for this ritual varied: the Cheyenne phrase may be translated...

One example of the globally common religious practice of requesting power or insight from the supernatural is the Sun Dance. In many instances sun dancing itself was a private experience involving just one or a few individuals who had pledged to undertake the grueling ritual. The development of participation by the whole community, direction by tribal and religious leaders, and elaboration of ceremonies augmenting the votaries’ prayers and offerings indicate the ways this ritual reflected a tribe’s secular and religious aspirations.

The most elaborate versions of the Sun Dance took place within or near a large encampment or village and required up to a year’s preparation by those pledging to dance. Typically the pledges’ spiritual mentors and extended families were heavily involved in the preparations, as they were obligated to provide most of the necessary supplies for the ritual. Such supplies generally included payments or gifts to mentors and ritual leaders, often in the form of elaborately decorated clothing, horses, food, and other goods.

As the community gathered, specific individuals—usually members of a particular religious society—erected a dance structure with a central pole that symbolized a connection to the divine, as embodied by the sun. Preliminary dances by a variety of community members often preceded the rigours of the Sun Dance itself, encouraging supplicants and ritually preparing the dance grounds; one such preliminary was the Buffalo Bull Dance, which preceded the Sun Dance during the complex Okipa ritual of the Mandan people.

Those who had pledged to endure the Sun Dance generally did so in fulfillment of a vow or as a way of seeking spiritual power or insight. Supplicants began dancing at an appointed hour and continued intermittently for several days and nights; during this time they neither ate nor drank. In some tribes supplicants also endured ritual self-mortification beyond fasting and exertion; in others such practices were thought to be self-aggrandizing. When practiced, self-mortification was generally accomplished through piercing: mentors or ritual leaders inserted two or more slim skewers or piercing needles through a small fold of the supplicant’s skin on the upper chest or upper back; the mentor then used long leather thongs to tie a heavy object such as a buffalo skull to the skewers. A dancer would drag the object along the ground until he succumbed to exhaustion or his skin tore free. Among some tribes the thongs were tied to the centre pole, and the supplicant either hung from or pulled on them until free. Piercing was endured by only the most committed individuals, and, as with the rest of the ritual, it was done to ensure tribal well-being as well as to fulfill the supplicant’s individual vow.

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In 1883, acting on the advice of Bureau of Indian Affairs personnel, the U.S. secretary of the interior criminalized the Sun Dance and a variety of other indigenous religious practices; under federal law the secretary was entitled to make such decisions without consulting Congress or the affected parties. The prohibition was renewed in 1904 and reversed in 1934 by a new administration. During the period of prohibition, attenuated forms of the ritual continued among a number of tribes, usually as part of public Fourth of July celebrations. Despite government efforts, the original forms of the Sun Dance were never completely repressed, and in the early 21st century sun dancing remained a significant religious ritual among many Plains peoples.

This article was most recently revised and updated by Amy Tikkanen.

Sun Dance - Ritual and Ceremony of Native Americans

Among the many religious dances that were introduced many centuries or millennia ago, Sun Dance represents one that came into the clash with modern society, managing to survive and endure even after it became banned by modern authorities. The origin of this dance is closely tied to the indigenous people of America and Canada that lived in North American territories of plains and Canadian prairies. Tribes living in those regions were nomadic, following the vast herds of buffaloes and forming their religion based on numerous seasonal changes and moments during their yearly travels (although a notable part of the tribal groups have lead a semi-sedentary life, choosing to settle in a particular region while also sending its people to hunt buffalo). Because of their notable resistance to the arrival of the European influence that started spreading from the Eastern Coast of North America, and their willingness to house members of other tribes that were displaced from that conflict, tribes of the Plains Indians in US and Canada became well documented by the American settlers who came in contact with them on a regular basis during both peacetime and warfare.

One of the central religious ceremonies of the Plains Indians was a sun dance, a tribal dance that was celebrated each summer that was quite different from other religious dances that were practiced all around the world. This dance had a dual purpose depending on the viewpoint. The entire dance itself was dedicated to the celebration of Earth and Sun, believing that the Earth and the entire universe would stop regenerating its natural resources and the creativity the people living on it have. The individual dancers, however, danced for their personal wishes, praying for better future, for their family members or friends, or wishing to determine their place in the universe.

