Men’s Traditional Dance is one of the oldest forms of Native Dance. It comes from the time when warriors would return to camp and ‘dance out’ stories of battles and stalking the enemy or prey. The regalia are a very personal expression of the dancer. Traditional dancers wear single bustles made of eagle feathers, feathered roach headdress, beaded moccasins, and items worn by early warriors: breast plate, neck choker, ankle bells or dew claws. They carry shields, weapons, dance sticks, staffs or other items that symbolize their status as warriors.
The Men’s Buckskin Dance was one of the original dances of the Blackfoot. Only Chiefs, Leaders, or respected gentlemen who have received the Headdress through ritual transfer, were permitted to dance in this category. The song is a slow war dance song as the men are, in most cases, elderly.
Siksika Hoop Dance
It's origin was training for warriors. The hoops represent the bushes,grasses and forest the warriors had to move through. The designs that the dancer makes with the hoops are of animal spirits. Buffalo,Eagle,Snake- these are identified by the way the dancer holds the hoops and drum beat.
Some dancers are able to dance with over 40 hoops at once.
Siksika Women Traditional
Women’s Traditional Dancers are focused, graceful and elegant. They move very slightly to the rhythm of the Drum. Their simple steps come from the times when women did not dance in the arena, but stood outside the circle and kept time with their feet. Women’s Traditional regalia include a buckskin or cloth dress, fringed shawl folded over one arm, a purse, an awl and knife case on the belt and a feather (often eagle) fan which is raised to the drum in honor. Their dress, moccasins, and accessories are all finely beaded. The cloth dress is often worn instead of buckskin when the weather is very hot. Sometimes the cloth dress will be worn for the Grand Entry, and the buckskin for competition or other special dances.
Jingle Dress Dance
In this form of dance young women wear satin dresses adorned with jingles. It is believed that the chiming sounds made by the movement of the dancer have the power to heal the sick and suffering. Legend explains that the idea for this kind of dance came to a young woman during a vision. The Jingle Dress Dance is characterized by the dancer wearing a jingle dress while dancing with light footwork close to ground. The dancer dances in a snake-like pattern around the drum; her feet never cross, nor does she dance backward or turn a complete circle.