The ceremony itself used dance routines and songs that were passed on from generation to generation to new tribal members, with some of the participants choosing to perform feats of endurance, piercings of the skin, and personal sacrifices on behalf of the community.

Musical instruments were almost always confined to the set of drums and ceremonial pipes that were played during the entire time of long and often grueling dance that lasted for better part of a day and into the night, most commonly with dancers circling a central pole (often decorated to represents a ceremonial totem). Not all members of the tribe danced sun dance. Younger and more fit members prepared for the dance for days, feasting in the open areas in and around the villages or camps, preparing to offer their personal sacrifice of endurance to the sun, while other members of the tribe supported the dancers by organizing the dance (with preparations often lasting even entire year). Settler communities and later modern civilization never managed to properly examine origins, traditions, and forms of this dance because Indian culture expressly forbids dancers, tribal members, tribal doctors and chieftains of publicly speaking about it (and filming of the dance is forbidden).

European settlers to the North America became discontent with the tradition of sun dance because of the self-mutilation (piercings) that happened during these long-lasting and trans-like ceremonies. This discontent was finally made into official ban in US and Canada that forbade the practice of sun dancing. This rule was ignored quietly by the tribes who managed to preserve their traditions, leading to the lifting of the ban in the middle of 20th century. Modern members of Plain Tribes that still practice sun dance (Lakota, Cree, Saulteaux, Blackfoot and others) have spent considerable effort trying to educate other communities and general audience about the significance of this dance and their cultures, often with a goal to demystify the secrecy about the dance and portray it as safe and celebratory ceremony.

Sun Dance -

Not to be confused with the Miracle of the Sun, also called the Sun Dance, observed at Fatima in 1917.

Sketch of a Sioux Sun Dance by George Catlin (c. 1851).

"Looking at the Sun" dance ceremony, often erroneously referred to as the Sun Dance, is a religious ritual practiced by several Native American tribes in North America. It is one of the most important and spectacular rites of the Plains Indians.

This happens once a year during the summer solstice, during the full moon, in late June or early July. The celebration could last from four to eight days. It is meant to represent symbolically the continuity that exists between life and death and confirm that death was not the end, but the beginning of a new cycle.

Each tribe has its own rituals and dances, but these ceremonies have many similarities, such as dancing, singing, prayers, drumming, visions, fasting and, in some cases, self-mutilation of the chest or back.


  • 1 story
  • 2 tribes traditionally practicing Sun Dance
  • 3 Preparing for the ceremony
  • 4 Buffalo call
  • 5 Sun Dance Sequence
  • 6 Sun Dance Canada
  • 7 Film and television
  • 8 links
  • 9 Applications
    • 9. 1 Bibliography
    • 9.2 Related Articles
    • 9.3 External links


The first Western commentary of the sun dance, in the Lakota, look back at the beginning of XVIII - th century. These early onlookers were particularly impressed by the trauma many young people inflicted on themselves during the ritual. Frederick Swatka wrote in particular about the sun dance of the Lakota or Sioux, he witnessed at the end of XIX - :

“Each of the young people introduced himself to the healer. This one took the skin of the warrior's chest between his thumb and forefinger to form a fold, which he pierced with a knife with a very narrow and sharp blade, and then inserted a hard bone the size of a carpenter's pencil. The latter was tied to a long rope attached at the other end to the top of a sun pole located in the center of the arena. The goal of the adept was to get rid of this obstacle. To do this, he had to tear the skin of his chest under the onslaught of pins piercing his flesh, an agonizing ordeal that, even for the most determined, could require long hours of torture. "

Actually, the purpose of this piercing is to offer oneself as a sacrifice to the Great Spirit and pray while connected to the tree of life, in direct communication with Wakan Tanka. The flesh is torn as the person walks away from the tree, rushing back to the time given by the dance guide. This is a form of prayer that manifests itself in self-sacrifice for the sake of society and people.

Although only some tribes perform this ritual during dances, the Canadian government made it illegal to dance with the sun as early as 1880, and in 1904 - by the US federal government. In fact, the American authorities used the "barbarian" aspect of this ritual and the practices of self-mutilation associated with it to ban it and thus deprive the Indians of their traditions and customs. Those who practiced it were accused of the so-called "Indian crime". This is why the Plains Indians kept them secret in sacred places, such as medicine wheels.

Some American Indians have agreed to perform a forbidden ceremony for the sensation-seeking white audience by simulating flesh-piercing with seat belts. Many continued to celebrate it in secret so that the ritual of renewal it signifies could retain its full effectiveness and the natural cycles could be perpetuated. At 1934 The Indian Reorganization Act allowed dancers to be "pierced", but it was not until the 1960s and with the development of American Indian militancy in 1968 that a real revival began. This sacred ceremony, like the steam room ceremony, is increasingly practiced among the Lakota today.

The Sun Dance, now legally practiced again in the United States (since the presidency of Jimmy Carter) and in Canada, it occurs annually on every reserve from the plains and in some urban areas.

Women are allowed to dance, but are not required, unlike men, to pierce their skin in dances where this is required (some tribes do not practice this ritual, such as the Shoshone in Wyoming). However, they can do this if they want to, but the women are slashed in the forearm and an eagle feather is fixed into the wound until the flesh is torn. The sun dancer must devote herself to dancing for four consecutive years in the direction of the four cardinal directions.

Cheyenne gathering for the sun dance, circa 1909.

Tribes traditionally practicing the Sun Dance

Originally, the North American tribes that practiced the Sun Dance were: Arapaho, Arikara, Assiniboine, Cheyenne, Crow, Groventre, Hidats, Lakota, Plains Cree, Plains Ojibway, Sarasi, Omaha, Ponca, Ut, Shoshone, Kiowa and Blackfoot.

The ritual of the Sun Dance could vary from tribe to tribe. For those who made their living by hunting buffalo, the Sun Dance was the most important religious ceremony. This rite marked the rebirth of the participants and their families, as well as the renewal of the earthly world. The ritual included sacrifices, and the adepts voluntarily inflicted suffering on themselves in order to ensure harmony between living beings and renew their attachment to their community, their culture, and their belief in the spirits that rule the world. This ritual is still practiced today. Previously, it was also intended to promote the return of bison herds.

Preparing for the ceremony

The shaman was responsible for organizing the ceremony. He gave instructions for building the dance hut. The most important men of the tribe had to go in search of a tree whose crown ended in the shape of a fork.

"Taking the tree" is still entrusted to older women, usually the older camp, leading a procession of young girls dressed in beautiful beaded leather dresses that they wear on special occasions. Woe to the girl who claims to be a virgin and joins the ceremony, if her reputation is publicly challenged, she will be severely punished. The task of the girls is to cut the tree from its branches as high as possible without cutting it down. When it was stripped of branches as close to the top as possible, the bushes and trees surrounding it at a considerable distance are torn off and it will still be standing on the second day of the ceremony.

This tree served as the central pillar. Then the soldiers had to attack him with guns and bows, and as soon as he was "dead", he was wounded.

Usually the signal to attack is given by an old warrior standing on a hill facing east, with one knee on the ground, palm over eyebrows to protect his eyes from the bright sun. As soon as the sun appears on the horizon, it rises to its full height, slowly and dignifiedly raising its blanket-covered arm above its head and warning with a piercing cry: "The rising sun has sent him an order." warriors on the ground to attack. The cry of the hill was echoed by a thousand people in the valley, heard by the spectators on the hills as a long file of warriors rushed towards the pole of the sun.

This is a real imitation of an attack on a tree, symbolically representing the enemy. Frederic Svatka described an impressive scene where a group of horse warriors begin galloping to attack a tree, even trampling on the one who has the misfortune to fall from the horse:

Every shot, every arrow and every spear was aimed at the shaft of the tree, the bark and pieces of wood flying around like shavings from a spinning plane. When the guns were unloaded and the supply of arrows and spears was exhausted, the runners, shouting, gathered around the mast.

Then a package with brushwood, buffalo skin, tobacco was placed in the fork. We also posted images of a bison and a man, large strips of fabric, the colors of which symbolized the cardinal points. Then the tree was transported to the place of the ceremony, like the body of a defeated enemy.

Then a bison was sacrificed. His head, with the skin of his whole body, was tied at the very top of the mast. The buffalo's head was turned to the east, towards the rising sun, and the lead dancer and the people of his clan built a structure around the tree. The pole represented the center of the world or the Great Spirit (Wakan Tanka) and symbolically connected heaven to earth. Around this central pillar, about twenty-five meters high, twenty-eight other figures are planted in a circle, representing the twenty-eight days of the lunar cycle and corresponding to the twenty-eight ribs of the buffalo. The pillars were attached to their tops and then connected to the central pillar. The fork of the mast was a nest with an eagle, one of the sacred animals of these Indians, because it can fly very high, and it is the bird closest to the sun. That is why he is the link between Man and Heaven, the messenger who brings man's prayers to God (Wakan Tanka). The eagle facilitates communication with the Spirits during the Sun Dance. Eagle feathers also have healing power, so the shaman will touch the mast with an eagle feather, which he will then apply to the patient's body, thus transferring energy from the mast to the patient. The eagle bone whistles played during the dances are meant to evoke the voice of Wakan Tanka, while the sound of the drums is the "pulsing breath of the universe".

bison call

Another Native American sacred animal was the buffalo, which often appeared at the beginning of the ritual. Shoshone believed to be the aurochs who taught man the rituals of the Sun Dance. Songs and dances were dedicated to this animal, because it symbolized life. The American Indians relied on bison for food, clothing, wigwams, weapons, and various utensils.

According to the tribes, bison participated in the Sun Dance in various ways. The Cheyenne decreed that all sacred objects represented in the Sun Dance must be associated with aurochs. The Lakota placed the dried buffalo penis against the sun pole to increase the dancers' potency. The buffalo skull was used as an entity in its own right in the dance process. The Cheyennes filled the eye and nasal cavities of the buffalo's skull with grass, which was an abundant food for this animal, and therefore for people. The Dakota Sioux believed that the bones would be reborn into a new buffalo because they believed the soul was in the bones. To bring a living being into a skeletal state is to allow him to re-enter life, a form of spiritual rebirth. During the Dance of the Sun, bison often appeared in the dancers' visions, where they could challenge the bison by attacking it, but where the animal could also knock them down by pushing them. If the dancer lost consciousness for too long, it meant that he was afraid to face the buffalo. Each participant had to challenge the bison, it was he then who decided whether this person was worth his prayers to be heard. If, in this spiritual face-to-face meeting, the dancer could see the crowd gathered around him through the eyes of a buffalo, this meant that he was one with the buffalo.

Participation in the Sun Dance also resolved an internal conflict: to respect the bison, which is a wise and powerful animal, but he had to kill him to survive. Worship of the buffalo made it possible to treat him with respect, to give him back the life that the hunter was supposed to get for food. The Indians also believed that bison sacrifice themselves to let them live, so you can give them something in return as a token of gratitude. Victims from fasting, in thirst and self-flagellation or self-mutilation were so many gestures of gratitude to him.

Sun dance sequence

The real ceremony began on the last night, on the night of the full moon with the dance of the moon, and ended in the evening at sunset.

Each participant in the ceremony receives painted decorations in accordance with the dances that he must perform:

  • The first dance was to look at the sun, and the second was to look at the sun bison on top of the pole. It was from the second dance that we made incisions behind the shoulder blades to pass through the wooden pins to which the buffalo skull would be attached.
  • The third is to look at the sun attached to the pole. In the third dance, cuts were made on the back and chest of the participants to attach them to the pole.
  • The fourth dance consisted of looking at the sun hanging on a pole. In this last dance, the incisions were made just under the pectoral muscles.

The gift of his body was considered the greatest sacrifice. Each participant introduced himself to the healer, who pinched a part of the skin of the adept's chest with his forefinger and thumb. With a sharp knife, he pierced that part of the body and thrust bones or a wooden stick into it. Then this "brooch" was connected with a sacred pole with the help of a leather belt. These belts were meant to represent rays of light emanating from the Great Spirit.

The man then had to free himself by pulling on the strap. Often half a dozen warriors danced around the pole, ran towards the post, and then were driven back with the speed of a warhorse and the ferocity of a lion, trying to pry the brooches from their wounded flesh. Usually, within two or three hours, the victim managed to break free, but there are times when this time it was necessary to double or even triple.

There were three ways to express one's suffering: gazing at the sun while being pierced, hanging or pulling buffalo skulls from straps attached to the back. Dancers could also offer pieces of their bodies to their parents or friends. This self-torture symbolized rebirth. Pain, representing death, liberation from this obstacle, symbolized the resurrection, physical and spiritual, of man, of the buffalo, but also of the entire universe. When all the dancers were released, the Sun Dance ended. When the day is almost over and the Sun God is almost in the west, the martyred warriors come out of the arena, one by one, and just outside the gate, covered with a very beautifully decorated buffalo skin. They kneel, with their arms crossed on their bloodied chest, and their heads are bowed to the setting sun, which they will only raise when it is gone.

Then the dancers were stretched out on sage beds, where they continued to fast and told their visions to the shaman. We made new songs out of them, again without dancing. We even drew from this prophecy. When the tribe was ready to set up camp, the sacred objects were piled at the foot of the mast. They were not taken because they were too sacred to be used again and had to be returned to nature.

Many other variations have been reported, such as tying a buffalo saddle or skull to the end of a long rope attached to a skewer and running through meadows and woods while the victim was dragging the saddle. frees himself. Or lift an exhausted person off the ground by dragging him by the ropes until he passes out, or until his weight overcomes the resistance of his stretched skin. It was this variant that was practiced by the Mandans under the name Okipa.

By freeing themselves from these pins during the dance, these people not only demonstrated their courage and resistance to pain, because, as one medicine man explains: “it is as if we were freed from the fetters of the flesh. "

Young Native Americans attending this special ritual of the Sun Dance there have been prepared for the past year, under the eye of a medically attentive person 19th - th century, whites were shocked by the torture that the dancers self-harmed and in 1881 he was therefore banned.

Sun dance in Canada

Although the government of Canada, through the Department of Indian Affairs, openly persecuted sun dancers and tried to eradicate the practice, the ceremony was never banned by law. Flesh sacrifice and the exchange of gifts were prohibited by law in 1895 by an amendment to the Indian Law, but these were not essential elements of the ceremony. Regardless of the law, from 1882 to 1940 Indian affairs agents, on instructions from their superiors, systematically intervened to discourage and prevent sun dances on most of the Plains reservations. Despite the ban, sun dancers such as Cris de Plaine, Solto, and Pied Noir continued to practice the sun dance throughout the period of persecution, with the exception of forbidden rituals, some of which were hidden and others with permission. authorities. At least one rain dance has been performed each year among the Cree or Solto since 1880 on the Canadian plains. At 19In 51, the government amended Indian Law and repealed the law that prohibited the sacrifice of flesh and the exchange of blood for blood.

In Canada, the sun dance is known to the Plains Cree as the Thirst Dance, the Solto (Plain Ojibway), the Rain Dance, and the Blackfoot (Sixika, Kainai and Piikani) dance called Medicine Dance. It was also practiced by the Canadian Dakota and Nakota, the Canadian Dene and the Canadian Assiniboine.

Cinema television

Sketch of an okip ceremony among the Mandans by George Catlin.

  • Native Spirit and the Way of the Sun Dance , World Wisdom 2007. Thomas Yellowtail, renowned Crow medicine man and leader of the Sun Dance for over thirty years, describes and explains an ancient ceremony considered sacred to the Crow tribe.
  • Although the dance is not staged there, many shirtless Indians filmed in the television series Dr. Quinn have scars, identified as Sun Dance Scars Byron Sulla, a lover of D d Quinn, who adopted the Cheyenne lifestyle.
  • A romantic Hollywood version of the sun dance ceremony is enacted in the film A Man Called Horse, starring actor Richard Harris. While this scene is based on historical sources, it has been criticized for depicting the sun dance as an ordeal at initiation rather than a religious ceremony.


  • (fr) This article is taken in whole or in part from the English Wikipedia article titled "Dance of the Sun" ( see list of authors ) .
  1. a b and c Ann Garraith-Bourrier, " Native American Spirituality and Faith: Resurrecting a Lost Identity ", Circles , vol. 15, (read online) , p.
  2. a b c d e and f Frederic Schwatka, " Sioux Sun Dance ", Century Magazine, New York , vol. 9Brown, 1996: p. 34-5; 1994 Mandelbaum, 1975, pp. 14-15; & Pettipas, 1994, pp. 210 . [Note: this is all that was provided.]
  3. ↑ Native Spirit and the Path of the Sun Dance



  • Clyde Holler ( trans. English Philippe Sabate), Black Elk Sun Dance : Sacred Tree and Cross ["Black Elk Religion: Sun Dance and Lakota Catholicism"], Éditions du Rocher, coll. "Red Cloud", , 397 p. (ISBN 978-2-268-05743-9) .
  • (en) Fred W. Voget, Sun Dance Shoshoni and Crows , Norman, University of Oklahoma Press, , 348 p. (ISBN 978-0-8061-1886-4, OCLC 470975943, read online) .
  • (en) Leslie Spier, " The Plains Indian Sun Dance: Its Development and Distribution ", American Museum of Natural History Anthropological Papers , vol. 16, (read online) .
  • (en) Robert H. Loewy, " Crow Indian Sun Dance ", American Museum of Natural History Anthropological Papers , vol. 16, (read online) .

Related Articles

  • Self-Sacrifice
  • Shamanism
  • Cheyenne
  • Sweat house
  • North American bison

External links

  • (en) American Ethnography - A Vision of Plains Culture Article by Ruth Benedict from 1922.
  • (in) Sun Dance Religion Slideshow
  • (fr) Sun dance explanation
  • (ru) Sun Dance

The sun shines on those who dance Vyatskiye Polyany

People say: “If it is ordained by God that you can dance, then you must give it back.” Anatoly Khudyna - his name is known to the one who dances, the sun shines. People say: “If it is ordained by God that you can dance, then you should give it away.” Anatoly Khudyna - his name is known to almost every inhabitant of Vyatskiye Polyany. He is a master of his craft, which he has been doing all his adult life, a successor to the traditions of his father. On the eve of the new year, we met with the chief choreographer of Vyatskiye Polyany and learned about plans for the future, new achievements and the origins, how it all began.

— Anatoly Nikolaevich, today we can say with confidence that dancing is your life. But was it always like this and what in life predetermined your choice?

ANATOLY KHUDYNA, artistic director of the Rovesnik Ensemble.

- My father, Nikolai, was in charge of a children's dance group, in which I also worked. When I was in the eighth grade, Nikolai Vasilievich transferred me and several guys to an adult dance group. It was one of the best teams in our area. After graduating from school, I ended up in the ranks of the Soviet army, I was lucky that I danced part of my service in the song and dance ensemble of the Ural Military District. After the army, returning home, I did not have any intentions to work in this direction, that is, as a choreographer. I returned to work at the factory, and besides, I had a specialty as a modeller. But when my father's team turned 25, guests from Kirov arrived, colleagues from other cities, and when they found out that I also dance, and my father had no successors as such, they began to persuade me to dance professionally. And so, after persuasion, I quit the factory and entered the College of Culture, graduated from it with a degree in teacher choreography.

On January 1, 1977, he replaced his father and took over his team. Until 1987, I worked in the House of Culture, and then I was offered to be the director of the House of Culture of Selkhoztekhnika, which later passed into the hands of the city, and I came up with a name for it, and this is how it works now - Sputnik. I worked there for 9 years, but, nevertheless, my love for choreography won out and, under the influence of my wife, Valentina, I moved to the Children's Art School, where I have been working since 1997 as a teacher in the choreographic department.

— Tell us about your team, how did it come into being, how did it develop, and how does it live today?

— It was just not interesting to teach lessons, after all, children should see the result of their work. So my wife and I decided to create a choreographic ensemble on the basis of the school. Already in 1998 we went to the first regional festival in Sovetsk, where we became diploma winners of the third degree. A year later, we have already become laureates of this festival. And since then, we can say that we have not fallen below the first place. We began to travel not only to regional, but also to interregional festivals, take, for example, the Vyatka Casket, where we became silver laureates. After 2 years, we became diploma winners of the 1st degree at the All-Russian Competition. Zakharov. In Kazan, at the international competition in the nomination "folk stage dance", we became silver laureates. This is how we move and grow. This year, quite recently, in November, we again visited the international competition in Izhevsk, where we already became gold laureates.

— Many parents want to introduce their children to the world of art. Tell me, at what age, in general, can you send a child to dance?

- Well, if you take it according to the state system, then from 7 to 9 years old the child passes.

rhythm lessons, and then the profile dance training begins. They do classical dance for a year, and only then can they start doing folk choreography. So it turns out that the most optimal age is 7 years. But, it’s true, it’s so usual with us now that a child is sent to dances very early. There is also a special group of children of 4 years of age, who are then prepared for further education.

- 2014 is ending. Everyone is making plans for the future and waiting, as they say, for the best. What are your plans for the new year 2015, what are your creative plans?

— Of course, this is our top priority, we need to prepare for the Victory Day, this is the most important holiday for us. We are now restoring a dance that we once performed, it is called the "Waltz of Memories".

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